English & French Personal Statement

Languages are my strength, the main focus of my studies, and I have always studied them with energy and interest. I have chosen to study the combination of English and French because I see languages as assets, not only as keys to communication but also as keys to accessing literature. The languages, culture, history and literature of both English and French intrigue me and I look forward to enriching and developing my knowledge and understanding of the two.

What inspires me about my chosen degree is that it has no limits. There exists such a diversity of material and I consider my understanding and ability to analyse literature and interpret a language as skills that will continue to develop and flourish indefinitely. I am an eager reader, enjoying literature from all ages. Taking both mainstream and advanced English gave me the opportunity to study a wide variety of texts. I particularly enjoyed studying the Romantics; the challenge of reading a novel by Charles Dickens; discovering the humour in Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'; the variety in Graham Greene's writing; and the more modern style of Ian McEwan, whom I chose to study in depth when writing my extended essay on a chosen author and their work. Studying French gave me the opportunity to read plays, discover French film and to study novels in depth. The novel 'La femme de Gilles' and the play 'Antigone' were the basis of my French studies in my final year at school and I enjoyed reading the texts, discussing the important issues involved and watching the films of these texts. Studying in a multilingual environment made French a part of my everyday life, something I appreciated and explored with fervour. I have only had the opportunity to visit France once, but I look forward to spending my third year abroad as it is a country whose language and culture I have always felt drawn to.

Studying in a European School has presented me with opportunities that I feel I have used to an advantage, such as the option of studying multiple languages. I chose to study Latin-based languages, Italian and Spanish, up to an advanced level, which complemented my French studies. I enjoyed both the written and spoken aspects of all four language courses at school and I am a confident speaker in all, a characteristic which I found useful when representing my school at the CoSup meeting (Conseil Superieur des Eleves) in Brussels in February 2007.

Alongside my school schedule, I also enjoyed extra-curricular activities and took part in important events. Dancing since the age of three, I have attended dance classes most week nights and organised and participated in shows. I enjoyed the responsibility of working at the front of house for two years in a well-regarded restaurant, socialising and building my independence. I am a keen runner, covering around ten miles a week with my local running club and competing in races. I also play the piano in my spare time and raise money for charities by participating in sports events. I am highly committed to my education and enjoy balancing the requirements of a heavy timetable with extra-curricular and work commitments. However, I am always able to prioritise effectively when my schedule becomes too busy.

I am currently working full-time and earning to fund my university studies. I aim to gain more experience and independence whilst also broadening my skills, which I believe will work to my advantage during my time at university and in my development as an individual. I am also spending my free time exploring texts and films to deepen my understanding and maintain my vocabulary of my chosen subjects, whilst preparing myself for my entry into university in September 2008. My enthusiasm and proven ability in my chosen subjects makes me confident that I am an ideal student for this course.

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This personal statement was written by Pigneguy for application in 2008.

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