International Relations Personal Statement Example (Mature Student)

For a few years now I have been unsure of what I want to study and where I wish for my life to take me. I have a broad range of interests, yet struggled for a long time to hone in on just one particular subject.

In a world in which the number of billionaires doubles during an economic crash, where the state of the environment and welfare of others are disregarded and deemed unimportant.

I want more than ever, to pursue a career that can allow me to stand up and speak for those who have no voice, those, who due to the place they were born, are often unable to gain access to education and the opportunities available to us in the UK. I want to be a voice that can be taken seriously, perhaps via work in an NGO, charity or international organisation.

Recently I decided to take up full-time work in order to give me time to thoroughly assess my options, as well as to save up money to travel. Every year I save enough money to take myself to a different part of the world, in order to immerse myself in new cultures, learn the history often not taught in schools, and to speak to people from all different socio-economic backgrounds.

I often find harrowing the gross economic disparity between different countries, and especially within each country. I have learnt a number of invaluable skills since I have started working. My ability to communicate effectively, as well as properly manage my time and develop problem solving skills has been a major contributing factor in increasing both my confidence and determination to succeed.

I am now ready to study and learn again, to expand my knowledge. But for this I need the right working environment, which is the reason for me now deciding to study for a degree in international relations. Whilst studying my foundation degree in Food and Culinary Arts, I proved I have the ability to work at an academic level. I was taught the research and writing skills required at this level.

Much of what I learnt is transferable. One of the modules, principles and practices of research, taught me about research methodologies and philosophies, as well and different ways of gathering and analysing and interpreting data and information from a number of different sources. Essay writing is another valuable skill I gained from studying at this level.

I had to write a number of essays, all of which had to be well structured, coherent and most importantly, convey information at an academic level and show evidence of critical thinking and analysis. During my time at college I worked part-time to fund my travels.

In 2012 I spent 3 weeks volunteering in a remote Zambian village. This was the trip that really changed the way I thought about the current state of the world and bought home the reality of inequality. I spent a lot of time talking to villagers, listening to their stories and finding out how they conduct their everyday lives.

This was a real eye-opener to the relativity of happiness and contentedness, the joy and spirit, as well as the will and determination of people born into poverty, I found stimulating. I knew from that point on I wanted to explore the world and meet new people, from all walks of life. In 2013 I visited the far East, travelling through China, motor-cycling through Vietnam, before heading into Cambodia.

This was a fascinating trip, due to the dramatic cultural differences and fascinating, yet grievous history. In 2014 I went inter-railing through several countries in Europe, including Eastern Europe, and also in 2015 visited the United States.

It was once again interesting talking to people and seeing the vast contrast between attitudes and ways of life to that of people I have talked to on other trips. In a few weeks I will be visiting South America.

I relish the idea of being able to study again. I feel that I could make a valuable contribution the to degree as I contain the necessary skills and determination to succeed and look forward to being able to extend my knowledge in this discipline.

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Author's Comments

Hi guys. I'm a mature student looking to apply in 2016 for an international relations/studies course. I was really unsure of what to include and this is what I have managed to come up with.


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