English Literature Personal Statement
I am applying to The City University of New York as a Visiting Graduate Student for one term of study in the fall of 2009, non-degree. I completed my BA in English and Danish from _ _ _ in Denmark in June, 2008 and for the time being I am studying for my master's degree.
My love for language determined my field of study. Originally, I wanted to study French, but a half year stay in England completely changed my mind. In the summer of 2004 I applied at the National Center for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE) in Surrey, England as a student support worker. I worked in a residential house taking care of eight boys with severe disabilities, and I loved being able to manage this responsibility and being challenged every day.
Life in England was not entirely different to my life in Denmark, but more so than I thought. And what I loved the most was learning the language properly. To feel how my vocabulary was extended every day and to explore new dialects of English I did not know existed.
During my education at the English department of _ _ _ I have found an interest in the American side to the English language. Earlier in my studies I took a course with the subject of Autobiography about writers in exile in America, such as Jack Kerouac and Andrei Codrescu. This semester I took a course in American Studies which provided a historical perspective to the American literary history and this course opened the door to American literature for me. I was deeply moved by the incredible Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and T. S. Elliot's The Waste Land inspired me to explore an unknown world of poetry.
In my Bachelor Project I wrote about the US Governor Mike Huckabee and his use of rhetorics in the US Primary Elections of 2007, where I explored the depths and intentions of his use of language. Besides studying I am a volunteer translator for a trans-European political organisation, Neweuropeans, founded by Franck Biancheri, who is also the man behind the student network Erasmus, and my work consists of helping them translate their English website into Danish. I am very fond of linguistics, and I have a special interest in the subject of Communicative Translation.
I enjoy working with a text and making the native English intention become clear in my own language, and since every single word has its own ambiguous connotation, to me it is as fun as a good Sunday crossword puzzle to find the right word that suites the context.
My university has a tradition of incorporating group work into every area of student studies and each semester students form groups of 3-8 students and write a project on the basis of a lecture or a subject that is rooted in the students' field of study.
The experience of working in groups has taught me the skill of working in close connection with my fellow students; to be flexible and to take responsibility for not only my own work, but also the work of my group members. I find that my role in this constellation has often been to take the initiative to get started and get things done on time and to keep the breadth of view. As a person I am very sociable and therefore I have found that working in groups is the perfect way to combine my independent studying with exciting group discussions and a common interest in our specific course of study.
In the whole I feel that my bachelor degree has given me a solid understanding of the theoretical part of the English language area. Equally, my studies have included practical work, so I'm prepared for future work in my field of study. In that respect, I have structured my education so that I also attain a teacher competence in Danish and English along with my Master's degree.
But my studies at have been hard at times. In the end of 2002 I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease (inflammatory bowel disease). Today I am happy to say that I am much better and my illness is under control. Though it was a tough time, it taught me that I have the strength to pull through in a crisis. And most importantly, I have proven to myself that I am a fighter.
My motivation for wanting to study in America is that I through my studies have gotten an exciting insight into American literature and culture and I am fascinated with American history, which encompasses a proud tradition of liberty.
I feel that I can contribute to The City University of New York with an ambitious and hardworking spirit, and believe the adventure of studying abroad and experiencing my field of study up close will provide me with a purposeful, different and international angle to my English studies and will be rewarding in regards to my further studies and work in Denmark.
This personal statement was written by Nicoline for application in 2009.
Since I'm applying for a university in America, I have had to put my modesty a side and boast a bit more than I would normally do in a personal statement.
I'd love some constructive criticism, but please keep in mind when reading this that I'm Danish, so my language might not have the same flow as some of the other PS's in here. Thanks