The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 70

mentioned elsewhere on the application.
Your achievements, grades and activities
will all be listed elsewhere, and your main
essay will be showing something of your
character and personality.
Here you can add something extra, but
again—only if it’s something new. If you
have not yet cited your Foreign Service
lifestyle and all the places you’ve lived,
now’s your chance. If being overseas
meant that certain courses or activi-
Do not compose your essay on the
application screen itself—there have
been too many cautionary tales of
essays being garbled or lost.
ties weren’t offered to you, such as U.S.
history, or American football, you could
explain that here—especially if you have
taken an online course, done extra reading
or started a local American football club in
your host country, as a way of dealing with
the deficits in your education or experi-
ence. If you’ve experienced an evacu-
ation, for instance, or have developed
an unusual passion overseas that isn’t
reflected in the rest of the application, you
can use this space to elaborate on it.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Finally, remember that while applying
from overseas may give you an advantage
in the application pile, a poor Internet
connection in a Third World country may
well put you at a disadvantage, given the
Common App’s current online glitches.
If the Common Application wants
to set itself up as the gateway for all U.S.
college applicants, it will have to ramp
up its customer service and engage in a
little “public diplomacy” for the sake of its
national image. Meanwhile, the new essay
prompts are a definite improvement, and
they lend themselves well to the Foreign
Service experience.
So, take advantage of that, and be
sure to give yourself extra time to com-
plete and submit your application—just
in case.
Continued from p. 62
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