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Author Topic: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?  (Read 1095 times)

artgirl

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foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« on: October 08, 2004, 09:00:39 PM »
hey
i've read some of the postings on this part of the site and it seems like people feel like the whole study abroad topic is overdone. anyone willing to review my ideas/thoughts below and give some advice?

I was thinking about writing about my recent  nine month Fulbright fellowship in India to study cultural fusion and narratives of diasporic identity in Indian cinema (i am half Indian, half filipina, raised in NYC, constantly passing for latina, arab and half-black, so issues of diapora and identification have always been a big theme in my work) I was going to write about how I found riding the local trains everyday in Bombay to be the most challenging, but also the most meaningful of my Indian experiences (it's actually kind of crazy in India...riding the trains is like completing an obstacle course, it is an athletic event that requires a strategic eye, endless patience and incredible tolerance. it is also a very interesting social space). I was going to talk about the privilege of mobility and perhaps extend the idea of mobility beyond the physical - to take mobility to refer to things such as moving between cultures, between arguements (negotiation), between communities, etc...and somehow relate how the challenge of riding Mumbai's local trains offered a lesson that shed some insight onto my academic research into diasporas/migrations...Does this sound too convoluted and wierd?

I also was wondering if you guys think I should address my career change...I am an artist and photographer. I have a degree from Yale in English, which seems to be one of the typical pre-law majors, but I went on to get an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia, and my Fulbright was essentiially an art/film/photography grant. My experience in India changed me and I came back wanting to go to law school, but I fear if I write about that my PS will be another boring why-i-want-to-go-to-law-school essay.

Thoughts?

DESI

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2004, 10:23:41 PM »
i think your PS will be excellent.  i of course, got biased as soon as you mentioned INDIA

ruskiegirl

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2004, 10:30:21 PM »
There are a number of themes that show up more frequently than others in personal statements every year -- the study abroad theme is one of them.  However, that fact in itself doesn't make a statement of the study abroad experience cliche.  You just have to figure out how to approach the topic and a unique and innovative way.



artgirl

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2004, 11:10:14 PM »
desi - do you think indians are ORM? i remember for undergrad applications, i was told that being asian would actually work to my disadvantage, do you think this is also true for law school?

india rocks!

DESI

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2004, 11:18:19 PM »
indians are DEFINITELY ORM for law school apps.  in proportion to our population in this country, we overpopulate the LS.  now, for a better response to your earlier quuestion.  study abroad/foreign living is definitely a overused PS, but if you can theme your PS with the theme of photography, introduce your stint in mumbai, and relate the theme of photography to your aptitude for law and ability to succeed in LS, i think you can have a kick ass PS.

and yes, INDIA ROCKS

cali444

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2004, 04:53:13 PM »
desi - do you think indians are ORM? i remember for undergrad applications, i was told that being asian would actually work to my disadvantage, do you think this is also true for law school?

india rocks!


I think being half Filipina could work in your favor.  From what I've always heard, Filipinos get a bit of an URM boost in admissions.  You should make sure to mention your full ethnic background (not just the Indian part), and you'll probably be fine.

cascagrossa

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2004, 05:13:04 PM »
i think essays about foreign experience are fine as long as you dont make it one of those "look at me, i spent a month in spain with my daddys money.  i saw bulls and even real spanish people, it was cool."

awnice79

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2004, 08:12:42 PM »
There are many kinds of "study abroad," and a Fulbright definitely stands out from a semester speaking English and getting trashed on Chianti in Milano.  I'd say go with it--clearly all of your previous experience culminated in this prestigious opportunity, and it's one few other applicants are going to share with you.

I myself am struggling with a similar issue.  I just returned from the Peace Corps in June.  I was an HIV/AIDS educator in Mali.  Are there any Retuned Volnteers out there looking to help a brother out?  Among other things, I worked with professional migrant sex workers from Nigeria and Ghana, and I feel that that would be perhaps one of the most unique work experiences I encountered while in the PC.  What's the vedict guys?  Should I run with it? 

awnice79

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2004, 08:23:35 PM »
I think yours is a great idea, and your English degree from Yale indicates you'll probably craft an excellent statement.  However, I'm a little confused about your ideas.  I get the part about mobility as privilege, both in its physical and cultural aspects.  I don't really see the connection, however, between Mumbai trains, the diaspora, and mobility as privilege.  But it sounds great.  The use of the train as a metaphor could get old, but I think it could be done, provided the metaphor doesn't go too deep.

murpheys_law

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Re: foreign experience ps...is this too cliche?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2004, 06:34:13 PM »
The only thing I would be careful about is that it's a "peronal statement."  Remember to bring yourself into it and not make it a research paper.  I know you'll do great.  It sounds like you have a sound academic background.  Good Luck!
GPA:  3.72
LSAT: TBA