History Personal Statement
I have always wanted to be part of an open-minded society and live in a country where originality is rewarded, so the UK came to my mind as being the best country to read my degree. My passion for the English language has developed over years of studying English at school, where I have been successful in every written and oral exam.
Studying history is very appealing to me not only because I enjoy learning about the past, but also because I believe it could help me in my future career. The study of history allows us to understand, for example, how wars were started, how civilizations grew and how our values have changed throughout the ages.
One of the aspects that I find most interesting about reading history is the challenge of having to critically analyse a wide range of sources in order to produce cohesive arguments. For example, when studying the Cold War, I had to read, analyse and compare speeches from H. Truman and A. Jdanov. I found that it was very important to use other sources, such as encyclopedias and history manuals, as well as examining the content itself in order to fully understand them.
I consider history to be the foundation of knowledge and I have found, since studying history, some aspects of life have become clearer. For example, I always thought that prejudice towards homosexuality was as old as homosexuality itself. However, when I studied classical antiquity, in particular the Roman Empire, I learnt that relationships between people of the same gender were permitted up until the moment when the Emperor Constantine, an avid supporter of Christianity, made Christianity the dominant religion in the Empire. By doing so and according to the religion’s beliefs, the people started considering homosexuality morally wrong.
My knowledge of the English language was rewarded when I was chosen to represent my school alongside another student in Naples for the European Comenius Programme. That year the project was based on organic food in today’s society; I had to make a presentation about the subject in English for the students and teachers of the various countries represented. At the end of the trip I was asked to write about my experience in Italy and subsequently my article was published in my school’s newspaper.
Now, in my last year of secondary school, I have joined a project called “Parliament of the Young” which encourages the participation of young people in their country’s political life. I am the head of a group of ten people and I am in charge of supervising all the tasks and coordinating the conclusions made at our group meetings. This project has allowed me to develop my sense of responsibility and confidence, which I hope will help me achieve my ambitions, including acquiring a degree abroad.
Over the last 2 years I have had some contact with international agencies such as the BBC and the Wall Street Journal. The experience gave me the opportunity to speak English with native speakers and to develop my knowledge of journalism. This has made me consider journalism as a possible future career. When working for the Wall Street Journal, I was asked to gather some information on students who had dropped out of school. Feedback from WSJ was very positive, they reported they were very happy with my quick response and the information I had provided and would consider using me again in the future. When working for the BBC, I was given the opportunity to work as a translator for a day which I found very enjoyable.
I am looking forward to the possibility of studying history in the UK, particularly the challenge of viewing history from a different cultural perspective. I also hope that this opportunity will allow me to meet people from a wide range of backgrounds, further my knowledge of the English language and help me achieve my future career ambitions.
This personal statement was written by betepa for application in 2012.
betepa's university choices
The University of Birmingham
University of Exeter
The University of Manchester
The University of Durham
University of Sussex
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
I'm an European student looking forward to study in the UK, that's why I had to start it off by explaining why I'd like to study in there.
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