Japanese and French Personal Statement Example

My family hosted foreign students from various countries introducing me to a range of languages and cultures from a young age. I gained many connections across the globe, inspiring my love of diverse culture. Some of my childhood friends were bilingual so I became driven to develop my own linguistic skills. I have studied German, Spanish and Latin, but have a particular passion for Japanese and French.

My interest in Japanese animation led me to first study Japanese independently aged 12 and later continue with a private tutor to GCSE and JLPT levels. I have been actively involved in Japanese-related activities such as Hyper Japan, Japan Matsuri, sushi classes, tweeting daily in Japanese, and chatting to Japanese pen-pals. I have also set up and run a popular Japanese Club in school. This summer I studied at GenkiJACS school in Fukuoka for a month. I spoke mostly in Japanese and gained a circle of friends through partner schemes and socialisation. We have made plans to host each other, and my family will be hosting a Japanese friend over Christmas. This experience of a lifetime has enhanced my linguistic skills and confirmed my love of everything Japanese. My passion is self-discovered and I am very motivated to continue enriching my knowledge and to master this challenging language at university.

My exposure to French language and culture in my home as a young child has made French part of my life. I would often become frustrated when my mother spoke in French with our host students as I could not join in. As a result I wanted to speak French well so I could participate. I have studied French at school since year 4 and took part in a French exchange. I also undertook a week's work experience in a restaurant in Lille this February. The experience was very positive and gave me a deeper understanding of French life, compelling me to return to Lille the following April. On top of this, holidays and school trips to France have all added to my love for this romantic language resulting in my attachment to all things French.

I have participated in many extra-curricular activities which have added to my confidence and broadening of the mind, such as choirs, councils, plays, DofE and sports. After taking part in The Challenge program, through the Challenge Society I set up a funded Challenge Action Team to hold a large cultural event combating the stereotype that 'Everybody speaks English'. I also joined their youth board and worked as an associate mentor over the summer which has developed my teaching, communication, and leadership skills.

My school subjects have complemented my language studies well. English Literature and Critical Thinking have taught me valuable essay-writing and analytical skills which are essential for any degree. Geography has built on my passion for world culture enabling me to study the characteristics of different countries in a new light. For example, the facts that France and Japan are both part of the Big 15, that Japan has the third largest economy and French is spoken natively in 30 countries have shown me the career advantages of learning these languages. Philosophy and Ethics have fuelled my curiosity about religion in Japan, so I decided to base my EPQ around the title 'To what extent is religion relevant in Japanese culture?' I have researched the role of Shintoism and Buddhism in aspects of culture such as the samurai, the imperial family, and festivals from early to modern Japan.

To be multilingual is exceptional. It is a challenging dream I am determined to make reality. I am considering career paths such as law, the civil service or teaching and am hoping to take part in the JET scheme after graduation.

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Author's Comments

I'm currently applying for Japanese and French at University. My choices are: Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, UEA and Cardiff. (Although for Oxford I'm only applying for Japanese).
I'm predicted A*AA at A level.


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