Academic Challenges – Essay Sample

Because I come from Puerto Rico, there are many academic challenges that I face in preparing to attend a University in the United States.  Perhaps the largest of these challenges is from the language barrier.  I have grown up always speaking Spanish with my friends and family in my country.  Of course we are taught to read and write English since the 1st grade, but knowing how to communicate on paper and through speaking are very different forms of communication.  I can understand what people are saying to me but it is hard for me to think of an answer and translate it into English quickly.  This can be a very serious challenge in an English-speaking classroom because it makes my participation in that class very limited.

I do not believe in making excuses for poor performance and I will always work hard to do the best work I can.  Right now I am studying conversational English at Howard Community College at nights to help improve my speaking and listening skills.  This course has already improved my comprehension of the English language, and I know that I am preparing to achieve my goals every time I learn something knew.  This is a very difficult challenge to overcome because many people in the United States do not understand that I cannot comprehend the language completely yet.  Some people even hear my accent or listen to my slow responses and think that I am stupid or unintelligent.  I have the same talents and abilities as other students, but I work harder than most people so that the English language does not continue to be a challenge in my academic career.

The language problem is even an issue writing this essay.  I have a strong grasp of the language but it takes a lot of time to think of my answers in Spanish and then attempt to translate them into English so that they make sense.  I continue to improve in my language skills every day, but it is not an easy challenge to overcome.  Due to the high costs of education, even my evening course at Howard Community College takes a toll on me and my family.  We cannot afford for some of the same language programs or benefits that other Spanish-speaking individuals may be able to.  This scholarship is crucial for my ability to continue to fight to achieve my goals and dreams.  I will not let this academic challenge hinder my ability to help others as a nurse.  I will continue to work hard and do everything I can to overcome this problem.


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