A place of exchanging to San Jose State University was secured to me by my university and I was preparing the final question of the application form of SJSU. Below are the question and my essay.

Please type a one-page, carefully written essay of 3 to 5 paragraphs. Please indicate the extent to which your coursework and personal experience have prepared you to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the program at San Josť State University. In addition, discuss how overseas study will contribute to your academic and career goals, as well as your reasons for wanting to study at SJSU.


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As a student who has been studying culture and heritage management for more than half a year, I am confident to say that the learning experience has prepared me necessary skills to utilize the exchange opportunity as much as I can. First of all, as can be seen in the department title, culture takes up important part of my course structure. Although not elaborated, which is the main reason for my choosing SJSU and will be explained further later in the statement, the courses concerning culture do equip me with clear historical lines of East Asia, Europe and America. As part of my plan is to spend the whole semester studying some specific periods in art history, this background could provide me a better understanding of the topics during my learning in your university, for I am able to put these topics into historical contexts. Separated pearls can never make a necklace, and I now have the silver thread in hands.

Secondly, the various assessment activities have been offering me great experiences. Apart from lectures and readings, group works --- local visiting, discussion, even interviews --- are most common for accomplishing projects. In spite of language skills and the ability of critical thinking gradually accumulated, the most important ability I keep learning from these is smart communication. Through every experience from brainstorming to frame a structure, from rough individual parts to an organized, united whole, I polish the way I express my ideas, learn to listen and absorb, and most importantly, I remain the one who keep the discussion in the right direction. Last semester, my group managed to interview the senior manager of Hong Kong museum of Art, and another interview of museum professional is around the corner. I believe what I have and will have gained from these experience makes me a qualified group member, daring to express my idea bravely and properly and maybe leading the process.

Being a non-local English speaker, in the short term my academic goal is to better master English. Living and studying in an English-speaking country that forces me to use the language mostly will definitely help. Regarding career goal, I would like to work in the museum field, where international cooperation becomes more and more common and important. Listening to and discussing with students and professors from different backgrounds will make me possess the ability to think in the shoes of different people inch by inch, while these activities will also confront me with a broader range of creative perspectives.

With regard to reasons for my choice of SJSU, the most important one is the curriculum of the Art and Art History Department. As I said before, my university just provides general art history courses like Culture Literacy in Asian (or Western) Context, in which students go through prehistoric time to contemporary in one semester, resulting in insufficiency. In SJSU, however, art history is broken down by either time periods or geographical location, sometimes both, while its scope is boarder than my university’s, including art of Africa and California etc. In SJSU, not only can I dig something I learnt before deeper, I can also explore new territories. Besides, large campus with beautiful architectures and plenty of grass and trees, convenient transportation and high level of student diversity also contribute to my choice.
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I have several questions about my essay:
1. I haven't written about personal experience. What kind of personal experience shall I write?
2. Do I need to include a conclusion paragraph? If so, how to write?

If there is any other problems you want to point out, please do!
Thank you very much!