English & French Personal Statement

I am currently taking a gap year in order to mature, earn money for university and give myself time to confirm what I want to do in the future. I am now more enthusiastic than ever about developing my passion for language. I am especially interested in the ways in which a language evolves and grows and I have decided to further this interest at university. For three months, I stayed with a family in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, where I worked as an English Language Assistant. To be completely immersed in the French language and culture was amazing and undoubtedly, my experience has vastly improved my French speaking and reading skills. My organisational abilities were also improved as I had to independently plan enough lessons for the time that I was there. After being in France for a few weeks, I was able to have spontaneous conversations with native French speakers in their own language. Whilst teaching the family English, I regularly found myself questioning why English and French work as they do.

I have always been immersed in the French language as my father is fluent in French. I have learnt to value the advantages of learning French. For example, when trying to fully appreciate international literature, film and music I think it is useful to know a second language as many translations do not capture the original beauty, style, form or intent and are therefore "lost in translation". This has especially been made clear to me when I watch French films with English subtitles. I have decided to use my initiative and my passion for language to begin to teach myself Spanish.

I am currently working as a waitress in a local cafe. Although part of being a waitress is heavily reliant on team work, I have had to work independently, which has helped me to use my initiative and problem solving skills. I am also working at the local Oxfam bookshop where I am in charge of organising the fiction section. At the moment, my tastes in reading are drawn to thrillers and crime novels. Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy in particular, has become a firm favourite of mine. He deals frankly with taboo subjects and he approaches the mystery thriller with sharp innovativeness which I think could well pave the way for future thriller authors.

As a child, you could always find me with my nose in a book or writing my next story! Although it has only been in the past couple of years since studying French that I have begun to truly appreciate English Literature. French has helped to put the importance of English into perspective and the ability to use English more effectively. I have learned that after analysing literature, you can begin to see the authors philosophy behind the story and I cannot wait to get immersed in literature and language at university level. I believe English Literature is massively important in Britain’s heritage and I think that we only scratched the surface of this importance at school. I have thought about several career paths after university and I am veering towards journalism.

Outside school, my main extracurricular interest lies in the world of film. After studying Media Studies at school, I am able to read films differentially and of course this helps me to develop further my analysis in literature. I am a regular attender of the local film theatres film club, where I have helped to organise a Film Noir Night, which included a short film produced and filmed by myself and a presentation which I wrote and presented about "Women in Film Noir". I have been lucky enough to do some front of house work experience with the film theatre, where I have been able to improve my interpersonal skills as well as organisational and time management skills. I am also shadowing the manager where I assist in the development and marketing of the upcoming film programme.

I am confident that I have the skills and qualities which are essential to succeed at university and I would relish the challenge of a demanding degree and the chance to commit to university life.

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This personal statement was written by plumssaypfft for application in 2011.

plumssaypfft's Comments

This is my 1st draft of my personal statement and I'd like to read other peoples opinions on it (constructive criticism!).
I would appreciate any help you could give me!
I will be applying for English Literature and French at Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Aberdeen. :-) merci!

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