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Tips for Successful ICSP Application

The ICSP is a very competitive scholarship and only a few students are accepted into the program each year. As you are working on your application for ICSP, we highly recommend that you consider the role of culture in your daily life and the importance of cultural understanding in the community. The main mission of the ICSP is to grow cultural understanding at PSU and in the Portland community, so use that cultural lens to write your essays and create your presentation for the application. 


Before you apply: 

  • Read the eligibility requirements and all of the information on the website thoroughly.

  • Ask your recommenders to fill out the recommendation form as early as possible, and use references who can speak to your character in a professional way. There is no deadline extension for your recommendations.

  • Attend an ICSP Information Session or visit our office to ask questions and become more familiar with the program (information at the Contact Us page). We're here to help you!

For your application:

  • Be as specific as possible about your financial circumstances in your Financial Need essay. 

  • Stick closely to the essay prompts, and include a strong thesis statement and conclusion and as many examples as you can. Check this ICSP Essay Rubric to get an idea of the main qualities we are looking for in the essays. ​

  • Proofread your essays multiple times, and have someone else read them too. Resources such as the Writing Center can be really helpful!​

  • Be as creative and yet professional as possible when creating your presentation and preparing for your interview. Slides that are well organized, in color, and described by an additional outline with text are the most successful. 

Selection Criteria
Selection for the International Cultural Service Program is based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to:

  • demonstrated financial need

  • depth and quality of essays

  • demonstrated passion for participating in cultural activities

  • demonstrated performance and presentation skills

  • strong academic records

  • strong written and oral communication skills

  • a diversity of representative countries in the program

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