Spanish and Economics Personal Statement
My aspiration to study Spanish and Economics has not only been influenced by my curricular education but also from experiences I have had throughout life. I am intrigued in the effects caused by the failing Euro zone, and I consider communication among speakers of different languages essential in progressing forward. I regard them not as subjects, but life skills.
Languages have always fascinated me. Recognition of their importance led me to take French GCSE, and Spanish ab initio on my International Baccalaureate diploma. My interest pushed me beyond the beginner’s level requirements and I leapt at the chance to take part in an exchange in Spain. I believe languages cannot be purely learnt by textbook, which motivated me to spend my gap year volunteering in Honduras with Project Trust, for which I independently raised £5000 by organizing events in my college and community, and through contact with local organizations. This unique opportunity allows me to experience the culture first-hand and I converse in Spanish constantly. Being the sole teacher of Second Grade, and teaching adult English classes twice a week, has helped me to develop a more mature outlook. I take joy in reading Spanish literature, and Neruda’s poetry, for me, shows perfectly the beauty of the language, especially in ‘Puedo Escribir’. My passion for culture and language extends to its wider context and how it affects our view of the world. This inspired me to write a Theory of Knowledge essay discussing the statement, ‘The language we have does more than communicate our knowledge, it shapes what we can know.’ I found the essay stimulating to write, as I have read texts on language such as ‘Through the language glass’ by Guy Deustcher.
I began the formal study of Economics on my IB course where I developed a strong interest in international economics. I have always been mindful of global issues, reading publications such as The Economist. My understanding of Economics has helped me to identify their impact in the world. By living on the local wage of Honduras, I can view the issues and effects of economic policies in the developing world from a different perspective. I have observed the dependence of Honduras on American FDI and primary-exports, which has inspired me to develop my knowledge, and has deepened my passion to find solutions. I wrote an extended essay in Economics, a 4,000 word research essay on the market failure caused by alcohol in my hometown, Mansfield. The process of organizing and executing my own research of this situation extended my understanding and appreciation of Economics. In June 2011, I voluntarily attended Economics lectures at the University of Nottingham, which consolidated my decision to pursue the subject further.
Commitment, organization and independence are all vital qualities of a successful student; I developed these as an active member of my college. I was representative for my tutor group, being a voice of the students in staff meetings. My gap year is also a prime example of these qualities, as I have adapted to an unfamiliar culture and language, whilst independently supporting myself for the first time. In my spare time, I participate in the Duke of Edinburgh award, and completed my gold expedition in Norway in 2011, which required £2000 fundraising. I take pleasure in volunteering for numerous charities such as ‘Nottinghamshire Hospice’, and my local church. I was a member of my school netball team for 7 years; I am a qualified sports leader and netball organizer. In addition, I am a keen ice skater, and took classes outside of college, progressing to NISA level Gold.
I have always wanted to be fluent in another language and expand my horizons outside the UK to the wider world. I hope to be the first person from my family to attend university, and a degree in Spanish and Economics will open many doors for me in the future. I look forward, with enthusiasm, to the prospect of studying what I love.
This personal statement was written by jfothergill for application in 2013.
jfothergill's university choices
University of Glasgow
University College London
University of St Andrews
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
BASc Arts and Sciences at University College London
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