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French and Politics Personal Statement Example
What really attracts me to studying French at university is the opportunity to become a fluent French speaker, whilst gaining a more developed understanding of French society, culture and history. I have always enjoyed language study, but studying A Level French has confirmed to me that it is both stimulating and exciting; French was also my strongest AS Grade (181/200 UMS). I have enjoyed expanding my knowledge of France through listening to a series of BBC programmes, which discussed three influential figures in the development of French identity: Joan of Arc, Robespierre and Napoleon III. An interest in French politics led me to listen to a lecture from LSE, given by Dr S Hazareesingh: 'Whither France? The Pessimistic Turn in Modern French Thought'. This explored France's tradition of progressive politics, and the reasons for its decline in favour of a more conservative attitude. I also enjoy French radio and films, a recent favourite being 'Le Gamin au Vélo', on the subject of a young boy's life in the French care system.
In June, I participated in a languages day at the University of Warwick, which gave me a taster of university-style language study. We studied Marie de France's 'Bisclavret', comparing the original text with a modern French translation. We used this as a gateway to an interesting discussion of the treatment of women in medieval French society, noting how this was reflected in the text.
With Britain in such a state of flux, following the EU Referendum, there has never been a more interesting time to study Politics. As an active member of the Labour Party, I have been considering the recent turmoil within the party, which seems to come down to a debate over whether pragmatic politics should take priority over traditional Labour policies. I have attended local party meetings, in which we discussed the reasons for Labour's electoral failure and effective campaigning methods for the future, whilst at Labour Party campaign events, I have heard speakers such as Gordon Brown, on the progressive case for staying in the EU, and Owen Smith.
Although studying A Level Politics was not an option at my school, I have read broadly around the subject to gain a better understanding of the political world: I regularly listen to the Today Programme; read 'The Conversation', and subscribe to 'New Statesman'. I recently attended a lecture at Birmingham University about the consequences of Brexit for the remaining EU nations. After studying the Russian Revolution, I read 'The Communist Manifesto' and could see why Marx's message appealed to the Russian proletariat, and, thus how abstract political theory can result in real-life consequences. By contrast, in my History coursework, I have chosen to explore Thatcherism's influence on New Labour policies.
Beyond academic study, I was elected as Co-Chair of my school's Character Committee, which focused on developing good character within the student body. This improved my public speaking and team work skills. Through my school enrichment programme, I volunteered to provide weekly literacy support at a primary school in a deprived area of the city. This, and my previous attendance at a school in special measures, caused me to reflect on the effect of current government education policy. I spend much of my time outside school playing in three high-level youth ensembles, having achieved Grade 8 Trumpet with Distinction at the age of fifteen. I have developed discipline, determination, and good time management skills, as I balance musical commitments with academic study.
In studying my two passions, French and Politics, I hope to become a fluent French speaker who is an active, informed member of European society, and develop a fuller understanding of how power operates in the French and English-speaking worlds. With the skills gained from this degree, my aim is to work in an NGO, seeking to improve life for individuals and societies in Europe and further afield.
There is no profile associated with this personal statement, as the writer has requested to remain anonymous.
I applied to The University of Warwick, University of Bristol, University of Leeds, University of Sheffield and University of Manchester, and received an offer from all 5 of them.
Now studying at Warwick.
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