French and Hispanic Studies personal statement Example

For me, learning languages means breaking down the barriers between different cultures and people. I spent 5 years living in Germany as a child which proved to be an invaluable experience as, despite going to a British army school, I was able to appreciate a completely different culture to my own and learn basic German. However I remember feeling frustrated with the language barrier, a feeling I also experienced whenever I visited France and Spain on holiday. This understanding of the importance of communication and my interest of French and Spanish culture has inspired me to study French and Spanish at university.

Having never studied French before I am looking forward to the challenge of learning a new language from scratch. I completed a GCSE in German in one year through self-study, achieving a grade B; I achieved this through hard work and self-motivation. As a student I am very determined and motivated to achieve to the best of my ability in all of my subjects. In college I am a peer mentor for Spanish. This involves helping AS students with any problems they have about the course. This has taught me the importance of time management and reliability because I need to be there for the students who I mentor. I helped with the interviewing for a new Spanish teacher at the end of my AS year and I am a course representative for Spanish, where I raise any concerns students have about the course with the teachers. Having my voice heard gives me more confidence because I am helping to make a difference in college.

As part of my Spanish A Level I am reading ‘Como Agua Para Chocolate’ by Laura Esquivel. It has been challenging reading a book entirely written in Spanish but I love getting the chance to learn about Hispanic culture through her story. During last summer I spent 1 week in Palma de Mallorca where I studied at International House language school and stayed with a Spanish host family. I was placed into a class that was slightly above my level, but I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with the other students. I was completely immersed in the language during this week, my host family only spoke Spanish, and so I had to use Spanish all the time. I was amazed by how much my Spanish improved in only a week. Through this course I met the most interesting people from lots of different cultures and was fascinated by how much I could relate to everyone since, as we were speaking Spanish, there was no language barrier in the way. This experience sums up why I strongly believe in the importance of learning languages.

Outside of college I enjoy singing, playing guitar, acting, traveling and reading. I am especially interested in films and have enjoyed the Spanish films ‘Voces Inocentes’ and ‘El Laberinto Del Fauno’. I was fascinated by the differences in culture and language between El Salvador, in ‘Voces Inocentes’, and Spain, in ‘El Laberinto Del Fauno’. I have seen the French film ‘A La Folie Pas Du Tout’ and was interested by the insight into French culture. Also I have read ‘L’Etranger’ by Albert Camus in translation which helped me gain an understanding of French literature. I am looking forward to studying French and Hispanic culture in depth as part of my degree.

I have applied to work as an au pair in Spain for a Spanish family next summer, before I start university. This would help to prepare me for my studies as I would be immersed in Spanish and would have the opportunity to help another family. It would also be a fantastic opportunity to learn about their culture and way of life. After university I plan to do further studying in languages with my long term aim to be an interpreter using Spanish, French and English. I believe that I would be an asset to your course because of my dedication to language learning and my desire to gain more of an understanding of the culture of France and Spain.

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This personal statement was written by sophiejadee for application in 2014.

sophiejadee's university choices
Lancaster University
The University of Kent
The University of Hull
University of Leicester
The University of Kent

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

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