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5) Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose (Personal Statement)

Please write a “personal statement” in English describing your interest in studying at the Institute for the Liberal Arts. The essay should be printed on A4, letter size or similarly sized paper and be approximately 1200 words. Handwritten statements are not acceptable. Of course, you alone must be the author of this personal statement. What you have written should be in your own words! Remember, it is likely that you will be asked in depth about your essay during the interview.
Please include the word count, date, and your name at the end of the essay.

Please read the following guidelines carefully before attempting to write your personal statement.

Guidelines for writing your Statement of Purpose
Remember that personal statements are just that - they are about you and no one else.
There isn't a correct way to write a personal statement.
The University is interested in how you make the most of what is available to you.

Things that you might write about include:
Related to your study at the Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA):
  • Why have you chosen to apply to the ILA?
  • Which subjects are you most interested in and why?
  • How have your current or previous studies related to your interest in studying at the ILA?
  • What activities demonstrate your interest in the ILA?
  • Details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if it is relevant to your future studies at Doshisha University.
  • Evidence that you can contribute to the classes and student life at the ILA.

Other possible topics:
  • Why do you want to study in Japan?
  • Why do you want to go to university?
  • Why do you want to study at Doshisha University?
  • Whether you have any future plans of how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain.
  • Hobbies, interests and social activities that demonstrate your skills and abilities.
  • Any achievements that you are proud of, e.g. reaching grade 7 in piano proficiency, being selected for a sports team, community involvement, or extra-curricular activities.
  • Positions of responsibility that you hold/have held both in and out of school, e.g. representative for a local charity.
  • Attributes that make you interesting, special or unique.

For speakers of English as a second language:
  • How can you show that you are able to complete successfully a higher education course in English?
  • Any activities where you have used English outside of your studies.

Tips for preparing your statement:
  • Create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the essay.
  • Expect to produce several drafts before being satisfied.
  • Write in continuous sentences rather than a list.
  • Qualify everything. Say why and how it's important so the reader knows why you've mentioned it.
  • Use simple descriptive sentences that are clear and easy to understand.
  • Avoid long, confusing sentences with obscure vocabulary.
  • Be honest.