David's description of his experience in Israel defines the focus of his essay, and he then connects that experience to his reasons for wanting to transfer.
Let's face it—if you are transferring it is because there is something about your current school that you don't like.
It's easy to be negative and critical of your classes, your professors, your college environment, and so on.
David needs to approach this effort at transfer realistically — even with excellent grades and a stellar essay, his chances of success are by no means guaranteed.
That said, he has many things going for him — he is coming from an equally demanding college where he has earned good grades, and he seems like the type of student who will certainly succeed at Penn.
Many transfer applicants are trying to move to a new college because they are running away from some kind of bad experience, sometimes something academic, sometimes something more personal. He does have a lot more space left to elaborate, but in this case the letter gets the job done well with few words.
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David, however, clearly likes Amherst and is running towards something—an opportunity at Penn that better matches his newly discovered professional goals. The Common Transfer Application instructions state that the essay needs to be at least 250 words. David gets the tone perfect, something that is difficult to do in a transfer essay.David is pleasingly specific in presenting his reasons for transferring.David knows exactly what he wants to study, and he has a clear understanding of what both Penn and Amherst have to offer him.My time in Hazor was not easy—wake-up came at a.m., and by noontime temperatures were often in the 90s. I wore out two pairs of gloves and the knees in several pairs of khakis.Nevertheless, I loved every minute of my time in Israel.I have made many good friends at Amherst, and I have studied with some wonderful professors.However, I do have one non-academic reason for being interested in Penn.His letter will need to be extremely strong for his transfer application to be successful.During the summer after my first year of college, I spent six weeks volunteering at an archaeological excavation in Hazor, site of the largest tel (mound) in Israel.David is attempting to transfer from Amherst College to the University of Pennsylvania.As far as admissions standards go, this is a lateral move—both schools are extremely selective.