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European Studies and Spanish Personal Statement

Being the daughter of a German mother and a Ghanaian father, having grown up in multicultural Berlin, I've always been surrounded by many diverse and fascinating cultures which- eventually- caused my curiosity about their different appearances. I have traveled a lot through Europe and got to know more about the customs around this continent which are different from German and Ghanaian ones. From these journeys I learned that Europe is full of linguistic, traditional and political diversity, but at the same time is a big family on its way to become even bigger and to develop a deeper understanding between its nations. So, when I started to collect ideas for my future studies, the “European Studies”-programme of your institution immediately attracted my attention.
The work of the Council of Europe protecting human rights, fighting humiliation in the sense of racism and sexism and promoting Europe's cultural diversity, has aroused my deep interest. My attention to politics in general increased decisively when we started a “Democracy Project” at school and we were invited to the German Parliament. We became “members” of fictional parties, similar to our authentic German ones discussing the current law against smoking in public. I found out how politics work and I was asked to decide on the issue consciously which made me feel responsible for my environment.
Furthermore, I feel a strong affinity for European languages, in particular English and Spanish. In order to improve my Spanish language skills, I decided to spend one year in Spain, Algeciras, in 2005. Throughout this year I have not only consolidated my Spanish knowledge but also become a lot more independent, responsible and determined towards my future. I have experienced the country's characteristics and its political structure, as well as the mark that the dictatorship under the sway of Franco has left on Spanish society and mentality. Moreover, I have learned about the tragic situation of African immigrants around the Strait of Gibraltar which has left me deeply concerned due to my personal background. In my host mother's language academy I keenly enjoyed teaching children German. Attending my host mother's English classes and sometimes teaching children English as a substitute for her, I recognized my increased interest in the English language. As a consequence I took the Trinity College London Examination for Spoken English in order to concentrate even more on my communication skills. I am looking forward to deepening my English and Spanish knowledge and I am open to learning new languages, as well.
I am very fond of music; I write album and concert reviews for the pupils' magazine and join the school band's rehearsals as a member of the background choir. In Spain I learned how to dance the traditional Flamenco which I'd love to continue.
As a member of the pupil's magazine I get to attend various sociopolitical events such as a reading about Winston Churchill's idea of the “United States of Europe” from 1946, or cultural events like musicals, plays and concerts. I critically analyse each event and express my views by writing about them for the pupil's magazine. Given this, in the future I would like to work with the media.
I am actively involved in school life as a form captain and I tutor younger pupils in Spanish. Participating in the optional religious education course I get the chance to discuss current social, religious and ethical issues; this encourages my rather communicative and open-minded way of discussing such issues seriously.
The United Kingdom is a unique country regarding its political and historical heritage as well as its traditions, friendliness and reputable educational system, thus I couldn't have chosen a better place to study. I adapt easily to new surroundings, am strongly willing to take on new challenges and I am looking forward to broadening my academic, social and global horizon at your university.

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

erbsenschleuder's Comments

I'd like to know what you guys think about it and i hope that it will help some of you (if it's good, of course). I'm not a native english speaker, so don't expect too much:-) I got a conditional offer from manchester and I'm still waiting for ucl(unsuccessful), king's(conditional), queen mary and sussex(conditional) to make an offer (or not).

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