Classics Personal Statement (International Student)

In everything from language and literature to the way we perceive the world, Ancient Greece and Rome continue to be influential. After reading the myth of Echo in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, for instance, the reverberating sound of my own voice took on a new significance and I felt an immediate connection to a time long past.

The indelible mark left on all aspects of modern life by ancient civilizations has inspired me to pursue an education within the field at a university in the United Kingdom, with its distinguished tradition of teaching Classics. After my undergraduate studies I hope to earn a PhD and to conduct research of my own before entering a career in academia or the teaching profession.

Much of my childhood was visiting the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm or traveling to various countries - Italy being my favorite. Through these experiences I was first introduced to ancient history, and I have since read many books on topics such as Greek mythology, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Roman poetry. Aside from being my favorite pastime, my love of literature has also benefited my language skills.

Growing up speaking both Swedish and English at home, I learned that languages provide insight into different cultures and expand our ability to express thoughts and ideas. As a result, I have taken twelve years of English, four years of French, two years of Spanish and one year of Latin, the latter of which by special permission as it is outside my school programme. I particularly enjoy Latin as it has allowed me to conceptualize the historical experience that led to the creation of many words I use every day.

Choosing the social science programme at a high school with most of its instruction in English has familiarized me with writing formal academic English and the demanding pace of study that awaits at the university level. The courses offered, such as Religion, History, Philosophy, International Relations and Aesthetic Communication, have also encouraged my fascination with ancient history and given me invaluable knowledge about linguistics, culture, art and the complex relationship between the past and current day.

Classics are a discipline that requires excellent research and interpersonal skills, two strengths I developed in 2018 while taking part in Youth Parliament and in 2019 while representing Syria on the Security Council of my school’s Model United Nations (MUN). Finding both enjoyable and beneficial to my abilities in leadership and argumentation, I joined the International Group in my final year. Here I aided younger students and hosted MUN, as well as raising money for international charities.

Since 2016, I have devoted my spare time to cosplaying - dressing in full costume and makeup as characters from mythology, books, movies or video games. I am an active member of a large online community where I share videos and photographs of my costumes with fellow cosplayers. This has served as a positive creative outlet and allowed me to connect with people from across the globe and share our cultures and histories.

From the study of Classics I believe I will gain the necessary skills to analyze materials, and to conduct both individual and collaborative research. Such skills will be vital in seeking future employment and making a contribution of my own to this field of study.

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Author's Comments

In 2021, I applied to the University of Edinburgh, Durham University, University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, and St. Andrews University. Out of those five, I ended up receiving conditional offers from all except St. Andrews (I'm just slightly peeved that they ruined my clean sweep).

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