Modern Languages Personal Statement
Language is at the heart of everything I do: it's essential for communicating with the world and vital for the inner dialogue that is fundamental to all academic study. Fluency in a number of tongues will improve my knowledge and understanding of English and enable me to fulfil my ambition to work internationally in an ambassadorial role.
I have a strong ardour for modern languages. They have always been the focus of my intellectual efforts and interests; I gain great satisfaction looking back at the progress I have made and the new cultures I have experienced, becoming a more rounded individual.
My enthusiasm, coupled with the lack of literature in my GCSE and A Level courses, has led me to explore the cultural side of my studied lands on a personal level. Fortunately, I was able to peruse several novels, political books and poems by prominent French and German thinkers, such as Camus, Sartre and Queneau on the French side and Kafka, Goethe and Brecht on the German.
These have fuelled my determination to continue at degree level and have influenced my take on the political and sociological world around me no end, often challenging my beliefs. I envisage myself having heated intellectual debates over issues raised by the aforementioned thinkers, particularly in Kafka's 'Die Verwandlung'.
I have been reading foreign journals in French and German for over a year (as well as The Times), including 'Le Monde' and 'Die Suddeutsche Zeitung' - invaluable in keeping up to date with current affairs - and I keenly followed the French presidential election.
In November I will spend a fortnight in Bundesland Brandenburg, on a Fellowship awarded by the British Council. I aspire to improve my already strong spoken German, acquire the idiom and expand my vocabulary.
I believe my foreign language learning is enhanced by the study of English, as I gain the transferable skills of analysis and cultural awareness.
It is also a strong foundation for a particularly literature-based course. What I love about English is its many uses; it acts as a creative vessel for my artistic curiosity, allows me to hone my intuition, and harnesses my interest in politics and society, through investigating social paradigms in my studied texts, and drawing contextual interpretations, which I can then parallel with the world today.
At GCSE level, I truly began to flourish as my voracious outside reading began to take effect, and I found myself extremely comfortable with terminology and literary techniques. I began to really appreciate the use of language in all forms and marvel at the diversity with which it is used in literature and poetry.
As well as these subjects, I study A Level Maths and in February began A Level Further Maths, through the Further Maths Network. I wanted a breadth of traditional subjects that were contrasting and academically rigorous and these help maintain my logical abilities.
I feel I have clearly progressed from my GCSE's, in which I sorely underachieved. I have become more diligent and organised, and hope my abilities are shown in my AS Level results, in which I scored 99% overall in French, 97% in German and 94% in English.
I take an active role in my sixth form community; I am on the Sixth Form Committee, regulating all events and major changes. I edit the sixth form magazine, which can be challenging chasing up articles, but rewarding nonetheless to see my name in print. My role as Fair Trade manager was instrumental in aiding my management and administrative skills.
In my free time, I am teaching myself Spanish at home. I pursue my hobby of Campanology and have done for over 2 years, considering it a refined discipline that I hope to continue at university.
Recently I was elected Chair and Editor of a new Liverpool-wide publication called Youth Live, aiming to overcome negative stereotypes of young people and which I wish to take in the direction of my favourite magazine, Private Eye.
This personal statement was written by Greatleysteg for application in 2008.
This was used to apply for the following:
Oxford - Modern Languages (French and German)
Durham - English Literature
UCL - European Social and Political Studies (French & German)
UCL - English and German
Warwick - English and French
So it had to be pretty flexible, applying for five different, diverse courses.
I thankfully received offers for all of the above and am now in my first year at Oxford University.