EPIK Application Personal Essay Tips – Fall 2016

While I will not share what I wrote for my mine, I hope these tips will help you in formatting and writing your personal essays!^^ 

1. Make a list of your main points

testStart by making a list of the things you want to emphasize in your essays. One way to approach this is by narrowing what the questions are asking and tailoring these main points to what YOU have to offer with your PERSONAL ideas and experiences. This is your chance to SELL YOURSELF!

My list looked something like this in the beginning-

  • Why Korea? Why EFL?
    • Have you been to Korea?
    • What do you know about Korea?
    • Do you know any Korean language?
    • What about Korean culture interests you, why?
    • If your degree isn’t in TEFL, try and make a connection
  • Teaching/Professional Goals/Children
    • Have you ever taught before?
    • Have you ever worked around children?
    • How will you deal with large classes?
    • What do you know about the Korean education system?
    • What are your long term goals?
  • Culture/Dealing with culture shock
    • How do you define culture?
    • Have you ever lived abroad?
    • Have you ever encountered a culture different from your own?
    • Have you ever worked with colleagues from various cultural backgrounds?
    • What are the differences between your home culture and the culture of Korea?
    • What challenges do you anticipate
      • At work? In your community? In your personal life? 
        • How will you address these challenges? 
        • How are you preparing for these challenges NOW?

You should be able to come up with an adequate explanation/response for each of these points. 

2. Expand beyond and build upon what you have already provided

Try not to OVER emphasize certain parts of your application or what your letters of recommendation say, in the essays. You will be wasting valuable word count if you do this.

3. Be detailed but at the same time keep it short

pencilEach of the essay section has a limit of “200-300 words”. Try and keep each essay at about the same length. I personally went all out and pushed each of mine to the upper 200-300 mark. Your essays will (likely) come up during your interview so make sure what you are writing is authentic and something you will remember. Your interviewer may even ask you to go in more depth with your essays during the interview.

4. Answer their questions

Heck, they even warn you on this point in the application itself. Actually answer the questions they are asking you in the prompts. Avoid “fluff”. I like to say that your essay should not have the nutritional value of a twinkie!

5. Know your audience

You are writing these for your potential employer as well as EPIK HQ. While you may have become interested in Korea/Korean culture through K-pop/K-drama, now is probably not the best time to talk about your favorite fanfics or idols (even if the person looking at your essay loves Kyungsoo, too).

6. Give yourself time

clockGood writing takes time. I know most of us like to think that we do our best writing at the very last minute when we are under pressure, but I assure you, you do not want to put off your essays until the last minute. Have a friend or someone you trust proofread your essays to see if it makes sense to them. Maybe check out a website like grammarly.com for further proofreading.

Good luck with your writing!

Ad astra per aspera,


Check out these other EPIK application related posts! –

Disclaimer: The review provided in this post should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the mentioned service(s). No compensation was provided in exchange for the review of these service(s).


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