Personal Statement:Spanish and German

Language is a form of symbolism through which human beings share experiences, opinions and thoughts with one another, and is the basic platform used to connect and empathise. It is something which has developed and changed over the course of human history and has been a huge link between socialisation of people and the growth of cultures worldwide. My first glimpse into the world of language began with hearing Gaelic dubs of cartoons played on BBC Alba when I was very young. The yearning to understand or empathise with what was being said is something which I have carried with me throughout my life. Since Spanish and German are amongst the most widely spoken languages in the world, it is only natural that I would have an interest in being able to understand and utilise these languages myself - not only to open myself up to differing meanings behind the spoken word, but to extend my appreciation of the cultures from which these languages stem. During Higher Spanish, I studied “Volver” by Pedro Almodóvar, which was hugely interesting to me (especially the themes of the role of women in society and the importance of family) as it was the first time I really gained detailed insight on the portrayal of Hispanic culture in film and media. More recently, my study of Sociology at college has deepened my interest in the societies and cultures of Hispanic and Germanic regions, especially when compared to the culture of Britain, and how our society functions. At high school, Spanish was a very popular subject, and unfortunately I was unable to partake in the course for my first sitting of Highers, and once again in sixth year for the same reason, resulting in me earning the qualification from a night class during my first full time college course. I was unable to study German at any level during this time, but this year I have enrolled in a 22-week German course, which will prepare me at a basic level for learning German in conjunction with Spanish at an undergraduate level. Given that there are a multitude of resources for learning languages, I enjoy utilising as many as I can – I frequently make use of social media platforms, including Skype and Facebook, to communicate with native speakers in order to practice my language skills in a unique manner. Concerning languages specifically, in high school I was voted Vice Captain of Barclay House, which involved a huge deal of responsibility in the school, including organising and partaking in extra-curricular activities, being involved in local community projects, and most importantly, participating in a buddying scheme. This scheme paired me with two pupils, both of whom suffered from dyslexia. They struggled with Spanish in particular, and due to my keen interest, I was able to develop strategies with them over the course of the school year to help them understand the subject. My responsibility continued in college, where for three years in a row I have been voted Class Rep by my peers. I also won the Student of the Year award during my final year of studying hairdressing, due to my persistence, determination and ambition in my approach to learning. I have also developed social and organisational skills at my part-time job in a local pharmacy, where I have worked since December 2011. Aside from college and learning, I enjoy spending my free-time watching many different films and TV shows, keeping fit through Pole Fitness and Weight Training, and carrying on with my interest in hairdressing by setting up a mobile business which I intend to use to make money at university. I genuinely feel that studying Spanish and German at an undergraduate level will provide me with a solid foundation onto which I can build a career in the future, whether that is in the UK or in a Hispanic/Germanic country. Languages require dedication and effort to be mastered, but I know that with the right guidance and support at university, and with perseverance and hard work, I can achieve in my chosen field.

Universities Applied to:

  • University of Glasgow (MA Spanish/German) - Offer (Unconditional) Firm
  • Heriot-Watt University (Spanish and Applied Language Studies) - Offer (Unconditional) Declined
  • University of St Andrews (German and Spanish (year abroad)) - Rejection

Grades Achieved:

Higher Spanish - A Higher Photography - A Higher English - A Higher Geography - A Higher Biology - B Higher Maths - B Higher Drama - B

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