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International Relations Personal Statement

Growing up in Taiwan with a mother from Mainland China, I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the two governments. From this stems my interest in International Relations (IR) as I try to find the answer to the question, 'What makes a country?' This formed the basis of my PPE Project, which explored the international status of Taiwan. This research, coupled with the privilege of watching coverage of the two leaders shaking hands in Singapore, confirmed my desire to pursue IR. It reminded me of the Camp David Accords from my History course and I felt hope for solving any global conflict. As I have learnt from my Economics course, interaction between two parties can be mutually beneficial.

My PPE Project drew on my prior knowledge and experience, so I embarked upon new topics in subsequent projects. I am an effective independent learner: I examined the factors for progress for British democracy and its compatibility with recent Chinese developments for the ??????? School Independent Project and was commended for it, in addition to winning the runner-up prize for my PPE Project. Currently, I am exploring the sustainability of ISIL using mathematical formulae for my EPQ. As a keen mathematician, I utilise my numerical skills in the social sciences. I was particularly fascinated by Dr Hannah Fry's TED talk on how Maths could be applied to matters such as war and relationships, and Game Theory's application to D-day which I learnt from the John Locke Institute's Summer School. Having achieved full UMS in Core 1 and 2, I wish to continue to explore the links between the two disciplines and so I have taken up Further Maths AS level.

My bilingual ability enabled me to translate online and teach English over the summer. This aids communication when dealing with international issues. I am also furthering my skills in French having recognised my innate ability for languages and the need for a personal competitive edge in the workplace of the future. In School, I act as President of the Current Affairs Society and Editor for this section of the School magazine, which helps to promote political awareness around the School. I co-organised TEDx???????School and am Deputy Head of House and member of the International Committee; I am a proven contributor to societies and charities without compromising my academic achievements.

Studying IR over the interwar period, I saw how the past could affect the present by seeing how the Treaty of Versailles contributed to the start of WWII; and I am currently reading The Evolution of International Society to see why IR is the way it is today. The analysis and evaluation skills I have learnt not only allowed me to achieve full marks in the unit, but have enabled me to think critically of the causes of conflicts and effects on developments in a global context. These vital skills are often ignored in Taiwanese education. Seeing how much a good education has benefited me, I hope to become involved in education in the future to help others achieve their potential. Angered by the limitations of the education system in Taiwan, I have shared my experience with Business Weekly in Taiwan and through social media to promote change for the better.

Reading Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four and studying in FutureLearn's programme 'Why the European Union?' has made me rethink the viability of current political systems and the necessity for borders. Being a 'third culture kid' (Useem, 1963), I see how it is possible to embrace various cultural identities. In addition, my experience has persuaded me of the validity of the socialist ideology that class unites people more than nationality, which I learnt from my Politics A level. I have thus joined the Labour Party. Though I look forward to reading Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era to challenge me, and to gain an insight into social developments, I firmly believe that closer integration can only be beneficial, hence my hope to study IR.

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Here are the courses I have applied to:

Accepted by:
London School of Economics - International Relations
University of Warwick - Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods
Durham University - Combined Honours in Social Sciences
University of Edinburgh - International Relations with Quantitative Methods

Rejected by:
University of Cambridge - Human, Social and Political Sciences

The question marks in parts of my personal statement, represents the name of my school.

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