Chinese and Spanish Personal Statement Example

Different languages and cultures have always been a staple throughout my life from being born into a mixed White-Pakistani environment. Seeing how both worlds co-existed together fascinated me, a fascination that continues to this day and not only extends to my own culture but those around the globe. With Mandarin and Spanish being the two of the most widely used languages in our modern society, I yearned to discover more about these two vast cultures.

Having been exposed to East Asian culture briefly through my enjoyment of K-Pop, I thought I understood the lifestyle of Eastern Asians, yet I had barely scratched the surface. My first authentic feel for what East Asian has to offer was when I visited Japan. Arriving in Japan was a magical experience as every aspect of westernisation had disappeared. It opened my eyes to how different the world is away from the West and the cultural and traditional differences between Japan and Korea. I was eager to rid myself of any pre-existing ignorance and commit myself to understanding the lifestyles of East Asia.

My first taste of the Chinese language was through music. I remember being in awe of how beautiful the language sounded and how much more emotion I felt listening compared to K-Pop. I knew then I wanted to discover more. I delved into the works of traditional musicians such as Liu Fang and her graceful playing of the pipa to Lei Qiang and his intricate yet delightfully upbeat playing of the erhu. I also delved into the folklore and history of China as it is a subject area I find joy in researching on a regular basis. While looking into China's royal history I stumbled upon N. Harry Rothschild’s biography ‘Wu Zhao: China's Only Female Emperor’. This gave me an insight into how gender roles were enforced during the Tang dynasty and how one woman's strong will and powerful leadership shook those norms and country alike becoming a significant figure for women in Chinese history.

Immersing myself into Spanish culture was easy as my family and I have made frequent trips to Spain over the years. From discovering the hidden gems in the streets of Barcelona to exploring the Alcázar of Seville with its glorious royal architecture, journeying through Spain was always such a treat except for the language barrier. I longed to understand and join in with those around me, a feeling which only grew larger while I was travelling in America. Working at a summer camp filled with children and staff from across the globe I wished to be able to get closer to the Mexican friends I had made, and to give the children in my care the best experience possible yet found myself lacking the communicative skills. I vowed one day to be fluent in Spanish and so this year I contacted my old high school to become an adult returner and study National 5 Spanish to get a head start on my language learning skills. Returning to higher education as a mature student is one of the best decisions I have made.

Studying social science has broadened my horizons, allowing me to understand the people around me at a deeper level. I believe social science is relevant to the study of languages from learning why society functions the way it does and how social norms differ across the world in Sociology to understanding the inner workings of a person's mind in Psychology. Paired with History, which strengthened my researching and sourcing skills, these subjects give me the edge needed to delve into the cultures behind these languages from a different perspective, enhancing the quality of work I produce.

I’ve established a strong and confident persona through many years of work experience. I currently work as a warehouse operative where I come into contact with people from all over the world such as Spain, India, China and more. Working in a multicultural environment has solidified my desire to understand and communicate with others in their native language and I’m ready to embark on this new and exciting journey through this course.

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Author's Comments

I feel like this is hopefully a strong statement, not been in higher education since 2018 so wrote about my travelling instead. I'll try and remember to come back to this with the offers I get but yeah hope this helps someone and any comments feel free to let me know :)

Applied for:
St. Andrews
University of Edinburgh

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