Statement of Purpose
Along with recommendations from faculty, "The Statement of Purpose" is the most important part of the JYA application. This essay should be one page, double spaced and should be considered to be an academic exercise that would be turned in for a grade. Five members of the faculty will be reading it. The more formally you treat your subject, the better your argument will be. Not everyone agrees that study abroad is essential to every liberal arts education, so use the standard academic approach of an introduction, a reasoned argument—providing evidence, proving points—and a conclusion. Clarity, brevity, coherence are important. Beyond general form and seriousness of approach, however, each applicant will have different reasons for study abroad.
In general, the essay should seek to prove that study abroad will provide tangible academic benefits not available on campus, and the more research the student has done beforehand, particularly regarding coursework, the better the essay will be.