Suggestions for Writing the Term Abroad Essay and/or Preparing for an Interview

While many terms abroad resemble each other in certain ways, each has particular characteristics that differentiate it from the others.  Thus, not all of the suggestions below will be relevant to your program.  For example, your term abroad may not relate to your major or minor.  It should, however, be related to some interest(s) you can explain clearly.  It is up to you to learn enough about the program(s) for which you are applying to determine which suggestions are pertinent.  Students writing essays need not respond in the order given below. 

  1. Academic
    • How does the term abroad relate to your academic program in general? To your major? To a minor?
    • What courses have you taken, whether at Union or in high school, that relate to the program?
    • Does the program relate to an avocational interest? If so, what reading have you done or what experiences have you created for yourself to give depth to this interest?
  2. Personal
    • Why do you think that you are particularly well prepared to spend a term living in a different culture? Have you had experiences that you believe will help the quality of your participation in a term abroad?
    • Do you see yourself as a group person or as an individualist, or both? How do you think that this aspect of your personality will affect your participation in a term abroad?
    • A term abroad provides all students with any number of difficult moments. Be honest. What will your most difficult moment be? How do you think that you will cope with it?
    • You will be spending a term in a particular community. The composition of this community varies from program to program. What do you think that you will receive from this community? What will you contribute to it?
  3. Country
    • All students writing essays must respond to the following question.  All students being interviewed must be prepared to do so.
    • The country you hope to study in is currently facing various economic, political, or social problems or issues.  Briefly describe one of these problems or issues.  What issues might you want to ask the citizens of the country whom you meet so that you obtain a balanced perspective on the situation?
Please note:
  1. Ethnic and/or religious reasons for selecting a particular program will be important to some of you and should be stated in your essay or interview.  These reasons alone, however, are not sufficient for admission to a program.
  2. Yes, your study abroad experience will probably have an impact on your future. Normally, however, relating a term abroad directly to an anticipated career is not an effective way of convincing people to admit you to a program.