Language Personal Statement

Sample Language Personal Statement

My interest in European Studies has grown out of extensive travelling and working in various countries in the continent, a deep interest in the whole concept of Europe, its history and the factors that have produced its present identity, and above all, perhaps, a love of languages and what I believe is a natural aptitude for mastering new tongues. I already speak German, English and Dutch, and I relish and feel confident about the prospect of learning two new languages, even from the beginning! Languages are the keys to understanding the culture of different countries. They are the ways into new worlds of experience and knowledge, and must be at the heart of any study of the European project, both in terms of its present state and its future development. I am keen to understand the forces of recent (and earlier) history that have shaped the modern continent, and how the whole idea of “Europe” was invented, its geographic, racial, and cultural identity, and the ways that Europeans have seen themselves in history and also how they have viewed the rest of the world. What titanic forces have brought into being the new ambition of European integration and how successful is this likely to be in the long run? Is Europe destined to continue to be a central force in global affairs, or is a long decline the inevitable consequence of historical and economic forces? These are deeply interesting questions, and the opportunity to study them in a degree course is very attractive.

I am the first member of my family to apply to study for a degree, and I approach the academic world from a rather unconventional direction. Through a number of unfortunate circumstances I had to leave school when I was 16 and have been in the workplace for some years. My father’s untimely death traumatised my family and threw on me the burden of support, and my own ill health has hampered some of my efforts to return to academic study. The compensatory factor in all this is that I now approach a degree course as a mature student, whose judgement has been sharpened by what has happened to me and whose ambitions are realistic and well informed. My work experience has been varied and instructive. Most recently I have undertaken a traineeship as a service specialist in dialogue marketing, working in reception as well as the communication centre, and performing a variety of administrative duties. It was a good training for living in the real world, and confirmed my determination to study in the field of communication and language, which was central to my job. I have also worked in other administrative posts, as well as in tourism. I was an au-pair in Sweden, with duties which included working with horses as well as looking after the children of the family. I undertook a work placement as a remedial teacher, and also worked in Finland in a travel booking agency. At school I took part in an exchange programme with a school in Russia. These varied experiences have given me a good training in many of the requirements of mature living – flexibility, open-mindedness and a sense of responsibility – as well as sharpening my curiosity about the world around me.

At school I was editor in chief of the school newspaper and worked in the “Young Press North Rhine Westphalia” organisation, learning about media design and newspaper layout. Horse riding is one of my loves and has taught me the virtues of patience as well as self-discipline. I am a keen reader, and am always eager to keep abreast of international developments in the media. I should like to work eventually in an agency where I can use my language skills as well as my knowledge of Europe, perhaps a European institution, or a newspaper. I am reliable, thorough and very much a capable individualist who is acutely focussed on the tasks I am set. I am unflappable, persistent and meticulous about detail. I am totally committed to my ambitions, and I hope you will consider my application.

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