German and Italian Personal Statement
Federico Fellini said that, 'A different language is a different vision of life', and I agree. I have enjoyed studying the German language since I was first introduced to it in my first year of secondary school, and now six years later, that enthusiasm still remains. I have always loved the technicality and precision of the language, which can simultaneously be flexible and descriptive through its onomatopoeic sound. I am interested in applying for a languages degree as I would like the opportunity to develop my skills in speaking, reading, writing and listening even further, whilst also increasing my knowledge of the language and culture of Germany through its history and literature.
In my first year of the A Level course, I participated in a German exchange, where I worked for one week as an English teaching assistant in a German grammar school, Gymnasium Lehrte. During the week, I helped to teach in English classes with students between the ages of eleven and sixteen and also delivered presentations in English. However, for the majority of my stay, I had to communicate in the vernacular. This experience proved to be at first challenging, but provided a rewarding and satisfying experience which subsequently made me much more confident in my speaking exam. I am still in contact with the German family I stayed with, and regularly communicate with them in German.
Outside of the A Level curriculum, I introduced myself to German literature by first reading the German translations of the familiar Harry Potter books. Reading these books whetted my appetite to explore poems by Goethe and short stories by Kafka, which I find both interesting and thought-provoking because of the contrasts between the writers. In particular, I have enjoyed 'Erlkonig', 'Der Zauberlehrling', 'Gefunden', 'Das Urteil' and 'Vor dem Gesetz'. Last July, I also attended the Sutton Trust Summer School at Cambridge University, to sample the Modern and Medieval Languages course. The taster sessions I attended over week made me sure that I wanted to continue learning German to degree level. I was afforded the opportunity to immerse myself in University-style learning and this confirmed my desire to study German further.
So far, my favourite topic of the A Level course has been learning about the causes and consequences of the Berlin Wall. Having not studied History to GCSE Level, I found exploring this cultural and historical topic fascinating, perhaps even more so through learning about it in a foreign language. I also studied the book, 'Ich fuhl mich so fifty-fifty' by Karin Konig, which explore the experiences of a teenage girl living in East Germany who manages to escape to the West shortly before the wall comes down.
I have also recently taken part in a Changing Perceptions in Industry trip. In the next few months, three other students and I will deliver presentations to science classes ranging from Years 10 to 12. Although the subject of the trip was Chemistry, it has developed my skills in team and independent work and presentation skills which I feel are important when studying a language degree.
From the wide range of subjects I am studying at A Level, I have developed skills in analysis, problem solving and research. I find the skills I learn in the science-based subjects to be particularly useful when learning a foreign language specifically in the logical methods required in translation and in order to construct sentences which are grammatically correct.
In my free time, I teach myself to play piano and bass guitar. I also enjoy swimming, reading and drawing. Although having interests outside of sixth-form can be a source of relaxation, I believe allowing a break for leisure is important, particularly since it develops time management skills.
Universities Applied to:
- Cambridge - (Modern and Medieval Languages) - Rejection after interview and exam
- Durham - Josephine Butler (Modern Languages) - Rejection
- St Andrews (German-Italian) - Offer AAB Firm
- York (German and Linguistics) - Offer ABB Insurance
- Edinburgh (German) - Offer BBB, Declined
- Maths (A2) - A
- German (A2) - A
- English Literature (A2) - A
- Chemistry (A2) - A
- General Studies (AS) - B