French and German Personal Statement

Languages are codes which we can use to unlock the world. They open doors to endless opportunities and life experiences. Many people across the globe speak English, but to fully immerse oneself in a culture and understand it, one should first speak the language.

Whilst travelling to destinations across Europe including Ypres, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona, my enthusiasm and curiosity towards foreign languages and other cultures continued to grow and has resulted in me wanting to study modern languages at university. My ultimate goal is to be a language teacher so that I can help others find excitement and passion for learning languages in the same way I have.

Alongside studying history and religious studies, French has been my favourite and most rewarding subject this year. These subjects have enabled me to develop deep analytical skills which have been invaluable in studying French, specifically when interpreting difficult texts and idioms that have no English equivalent. For me, feeling like I can understand and be a part of French society makes all the stress of learning a language so worthwhile and makes it so addictive.

I have watched a variety of French films including `La Haine` and `Au Revoir Les Enfants` as part of the course, and my favourite `Les Intouchables`. All have enhanced my listening skills by giving me the chance to hear different accents and more colloquial language, something not studied in the classroom. Additionally, I have been able to see clear differences between the political culture in France and in the UK, something I am keen to continue studying as I love to get involved in politics and debates.

I have really enjoyed studying the novel `Un Sac de Billes` and as someone with a great love for German and war history I found this book particularly fascinating as it shows the Second World War from a French perspective, for example the difference between Vichy France and Nazi occupied France. Having to separate German `argot` from the French dialect in the book was a challenge, yet it was enjoyable as I find the German language very interesting, and it helped to confirm my desire to speak multiple languages.

At the start of year 12, I was privileged to earn a place on a visit to Auschwitz with the Holocaust Educational Trust and to hear a testimony from a survivor himself. It has been the most eye-opening experience of my life to date, documenting horrors I had been unaware of from the sickening uses of human remains to lesser-known architects behind the atrocity.

Following my visit I completed a series of `next steps` and as part of this I gave presentations to roughly 1100 students about what I had experienced. This was a daunting prospect for me but I was able to complete the challenge as I am passionate about sharing my experience and sending out the right message.

This boosted my confidence and communication skills immensely as I was forced out of my comfort zone to present something I truly care about. Alongside my A-levels, I have acted as a language assistant in lower school French classes which has been beneficial in improving the language skills of others and proved to me that teaching is definitely something I want to pursue in the future, especially after the pride I felt in seeing the progress of students as the year went on.

In one class, part of my role was to help a student with dyslexia by taking notes and helping him to find techniques to remember what had been covered in the lesson. This too challenged me, but I was able to make a difference by communicating with him and coming up with some solutions.

To come away from a Modern Languages course ready to speak confidently in two languages and to begin a rewarding career is a prospect I find so exciting. My year abroad will give me the opportunity to become more independent and give me the chance to put my communication skills to the test with native speakers, thus allowing me to immerse myself in the culture of two countries I love.

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Applied
University of Sussex (French and beginners Spanish)
University of Surrey (French and beginners German)
University of Portsmouth (French and beginners German)
University of Kent (French and beginners German)
Royal Holloway, University of London (French and beginners German)

Offers
University of Sussex (BBB)
University of Surrey (ABB)
University of Portsmouth (Unconditional)
University of Kent (Unconditional)
Royal Holloway, University of London (ABB)

Firm - University of Kent
Insurance - N/A

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