Modern Languages Personal Statement
I believe that if everyone spoke each other’s languages the world would be a much better place. I would love to study French and Spanish at university because I plan to travel round the world and gain a better understanding of different cultures.I am very interested in the political systems of both countries.
To extend my Spanish studies, I also read ‘Spain: What everyone needs to know’ by William Chislett. The chapter ‘the transition to democracy’ gave me a much greater understanding of how Spain made the long transition from the strong dictatorship of Franco to the country that it is today.
I found it interesting how quickly the new king, Juan Carlos, began to pardon many political prisoners, setting it back to how it was before the times of the dictatorship.
I have also read many articles from French news sites such as ‘France24’ on politics. It was compelling to read about the violent swing in political allegiances and public voting trends, for example the great numbers of those voting for Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far right party The National Front, who won in both general and regional elections but who lost spectacularly in the end to the now president Emmanuel Macron.
I have a keen interest in French and Spanish History and I recently read: ‘Un sac de billes’ and the film:
‘Un long dimanche des fiancailles’ which portrayed French history and life during the first and second World Wars. These also covered how the wars started and the long lasting effects on the people who survived and it was especially fascinating to read about the characters’ desire to avenge the death of loved ones.
In Spanish I studied: ‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ which demonstrated the strict rules that women had to obey in the 1930s. It also showed me how important it was for rich families to retain their good reputations in society even at the expense of inter-family relations.
I have had the privilege of travelling to many countries both inside and outside of Europe on my own and with my family and have greatly enjoyed the experience of learning about other people’s cultures and heritage.
Travelling by myself and going on language courses such as ‘Colegio Maravillas’ in Spain and ‘Alpha B’ Language School in France, where I stayed with host families, has greatly improved my communication skills in both languages along with gaining new friends along the way.
This experience gave me a new understanding and appreciation of different cultures and I also enjoyed hearing different perspectives on current issues such as Brexit and immigration, as these were completely different from what I was used to hearing at home and at school.
Having spent so much time in these countries I have gained a good cultural understanding and appreciation but I hope to strengthen that even more by studying languages at university.
Outside the classroom, I am great advocate for charities and community service work. I completed an NCS course last summer and over the weeks my confidence in myself grew and my communication skills increased.
I also greatly enjoyed giving back to my community by going into a hospital, speaking to the patients and buying food for people who are less privileged than myself. Additionally, I heard from different local charities such as the gardening charity, Earthworks, and the Willow Foundation.
I learned how they helped the community around them and the positive impact they have on people’s lives whether it is building them a garden or giving ill adults a day which they will never forget, helping me to appreciate the work charities do in general. I have also recently volunteered at the charity shop, Cancer Research, where I learned how to work together as a group to raise money for the charity, developing my teamwork skills.
I would love to study languages because I believe that it will open many new doors for me in the future, and would potentially enable me to combine my love of languages and communication with charity work abroad.
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