Personal Statment Watch
I chose the International Baccalaureate because it offered a wide range of subjects, particularly Social and Cultural Anthropology. Though Anthropology was new to me, I was very interested in studying different cultures. It has been extremely good to look at the variety of different groups, and the experience that I have had of it so far has made me really want to study it further. I have enjoyed it so much that I chose Anthropology for my extended essay. I chose to write my essay on a local topic; Geevor Tin Mine and the effect that it had on the surrounding community. Before studying Anthropology, I already had an interest in this issue, but with more understanding of how to look at the local changes, the effects became a lot clearer; it made me look at the things around me in a very different way. To write my essay I had to talk to many of the old locals that had seen the community before the changes happened. All of the information that I gathered was very interesting, and if I had more time available I would have liked to look at the topic in further depth.
Another experience that made me view life in a different light was my college visit to Swaziland to help AIDS orphans. We visited the capital city, which to me looked very under developed, but for the Swazi people, it was the best they had in the whole country. After our short stay in the capital, we travelled to a rural community. As we were travelling to our mountain camp we drove past houses built from corrugated iron, and that is when reality started to hit me. I was going to be staying somewhere that really did need the help we had come to give. Whilst staying in the community we visited three orphan schools to play with the children, donate much needed materials, and see the conditions that they had to cope with It was an extraordinary trip, which really helped me to understand the local way of life. It was no longer something I had heard about on the television, or had been taught about in college; it was real life. I was inspired to develop further interests I had experienced on the trip, so I decided to write my Anthropology coursework on the importance of the schools as a key socialisation agency for AIDS orphans.
Another of my subjects that involves cultures from around the world is English. I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at a variety of different world literatures. We have studied texts, from all over the world, all being extremely different because of the cultural influences on the writers. Examples of these texts are Laura Esquivel’s Like Water For Chocolate, written in Mexico, Ahurandeti Roy’s A God of Small Things written in India and Franz’s Kafka’s Metamorphsis written in the Czech Republic.
Travelling and encountering a range of cultures has always interested me. This is one of the reasons that I chose to study both German and Spanish. Learning these languages has also taught me about the life and cultures of both countries. I have been on two German exchanges and visited Spain last year. The German exchanges were a great experience. In Germany I worked in a Primary school where I had to put my knowledge of the language and culture into practise. Whilst on my work experience I had to teach various lessons in German
Next year I am going to continue my travels, I intend to visit as many countries across Africa and South America, working as a volunteer helping in the communities as much as possible. From this, I will gain a better and deeper understanding of how different cultures work.
In doing this degree, I would like to gain a good understanding of many cultures around the world and work towards a job in either community work or overseas development.
1) Paragraphs - Put a blank line between them so the text is split up a bit more - this makes it easier on the eye (well, mine anyway!).
2) Mention more about anthropology (I take it this is what you're applying for?). Link your visit to Swaziland - which sounds amazing by the way - directly to anthropology so you can explain your reasons for your choice of degree. Avoid telling the story of your visit so much, interesting though it is, as you only have limited space. You obviously have a social conscience, so explain how this shaped your decision.
3) Don't mention your resons for choosing the IB or your subjects - anthropology is more important! Instead, use some of the space talking about extra curricular stuff to show how well-rounded you are - unis really value this.
Hope that helps,