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International Relations Personal Statement

Is creating a secular state the best solution for every country? To what extent should we tolerate and accept cultural traditions? Are we in need of a ban on full face-and-body covering in times where security is not guaranteed, or does it hinder the process of integration rendering it counterproductive?
People in my social environment often wonder why I get excited about these questions and start discussing them so passionately. Despite being lucky enough to live in a politically stable and wealthy country like Germany I still take every chance to get involved in both domestic and global issues. This is exemplified by my taking part in demonstrations the latest one being an anti-TTIP/CETA protest.

In May 2016 I attended several lectures on political and conflict theory at Goethe University in Frankfurt. Since then I have been fascinated by the variety of perceptions of fundamental principles for good and I am enthusiastic about attending more lectures. This summer I worked at Under the Bridge Music Studios and Radio Free Brighton in the UK. During my preparations for a radio show in which I analysed the policies and personality of Jeremy Corbyn, I attended his rally in Brighton. His speech about social inequality concerning wages, the NHS and the British education system inspired me to make a difference first hand, not only by joining protest movements but also by direct actions such as working for an NGO.

Besides the above, I also read Michael Lüders’ German book ‘Wer den Wind sät’ on American and European foreign policy in the Middle East, relations between eastern states and why, to his mind, the Americans and British in particular are to blame for the formation of terrorist groups. Although the author has some radical views I do not share, this book was an eye opener. Since reading it I have begun to observe the news in an entirely different way as I try to see the bigger picture.
Being a scout since 2009 has been very important for my character development. Through participation in the World Scout Jamboree 2015 in Japan I gained a completely new understanding of how small and closely woven the world is. Visiting Hiroshima struck a chord with me because of the cruelty involved there. Being able to talk about this crime to people from the USA, Japan, and Russia all at the same time has made me realise even more the significance of cross-border cooperation and international relations.

I thrive on the challenge of leading a Scout group of 30 children together with three other people. This has taught me to be flexible and tackle problems logically and creatively as a team. Every fortnight the group leaders meet to plan upcoming activities. I have therefore developed diplomatic communication skills and learnt to enjoy giving presentations. As we are volunteers, we each need to contribute in order to make our projects work which makes it important to work independently, reliably and to meet deadlines. I am sure these skills will be useful when being challenged to balance my academic and social life.

In times where Brexit gets a majority vote, the United States holds an unsatisfactory presidential election and the right-wing parties in France and Germany constantly grow, it is of paramount importance to fight against xenophobia. As an immigrant myself I will contribute to cultural enrichment at university and as a second step I hope I will be able to be a bridge between various different cultures. On the basis of this course my aim is to work hard on making a difference in this world where a mutual tolerance and acceptance of different cultures is a prerequisite.

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I applied for

International Relations (University of Sussex) - conditional offer
Politics and International Relations (University of Sussex) - conditional offer
International Politics and Conflict Studies (Queen's University of Belfast) - conditional offer
Politics (University of Brighton) - conditional offer
Politics and International Relations (University of Strathclyde) - rejection

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