Language Personal Statement

Sample Language Personal Statement

France and French culture have played an important role in my life so far. Having been raised in France in a Tamil family, I moved to England three years ago. Leaving France before I became an adult meant that, while I am a native speaker of French with a deep love of the country, I missed the opportunity to gain a deeper and more mature understanding of France. Because of my upbringing, France is for me both familiar and exotic. This unusual combination has given me a strong motivation to pursue French studies at university and have the opportunity to immerse myself in French culture, history, literature and linguistics.

My interest in France is wide-ranging and continually evolving. In addition to a long-standing enthusiasm for French poetry from a range of periods, I have recently become interested in modern French history. Works such as William Doyle’s The Oxford History of the French Revolution and Simon Schama’s Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution have introduced me to the fascinating complexities of this crucial period of history. Building on my interest in this field, I plan to follow the historical narrative into the Napoleonic era, the Restoration Monarchy, the July Revolution and beyond.

Having grown up as a Tamil-French bilingual, I am also fascinated by languages. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying Spanish at GCSE and AS-Level, and I think that the results I achieved in this subject reflect my aptitude for languages. However, I am most proud of the progress I have made in learning English. Moving to England and studying GCSEs and A-Levels in what is to me a foreign language has been challenging, and the experience has given me an appreciation of how languages work and how they are a vital part of our everyday experience. I hope to develop a greater intellectual understanding of the French language through taking a degree in French studies.

Outside of the classroom I enjoy a wide range of cultural and sporting activities. I read widely about world current affairs and culture, and have a strong interest in Tamil culture. In particular, I am passionate about traditional music and dance. I practice Carnatic dance, and have passed the grade three exams in it. I also play the veena, an Indian string instrument, and have attained grade two level in it. I look forward to the opportunity to becoming similarly involved with French cultural traditions through my university studies, in particular during the year abroad portion of the course.

I am a hard worker, and have enjoyed the character-building experiences that life outside the classroom has to offer. In the past I have volunteered at a nursery, an experience that I found very rewarding. I enjoyed reading books to the toddlers and participating in activities such as painting with them, and working with the staff of the nursery developed my team-working skills. When I lived in Paris I was the head of my school badminton club. I really enjoyed the opportunity that this gave me to help new members to the club and teach them the rules and skills of the sport. As I have grown I have developed a greater awareness of the world around me, as a result of both the experience of moving to a new country and my reading of current affairs. Inspired by this I plan to become more closely involved in various voluntary causes which I believe make a crucial difference to the local and global community. In particular, I am planning to volunteer with Oxfam and to become involved in donating blood.

These interests and experiences have led me towards being interested in following a career in either teaching or journalism once I finish university. I feel that the themes studied in a French degree and the skills that a BA in French would give me would be a great help in preparing me for either of these career paths.

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