Using English and not Korean Name on MIT Application

Question: I want to apply MIT. MIT has the special admission system called MyMIT. When I tried to register on MyMIT, they requested my English name, but I’m Korean, so I haven’t English name. What do I do?

MIT just wants your name translated into the English alphabet. They aren’t looking for an actual English name like “Alex” or “Andy,” although some Asian applicants do have them … or seem to acquire them once they make plans to attend school in the U.S.

After you’ve translated your name into the English alphabet, be sure to spell it consistently each time you fill out any college-related form. Also make sure that you carefully read instructions for where you put your “family name” (often called “surname” or “last name” in the U.S.) and your “first name” or “given name.” (In Korea, the family name/surname usually precedes the first/given name. In the U.S., it’s the opposite.)

So MIT is simply asking for you to use the English spelling of your name. You don’t actually have to make up an American name for your application … and you won’t need one when you get here either. Americans seem to be getting better about properly using and pronouncing (and remembering!) foreign-sounding names, but I do think we still have a way to go.

(posted 1/8/2012)