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International Relations & Anthropology Personal Statement

What is the motivation behind Western Intervention in the Middle East? Has the UN done more harm than good in terms of world peace? Questions like these capture my interest in International relations.

Since a very young age, I’ve had a great interest in politics and a talent for solving disputes and issues. I’ve always shown strong leadership qualities growing up. I was a student council class representative for 2 years where I fought for cases like a safer pedestrian crossing outside the school. I was student congress ambassador for positive mental health.

When one thinks of a major world issue, one would think of ISIS and the terror and devastation they have caused, not only in the Middle East, but globally. There is no miracle solution to this but Northern Ireland shows success is achievable. I applaud the appointment of the incoming Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a pluralist.

Leadership and understanding are integral qualities needed in what has become one of the most relevant subject areas in today’s world. As a leader, you must have a great understanding of the people you are representing and the people you mean to help.

As Nate Stanley from Texas University said in his article ‘An Explanatory Method to Understand our World’, - “It is easier to help others when you first understand them” I couldn’t agree with this statement more.

Anthropology is fundamental in understanding world affairs and problems. It will enable me to construct solutions to problems and to understand the development of humanity and society more intimately. I’ve always been intrigued by foreign countries and their cultures. Not only was it the similarities between cultures that interested me, but it was also the differences which piqued my interest.

This interest led me to investigate further by reading ‘Anthropology - very short introduction’ and ‘Searching for respect: Selling crack in El Barrio’ by Phillipe Bourgois. These books discussed aspects of anthropology through gratifying anecdotes from their ethnographic research. This has stimulated me to seek formal study on peoples and cultures and how, from common ancestry, we’ve become so different.

Communication is central to international relations. Misinterpretation can lead to dire consequences. Accordingly it’s essential to have strong language skills. Languages are a passion of mine. I’ve studied French, English and Irish at a high level for almost 6 years.

I’m able to have conversations with native French speakers. I also have very capable literary skills. I have been writing opinion pieces on issues such as emigration and drugs for over a year and I find it to be invaluable practice for future writings. French, is one of the most important world languages with 80 million native speakers. But not only that, French is the most beautiful of languages. The culture has captured me completely.

My favourite movie, Amelie, I watch without subtitles! French is one of my strong points and I hope to further my study in this subject and put it to the best use that I can.

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