Anthropology Personal Statement Example 8

During the period when I had to choose the subject area for my IB extended essay, I came across the book “Third Culture Kids: Growing up among worlds” by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken. I was surprised by how much it grabbed my interest from the various topics anthropology seeks to explore. The findings presented in the book challenged traditional concepts of culture, identity and belonging. Growing up across different cultures: Christian, Indigenous African, Muslim and Buddhist, I realised that somehow, the thing that made me feel like an outsider for the most of my life, became responsible for identifying myself with the unique cultural dynamic with its' own particular traits. Due to not having previously studied anthropology I decided not to write my extended essay on this topic, but this process was vital in choosing my university course, as it made me determined to study anthropology and awakened my curiosity to do my own cross-cultural research in the future.

Living and participating in the lives of different communities has given me a profound appreciation of what all humans have in common as well as the differences between them. I had to adapt and master a new set of behavioural norms every time I moved to a new country. In Rwanda it was considered insulting to eat in public openly compared to Thai urban custom of preparation, sale and consumption of food in the streets. I learned that extended family is the basis of social structure for people in Middle East, who are more group oriented rather than individualistic, compared to Europeans. This experience turned me into a perceptive observer and less judgemental of human nature.

Studying English, geography and economics at higher level gave me a solid base in social sciences. Conducting an independent research paper on the topic of human geography has been the most academically challenging and invaluable experience during the diploma program. Based on numerous primary data collection, the essay attempts to evaluate the economic, environmental and the sociocultural aspects of gentrification in Tbilisi, Georgia. Working on extended essay helped me to develop scientific research, organisation, communication and academic writing skills expected at the university level. Intellectually stimulating course of theory of knowledge challenged me as an open-minded thinker who always reflects critically on complex issues of knowledge among different cultures. Currently I am working on a final essay to analyse how shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge. I am willing to question potential emotional, social or cognitive bias of any person making a claim, including my own concept of truth. I believe that when we are not afraid to accept being wrong then we make progress towards increasing our knowledge and understanding of the world.

For last two years I have been volunteering at 'Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand'. The main objective of this organisation is to rescue those animals that have suffered at the hands of humans exploited by tourism industry. My appreciation of wildlife began when I went gorilla tracking in Uganda with my dad. After seven hours of tracking in the wild, observing these creatures interacting in their natural habitat was fascinating and one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had. I also took part in journalism club in year 12. My job was interviewing various staff and students and writing the articles for the school newspaper. This experience has increased my collaborative and creative writing skills.

Another true passion of mine is music. I have actively been part of a heavy metal band with me being the lead guitarist. When not studying, most of my free time is spent playing guitar and writing my own lyrics. Outside of main course, I am looking forward to actively taking part in musical activities at the university.

Degree in anthropology along with three languages I speak: Georgian, English and French, will aid me in achieving my goal to work in the roles that are international or cross-cultural in scope. I'm particularly interested in International development and media. Observing and studying different cultures was my everyday life and something that was not a choice, but now I am determined to make it my ambition at the university to scientifically answer these questions of variations and the common humanity, which underlies them.

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Anthropology at Exeter university


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