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  1. #1
    LucaRB is offline Newbie
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    Default first contact with admission office

    Hello guys, I have been working on this letter for quite a while. I feel very insecure about contacting my first choice university because I am not native in english, and I know how though competition is on a global level.
    Please feel free to give me any sort of critic.

    Dear Sir or Madam,


    I am xxxxx, a 19 year old Austrian aspiring to go to xxxxxx University. Your website was helpful to answer many of my questions regarding the application process, yet I would be very grateful if you were so kind to answer a specific inquiry.
    I am sorry to add private details to this email, but I strongly feel that they are essential to assess my situation. Due to a shoulder injury I was declared unfit to complete the Austrian mandatory military service, a duty every Austrian male is subject to after his graduation from secondary education. I wanted to gain experience of what to do with my life before I head off to college. As a result I took the initiative and decided to do an exchange year In the United States instead. The upcoming eleven months was an important experience and fostered one eventual decision: I want to continue my studies in the United States. Upon my return I started to search for colleges and began to work on my college application. Meanwhile I matriculated at the Vienna University of Economics and Law to make the most of my time, so I thought.
    Now I see myself confronted with the fact that though I havenít earned any credits at my current University, xxxxxx University considers me a transfer student.
    I donít see myself continuing the tight business orientated schedule and rather embrace the opportunities of a liberal arts education at xxxxx University.
    I am afraid that my proceedings were perilous to my chances of acceptance.
    Could you please tell me if I have to fill out the CommonApp as a transfer or first year student? Besides, how would being a transfer student affect my life at xxxx University if I havenít earned any credits yet.

    Yours sincerely,

    xxxxxxxxx

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: first contact with admission office

    I suggest that the first thing you do is find out the name of the Admissions Officer (or whoever is in charge of admissions). Addressing such a letter to "Dear Sir or Madam" is rather impersonal and doesn't give a particularly good first impression.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 17-Nov-2013 at 10:10.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: first contact with admission office

    Luca, are you applying to a school in the US? I'm assuming yes, because of the question about the Common App.

    Your letter contains far too much information this is not relevant. No one cares why you didn't do military service, though the fact that you spent 11 months in the US might help them know you are comfortable in an all-English enviornment.

    I expect that the university Web site has a special section for foreign students. Have you studied the information found there? I wasn't aware that foreign students completed the Common App, but perhaps they do. However, I would expect that there would be information about how any credits earned at a university in your own country would transfer to their school.

    I suggest you write a much shorter letter:
    Dear Mr... or Ms... (as Ems has suggested, a real person, not a "sir or madam"):

    My name is Luca [last name] and I am a 19-year-old Austrian student very interested in attending [name of university]. While I found a lot of useful information on the university Web site, I do have a question about my status as an applicant. I have completed a year of study at Vienna University of Economics and Law, so I am not certain whether I should I apply as a transfer student or as a freshman. I want to make sure I complete the application process correctly. I have an additional question if the answer is that I should apply as a freshman: Will any of my credits from my business classes at Vienna transfer to [name of University]? Thank you in advance for helping me navigate the application process.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    LucaRB is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: first contact with admission office

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I suggest that the first thing you do is find out the name of the Admissions Officer (or whoever is in charge of admissions). Addressing such a letter to "Dear Sir or Madam" is rather impersonal and doesn't give a particularly good first impression.
    What a splendid idea. Quite a move to distinguish yourself. Thank you!
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 17-Nov-2013 at 10:11.

  5. #5
    LucaRB is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: first contact with admission office

    Dear Barb_D,
    thank you for your detailed response. I appreciate your contribution very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Luca, are you applying to a school in the US? I'm assuming yes, because of the question about the Common App.

    Your letter contains far too much information this is not relevant. No one cares why you didn't do military service, though the fact that you spent 11 months in the US might help them know you are comfortable in an all-English enviornment. You are right I want to study in the United States and have to fill out the CommonApp.
    I have already done a lot of research and would say that I am quite familiar with their website.
    According to their website xxxx University considers me a transfer student upon matriculation at any university.
    At that point I wanted to explain that I actually just wanted to study in the United States and that my current education is just a way to use time worthwhile until possible enrollment.
    As I just matriculated there are no credits to be transfered in the first place. I felt that I made a tactical mistake by matriculating at an Austrian University in the meantime because I realized that I won't be able to apply as a freshman student anymore, which I believe is a disadvantage.
    Therefore I reasoned it would be appropriate to include some private details to illustrate how my situation has arisen. All this is an effort to see if xxx Unviersity would find a solution for my situation and maybe permit me to apply as a freshman.
    I clearly don't aim at enrolling as a transfer student as I have little to no none credits to be transferred.
    Don't you feel that certain private details are appropriate to make them understand my situation?

    If this wasn't transmitted by my letter I sure need to enhance it. I would be upmost greatfull for further advice.

    Sincerely,
    Luca

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: first contact with admission office

    No, I still think that is way too much information for your question.

    Just say "Although I have enrolled in a university here, I would like to be considered a freshman applicant. Is it possible for me to apply as a first-year student instead of a transfer student?"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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