Politics and International Relations Personal Statement
My interest for international relations arose already in my childhood as I witnessed my parents working at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign affairs. In the early 90’s, after the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Finland went through a very deep change, which also influenced my parents’ careers and our family history. Living in the EU’s capital Brussels for nearly ten years gave me an insight on how politics brings together people from all around the world in a common interest and how EU decisions may affect the whole world.
International relations have shaped history and worldwide communities throughout the centuries and globalization keeps emphasizing the need for common understanding. I am a true believer of international cooperation as it brings stability and widespread economic welfare and opportunities. I am particularly interested in the EU. Its decision-making mechanism is facing new challenges as it keeps expanding while several member states still fail to meet the requirements set by the Union. At the same time it is struggling with the consequences of the euro crisis, which effects go far beyond the EU-citizens’ lives.
Besides the European agenda, I am also interested in global affairs. My eagerness to learn about different cultures and their history has pushed me towards new experiences overseas which have broadened my worldview. My high school year as an exchange student in the USA was rewarding at all levels; it developed my adapting abilities, improved my language and communication skills, and provided me with insights on the reigning super power. I particularly enjoyed studying history from the American point of view because it offered a different perspective to the world affairs.
In addition to my Belgian childhood and the exchange year in the US, my later working experiences abroad as an au pair girl in Brussels and as a sales clerk in Disneyland Paris have deepened my understanding of different cultures and improved my language skills. I enjoy learning new languages. I grew up in a French-speaking environment, and my first foreign language at school was Dutch. When moving back to Finland, I went to a high school that specializes in languages and learnt there English, Swedish and Spanish, as well as some basic Chinese.
I have always had extracurricular activities to balance with school. I have played piano for several years and have been a member of the girl scouts, but sports have always been my way to relax and to develop social skills. I used to play soccer at a national level and I currently play tennis. I have volunteered within a local exchange program which included welcoming students from abroad and helping them adjust to the Finnish way of life.
My high school exchange year in the USA ignited a desire to broaden my scope further and to carry out my university studies abroad. It also demonstrated that I have the perseverance required to settle in a new environment. Furthermore, all of my experiences abroad have made feel at ease with English and other foreign languages.
I believe that my background and all of my experiences provide me with a solid basis for taking up new challenges and deepening my knowledge in international politics. These studies will hopefully pave the way for a future career as an international civil servant and make me an as well-educated, broad-minded and internationally orientated individual as the role models of my childhood.