Describe your past academic experience and your reasons for wishing to enroll to Maryland at this point in your academic career Students who have been out of school for several years, or who has a personal circumstance that affected performance, may wish to address that situation in their essay.

Describe your past academic experience and your reasons for wishing to enroll to Maryland at this point in your academic career Students who have been out of school for several years, or who has a personal circumstance that affected performance, may wish to address that situation in their essay. Your essay should be no more than 300 words.

1st version
Prior to applying for this program, I was enrolled in Pharmacy school for two years with the intent to become a health care provider. Unfortunately, during this time my father was diagnosed with liver cancer, which forced me to abruptly withdraw from my program in order to take care of my family in South Korea. Despite my effort to continue with school, my fathers health condition affected my performance in school.

Although, faced with difficult circumstances, I continued to strive to attain my education goals and studied Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test (PEET) while abroad. I volunteered for a Senior Care Program in my church, twice a week, and worked as an elementary English tutor for three years. During that time, I learned more about the lack of support for less privileged individuals such as elders, people with disability, and children. Moreover, there is a common social ambience amongst various communities that considers it less urgent to invest in prevention or education of diseases. This insensitivity to safety issues has led to panics in Korea with most recent examples regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Sewol-Ho ferry accident, nearly putting 300 students into death. My interest in public health has been shaped by understanding the value of developing proper systems implement educational guidelines or to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

Throughout my experience returning to Korea, I have reaffirmed my belief that the best health practice comes from prevention before the treatment. I would like to utilize my resources as a student at the University of Maryland to learn ways to improve the quality of life and develop accountable programs to those who are in dire need of care. I believe my background in science will enhance my understanding public health problem. UMD has an ideal combination of a robust curriculum in the natural sciences with training in the basic fields of public health. If admitted, my goal is to also earn a Global Health Certificate through SPH graduate courses.

My pursuit of medical profession has been shaped by series of illnesses I had unfortunately encountered both first and second hand. I had dengue-fever when I was fourteen and my father had liver cancer which he is still in process of recovery. Since I suffered from dengue, I was determined to become a pharmacist as I wanted to develop medicines that can alleviate people suffering from illnesses; the reason I studied at Pharmacy School.

However, when my fathers cancer recurred, it shook our family both mentally and financially. Despite my arduous effort to continue the study, I could not pay my full attention to academics and decided to go back to Korea to take care of my father. In Korea, on top of caring for my father, I worked part-time as an English teacher and studied for Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test hoping to become a pharmacist in Korea. At the same time, I volunteered for a Senior Care Program in my church once a week. Through this community service, I realized that living longer without healthy life is not happy but sorrow.

During this 3-year period, I could not help but realize the lack of support from Korean government not only for those with serious illness but also for second-class citizens such as elders, disabled and children. Moreover, there exists a social ambience that considers it less urgent when it comes to prevention or education of diseases. This insensitivity led to the biggest epidemic in Korea, MERS which would not have occurred if proper system existed.

Through these experiences, I have reconsidered my belief in health care. Now I firmly believe that prevention comes before treatment and that education plays an important role. Unfortunately, there are only two colleges where provide public health education and I get a chance to study in America again; so, I researched schools where provide best education system in this field. The University of Maryland offers the best studies and practice in public health education. Also, this university offers various mentoring system which is very attractive to me. I hope to learn from the best and become an expert to reform Korean public health care practices in the future. At the same time, I want to study in graduate school for farther education and earn a Global Health Certificate. Since I studied and have interest in the science field, it will help me a lot when I study about public health. Now, I realized the problems in my studies during two years in the pharmacy school and I do not want to repeat the mistake again but study harder. With schools full of support, I am sure that I can learn a lot in The University of Maryland and I will get good grades with my best effort.