Politics and International Relations Personal Statement

The era in which we live goes through constant turmoil and shifting powers. Not a day goes by without a change somewhere on our planet, which in turn has an effect on yet another change to come elsewhere. A good example of this is the Arab Spring which is still ongoing. In one country the government is overthrown, whereas the neighbouring country sees only minor protests.

This is a big contrast and raises certain questions: what is the motivation for not undertaking any radical action? Why do citizens in a neighbouring country not respond in the same manner?

In my history class I was always fascinated by how governments can be overthrown and how control was taken by another group. Especially if this was done through a revolution, driven by some sort of ideal.

Nevertheless, my interest in politics was really ignited when I took the subject Social Sciences. Where do I, as a citizen, stand in relation to the government and how can I voice my opinion when I am not content with the government's decision making? This is also valid on a much smaller scale and therefore I joined our school's Student Council.

As representatives of the student body we try to solve problems for students, by talking to the different parties involved. For example; to create a quiet learning environment during the renovation of our school building we had to negotiate with the headmaster of the school.

To find out whether this interest I have had in politics for several years was genuine, I took a 4-week online course International Relations & International Organisations at the university of Groningen. Quite soon after I started with this course, I knew for certain that this is what I want to study.

The focus of the course was on the workings of the European Union and the causes of wars. To keep up with current affairs I watch the news and regularly read newspapers. I find this to be of importance, because everything changes continuously. This is the beauty of politics: it never stops being relevant.

In my spare time I like to keep myself busy with literature; whether it is reading a novel or writing a poem. I always carry a small notebook with me in case inspiration for a new poem hits me. In addition to that I ride horse and dance (a mix of hiphop and modern).

Ever since I was a small child my parents made the conscious decision to visit a different country every holiday. As a result of that I have so far seen how people live and think in more than twenty countries in several parts of the world.

This upbringing has played an important role in how I view the world around me today. The latter is one of the reasons for my wanderlust; the knowledge and understanding you can gain from seeing all the corners of the world is what interests me most. This is also my ambition to study in a country that is not my own.

I am always looking for new challenges, which is why I chose to do bilingual VWO. As my school is (quite) internationally orientated I got the opportunity to stay for a week with a host family in York in 2011 and one year later a week in Znojmo in the Czech Republic.

Yet another year later I lived and worked as a trainee in Grand Baie, Mauritius for three weeks. From these invaluable experiences I learned how to communicate with people who come from different cultures and that they can think quite differently about certain matters than I do.

This has broadened my view a lot and also my understanding of how the world turns. I believe that this study will give me a better understanding of the world of politics. My vision of the future has yet to develop, but I can see myself finding my destiny anywhere from contributing to a think tank to working at an embassy.

Studying at degree level has always been my aspiration and it would be a privilege if I could contribute to your university as an active and enthusiastic student. I look forward to developing myself in order to become a participant in the maze that is politics.

Year applied: 
International Relations

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