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International Relations Personal Statement

Domestic policy is no longer simply that: most national issues must take into consideration a possible international reaction. It is this significance of international relations that enthuses me. My ambition is to become a perceptive and eventually influential operator in this diverse, fragile and complex global political arena. Lately, I have been absorbed in the controversy surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

My favourite reads have been the US website Foreign Policy, which gives a really interesting perspective from outside Europe, and The Independent, particularly articles by Jeremy Corbyn and James Stavridis. Corbyn expresses concerns about TTIP leading to the downfall of European standards; whereas Stavridis considers it a strategic weapon to isolate Vladimir Putin. This clash of opinions has helped me formulate my own view: that the deal is promising, but must be more transparent. The growing prevalence of international policy such as this has further entrenched my desire to study international relations.

I love a good debate. During the 2015 general election, I stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate in my schools mock election. I led and coordinated a team of enthusiasts, campaigning on issues I care about, including foreign aid and the environment. I relished the opportunity for frequent public speaking and became engrossed in creating convincing arguments for each husting I attended. In addition, I undertook a MOOC provided by the University of Leeds called 'Election 2015 for AS Level Politics'. This cemented my knowledge and introduced me to a new model of learning outside of my comfort zone.

During my time as 'Liberal Democrat leader' I became interested in the meaning of 'Liberal' in the realm of international relations. This led me to read Theories of International Relations. The book as a whole gave me a solid grounding in the main theories of international relations: Scott Burchill's chapter on Liberalism, in particular, gave me fascinating international context to Liberal Democrat policy. For example, part of the reason for wanting a more representative government is because it, in theory, encourages further mutual democratic pacifism. This book also aided my studies; in AS History, I applied what I learnt about realism to President Nixon's foreign policy. I noticed in class that Nixon's policy of detente, cumulating in the unexpected trip to China in 1972, showed similarities to the realist school of thought. These beginners' insights into international relations theory have left me with a thirst for more.

Given the far-reaching influence of international relations and politics, gaining a deeper understanding of the ideologies of individual foreign nations, is paramount. One of the best ways to do this is via exploring language and culture. The thought-provoking content of the University of Nottingham's 'Language, Culture and Area Studies' Summer School gave me many fascinating insights, and a broader and deeper understanding of the world both past and present. It also gave me an intriguing insight into university life, and allowed me to practise my German skills, which I hope to resume at University.

I have been recognised by my school twice for academic excellence, in English Language and Drama in 2013 and 2014 respectively. In Year 12 I was part of my school's inaugural Learning Ambassador team, working as an intermediary between staff and students to identify successful teaching methods. I am currently playing Vladimir in Waiting for Godot: and I am a qualified Level 7 FA referee, which has recently involved the rewarding added responsibility and pressure of officiating adult football. These extra-curricular activities, coupled with a job as a waiter, have challenged my time-management skills - a challenge I have greatly enjoyed. I am now eager to take on the even greater challenge of University life, with all the opportunities it offers.

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