European Social & Political Studies Personal Statement
In my opinion, the problems societies face today deserve an in-depth analysis which draws on different disciplines of thought for its relevance; furthermore the implementations of strategies to combat problems must take into account more than one academic approach if they are going to be positively effective.
In applying to study humanities subjects I am pursuing my personal goal of furthering my understanding of current events and fostering my ability to discuss and present the ideas I develop in a clear and competent way.
The Development of my interests in humanities stems from my move to Barcelona when I was 21. Embracing the challenge, I left England alone with the aim of learning Spanish and Catalan.
Within a year I could speak and write in both languages fluently and I had immersed myself in an active social and political scene in which discussions about social control, consumerism and nationalism would last for hours, fed by students who brought what they had learnt in the classroom to our meeting space.
It was this experience that drove me to further my own studies in a city where I am already connected to a similar scene, London.
Debating and communicating concepts clearly is something I also practiced as an English teacher with Spanish schoolchildren of between 8 and 17 years.
However the most demanding experiences I had were in the Barcelona student movement, in which I participated in energetic and passionate debates over such topics as whether demands are necessary with protest, the clash between picket lines and individual freedom and what a “university strike” really implies in the European economy.
A European basis for my studies is the natural choice bearing in mind my experiences. In the last 4 years I have travelled widely around Western Europe and Scandinavia, coming into contact with people from a variety of different backgrounds and finding myself in challenging and empowering situations, experiences which I now see as an invaluable asset to take into a university environment.
During my travels I revived my ability with French and started to study German, a language I was drawn to by the richness of German philosophy and by the political scene in Berlin. I treat the study of philosophy, German or otherwise, as my hobby and I often attend conferences in which the works of philosophers such as Marx, Hegel and Spinoza are applied to contemporary events.
In terms of following developments in thought and social change privately, I enjoy reading independently published journals on political and economic theory and books dealing with a wide range of what I judge to be relevant and interesting issues, such as the crisis in food quality and oil consumption.
I intend to use my studies to build upon and specialise my knowledge in key areas and find employment as a translator or interpreter using the skills I’ve already developed volunteering in Spain.
From the time I’ve spent studying and working, I’ve gained the organisational skills to succeed at university, furthermore I believe I will benefit personally from higher education, using it as a conduit for a formalisation of my ability and talent.
In returning to the UK to study I’m making a commitment to complete my studies, motivated by my love of learning and drive to better myself.
This is the first draft, I'm nervous because there are 25 applicants per place! Any helpful comments welcome :-)