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International Relations Personal Statement Example
International Relations, the study of how different territories, regions, or countries manage their relationship when they recognise no superior authority over matters they all consider vital, can lead to many exciting career options.
If you’ve been considering apply to study International Relations at university, but are struggling with your personal statement, take a look at our example personal statement:
As well as having a strong interest in travel I have always been interested in the way that different countries work together, or in some cases against each other, both in times of peace and crisis.
Most people will remember where they were at the time of pivotal events in our society, for example 9/11. I myself was at school and remember wondering what action America would be able to take to punish those responsible for the tragedy. As the events following 9/11 unfolded and I learn more about war in school History lessons I became more interested in how countries communicate and how their relationships change over time.
In my final years at school, and later at college, I studied Critical Thinking which allowed me to develop my analytical skills and construct logical debates. At A Level I also studied Politics and Modern History which allowed me to gain an in-depth insight into how countries function and build relationships with others.
I was a member of my Student Council and worked part time throughout my time at college. I feel that both of these roles have given me the chance to build on my communication and teamwork skills.
Outside of school I spend as much time as I can travelling and learning new languages including French, Spanish, German, and more recently, Mandarin Chinese.
I look forward to developing all of my skills, both academic and social, during my time at university. I also look forward to the increased work experience opportunities that studying at university will give to me. I hope that by completing a degree course in International Relations will allow me to work towards a future career in politics.
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International Relations Personal Statement Example
The personal statement for international relations should emphasize your passion for the field as well as your unique experiences and qualities. The following is an example of an international relations personal statement .
As an avid reader of international news and a participant in Model United Nations conferences, I have long been fascinated by the complexities and challenges of global politics . I am drawn to the field of international relations because it offers a unique perspective on how countries interact with each other and how their decisions impact the world at large.
I believe that the study of international relations is crucial for understanding and addressing the most pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, terrorism, and economic inequality. In particular, I am interested in the role of international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, in promoting cooperation and resolving conflicts among nations. I am also fascinated by the concept of international law and how it can be used to protect human rights and uphold global standards.
In college, I pursued a major in political science and a minor in economics, taking courses in international relations, comparative politics, and global governance. I have also had the opportunity to intern with the U.S. Department of State, where I assisted in the preparation of briefing materials and provided support to senior officials working on international affairs. This experience has deepened my understanding of the inner workings of the foreign policy process and has reinforced my desire to pursue a career in international relations.
I am now eager to take the next step in my academic and professional journey by pursuing a graduate degree in international relations. I am confident that the knowledge and skills I gain through this program will prepare me to make meaningful contributions to the field and to be a leader in shaping a more peaceful and prosperous world.
International Relations Personal Statement Writing Tips
Read our tips for writing a personal statement for international relations :
- Start by thinking about why you are interested in international relations. What sparked your curiosity about the field? What specific issues or topics are you passionate about? By explaining your motivations and interests, you can give the admissions committee a sense of your personality and why you are a good fit for the program.
- Next, highlight your relevant academic and professional experiences. Have you taken classes in international relations or related subjects? Have you interned or worked in a related field? Be sure to mention any research projects, study abroad experiences, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your commitment to international relations.
- Explain how a graduate degree in international relations will help you achieve your career goals. What do you hope to do after you graduate? How will this program prepare you to succeed in your chosen field?
- Keep your writing clear and concise. A personal statement is a short piece of writing, so you will need to be selective about what you include. Avoid overly complex sentences and jargon, and focus on communicating your ideas straightforwardly and engagingly.
- Proofread and edit your statement carefully. A personal statement is a reflection of your writing skills and attention to detail, so it’s important to make sure your statement is free of errors and written. Ask a friend or family member to read over your statement and provide feedback, and be sure to review it yourself multiple times to catch any mistakes.
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Personal statement example politics, sociology and international relations personal statement.
Submitted by Ryan
Politics, Sociology and International Relations Personal Statement
The increasing polarisation of politics in western democracies has fascinated and encouraged me to further my knowledge in the study of this area. In particular, events such as the success of AfD in the German election, the rise of left-wing parties in Europe like Podemos and right-wing politicians such as Le Pen of the National Front have ignited my curiosity regarding psephology given that it is such a dynamic area of study that plays a integral role in understanding modern politics. I am most intrigued by the US Presidential Election of 2016 and have thoroughly enjoyed researching about the voting behaviour.
I especially enjoy reading different opinion articles such as JD Vance's who in the Guardian illuminates the main factors that drove the Americans to vote for such a maverick candidate. JD Vance argues that they are a forgotten class, once targeted by President Johnson's "war on poverty" program. Psephology encapsulates my interest in the intertwined disciplines of political and social sciences, and its importance as it allows us to infer the different sociological elements such as class, age and gender manifested in election results to gain an understanding of the relationship between society and politics, which helps governments form policy. My desire to develop my knowledge and appreciation of gender issues led me to explore and read on the subject.
I have focused my EPQ on gender studies, looking at it from a sociological and psychological perspective and thus adopting a holistic approach. I became interested in the notion of gender through my study of English Literature. Reading texts such as Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" allowed me to explore the politics and contrast between the sexes throughout history; this then led me to learn more about the feminist movement.
In reading texts, I have learned to critically analyse texts, and write about them in essays focused on analysis and evaluation. Kate Millett's Sexual Politics enlightened me on how there is a relationship between sex and power in individual relationships that mirrors the distribution of power between the sexes in society as a whole. Furthermore, I am eager to enhance my understanding of political ideology. Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature" gave me an insight into how ideologies form in relation to politics and sociology. Learning about psychological and sociological concepts in the book, such as herd behaviour, confirmation bias and social conformity made me relate this to my knowledge of 1920s and 1930s Europe gained through my study of A-Level History and further reading.
It is interesting to see how the social ideas Pinker refers to contributed to the spread of Fascism by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco as it became more extreme. One of my proudest achievements is founding my sixth form's Politics and Debating Society. I work with younger pupils to facilitate debates, discussion and reading on topics such as systems of government, Brexit and the comparison of uncodified and codified constitutions. Facilitating debate has taught me to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in arguments and to be pervasive yet conscious of the need to adapt when new information is presented that challenges my opinion. I was privileged to undertake an internship recently in the Parliamentary Office of Theresa May. In my role I prepared research briefs for her constituency engagements that allowed me to utilise and develop my research skills. I have enhanced my time management skills to ensure that debating and other roles and experiences, such as my student representative role and my place in a political discussion group, do not have an adverse effect on my study.
I am eager to approach study at university with relish, determination and an ardent work ethic to ensure that I achieve the best degree of which I am capable.
Submitted by anonymous
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Politics and International Relations
Applied in: winter 2013, university offers: bath, exeter, university of reading, oxford brookes, royal holloway.
A couple of years ago, I stayed with the family of the Tunisian Minister of Transport who played a key role in the creation of the Democratic Party. Through him I learned much about the struggles between his party and the Muslim Brotherhood and the tentative steps taken by the interim government towards trying to establish a democracy. In Turkey I stayed with some Turkish friends on the Asian, non-tourist side, of Istanbul. I discovered that the districts on that side of the Bosphorus were surprisingly vibrant and cosmopolitan; afterall not so dissimilar from London or Paris. At the end of the day it seems that many different cultures strive for a similar type of lifestyle. Recently there has been much unrest in a number of Middle Eastern countries. The question which arises is whether stable democracies can really be established and flourish in these countries?
Perhaps, a democracy is not the best solution for all peoples and even if it is, can it really be imposed by external powers or does it need to evolve and mature over time? Indeed in The Politics, Aristotle accepted that the democratic political system suffers from a number of flaws. Maybe we should take a closer look to what Machiavelli had to say on how to keep peace in countries which have recently undergone unsettled times. In the Prince he explains that fear can help ensure that populations are kept under control. Democracy gives power to the people, but unfortunately often the people are either not ready to assume the responsibilities that go with it or are too ethically or culturally divided. On hindsight this was the case with Iraq.
This summer I attended an intensive International Relations summer course at Oxford with electives in experimental psychology, public speaking and debating. It gave me an insight into global governance, sovereignty issues and human rights and I learnt about various types of political systems and their effects on fostering international peace and reducing conflicts. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and participating in debates. Outside of the French Lycee, I read widely about social issues, politics, geography and history. I am a member of the National Geographic Society in Kensington. Over the last year, I have attended evening lectures, including recently their interesting lecture on “A Journey by Raft through Sierra Leone and Liberia” delivered by William Millard. In large part, he discussed how two governments are aiming to set up a cross border national park and the obstacles that need to be resolved in order to achieve this. Establishing the park is of vital importance to prevent deforestation in the area and in turn to protect a number of endangered species.
One of my work experiences was spent at Hearst Magazines. This was highly enjoyable. It helped me to develop my confidence and how to work as part of a team required to meet printing deadlines. My article on the Whitstable Oyster Festival was published on the Good Housekeeping website. On my eDofE expedition, I worked as part of a group, preparing meals and using my orientation knowhow to find our way across some challenging terrain. I am currently providing French tuition to two girls. This is a bit of a challenge as they are quite young, but I am learning to be patient and what it is like to teach, rather than to be taught. I regularly play tennis and volley-ball with friends and over the last 4 years, I have done some intensive Badminton training at the lycee.
As countries become more and more interconnected, there will be a greater need to find global political, environmental, security and economic solutions. Where possible, I wish to become involved in finding global solutions for bringing harmony between countries and to enable developing and other countries to benefit both economically and politically. The study of Politics and International Relations should provide me with an excellent platform for my career.
Please note UCAS will detect any form of plagiarism. PSE and its contributors do not take any responsibility for the way in which personal statements are used.
Making it personal: Considering an issue’s relevance to your own life could help reduce political polarization
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hamilton College
Associate Professor of Psychology, Hamilton College
The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Hamilton College provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
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Political polarization can be reduced when people are told to think about the personal relevance of issues they might not care about at first glance.
We, a social psychologist and an evolutionary psychologist , decided to investigate this issue with two of our undergraduate students, and recently published our results in the science journal PLOS One.
Previous research has found that conservatives tend to judge “disrespecting an elder” to be more morally objectionable behavior than liberals do. But when we had liberals think about how “disrespecting an elder” could be personally relevant to them – for example, someone being mean to their own grandmother – their immorality assessments increased , becoming no different than conservatives’.
When people consider how an issue relates to them personally, an otherwise neutral event seems more threatening . This, in turn, increases someone’s perception of how morally objectionable that behavior is.
The pattern was different with conservative participants, however. When conservatives considered the personal relevance of what is typically considered a more “liberal” issue – a company lying about how much it is contributing to pollution – their judgments of how immoral that issue is did not significantly change.
Contrary to what we expected, both conservatives and liberals cared relatively equally about this threat even without thinking about its personal relevance. While some people did focus on the environmental aspect of the threat, as we intended, others focused more on the deception involved, which is less politically polarized.
All participants, no matter their politics, consistently rated more personally relevant threats as more immoral. The closer any threat feels, the bigger – and more wrong – someone considers it to be.
Why it matters
In the United States today, it can feel like conservatives and liberals are living in different realities . Our research speaks to a possible pathway for narrowing this gap.
People often think of moral beliefs as relatively fixed and stable: Moral values feel ingrained in who you are. Yet our study suggests that moral beliefs may be more flexible than once thought, at least under certain circumstances.
To the extent that people can appreciate how important issues – like climate change – could affect them personally, that may lead to greater agreement from people across the political spectrum.
From a broader perspective, personal relevance is just one dimension of something called “ psychological distance .” People may perceive objects or events as close to or far away from their lives in a variety of ways: for example, whether an event occurred recently or a long time ago, and whether it is real or hypothetical.
Our research suggests that psychological distance could be an important variable to consider in all kinds of decision-making, including financial decisions, deciding where to go to college or what job to take. Thinking more abstractly or concretely about what is at stake might lead people to different conclusions and improve the quality of their decisions.
What still isn’t known
Several important questions remain. One relates to the differing pattern that we observed with conservative participants, whose assessments of a stereotypically “liberal” threat did not change much when they considered its relevance to their own lives. Would a different threat – maybe gun violence or mounting student loan debt – lead to a different pattern? Alternatively, perhaps conservatives tend to be more rigid in their beliefs than liberals, as some studies have suggested .
In addition, how might these findings contribute to actual problem-solving? Is increasing the personal relevance of otherwise-neutral threats the best way to help people see eye to eye?
Another possibility might be to push things in the opposite direction. Making potential threats seem less personally relevant, not more, might be an effective way to bring people together to work toward a realistic solution.
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Russia’s Advances on Space-Based Nuclear Weapon Draw U.S. Concerns
A congressman’s cryptic statement about new intelligence set Washington abuzz and infuriated White House officials.
By Julian E. Barnes , Karoun Demirjian , Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger
Julian E. Barnes, Karoun Demirjian and Eric Schmitt reported from Washington, and David E. Sanger from Berlin.
The United States has informed Congress and its allies in Europe about Russian advances on a new, space-based nuclear weapon designed to threaten America’s extensive satellite network, according to current and former officials briefed on the matter.
Such a satellite-killing weapon, if deployed, could destroy civilian communications, surveillance from space and military command-and control operations by the United States and its allies. At the moment, the United States does not have the ability to counter such a weapon and defend its satellites, a former official said.
Officials said that the new intelligence, which they did not describe in detail, raised serious questions about whether Russia was preparing to abandon the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which bans all orbital nuclear weapons. But since Russia does not appear close to deploying the weapon, they said, it is not considered an urgent threat.
The intelligence was made public, in part, in a cryptic announcement on Wednesday by Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He called on the Biden administration to declassify the information without saying specifically what it was.
ABC News reported earlier that the intelligence had to do with Russian space-based antisatellite nuclear weaponry. Current and former officials said that the launch of the antisatellite did not appear imminent, but that there was a limited window of time, which they did not define, to prevent its deployment.
Concerns about placing nuclear weapons in space go back 50 years. The United States experimented with versions of the technology but never deployed them. Russia has been developing its space-based capabilities for decades.
U.S. military officials have warned that both Russia and China are moving toward greater militarization of space, as all three superpowers work on ways to blind the others.
A report released last year, highlighted Russia’s development of weapons to blind other satellites but noted that Russia had refrained from using the full range of antisatellite capabilities it had developed.
Deploying a nuclear weapon in space would be a significant advancement in Russian technology and a potentially dramatic escalation. The Outer Space Treaty bans nuclear weapons in space, but Russia has been exiting many Cold War arms control treaties, seeing them as a restraint on its most important source of military power.
Mr. Turner’s statement, and his decision to share the information with others in Congress, set Washington abuzz on Wednesday about what the intelligence was.
But the statement infuriated White House officials, who feared the loss of important sources of information on Russia. While Mr. Turner has been an ally to the White House on Ukraine aid, his remarks on Wednesday became the latest flashpoint in strained relations between the Biden administration and congressional Republicans.
The intelligence was developed in recent days, and while it is important, officials said it was not a break-the-glass kind of warning of any imminent threat. But Mr. Turner urged its release.
“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” Mr. Turner said.
His committee took the unorthodox move of voting on Monday to make the information available to all members of Congress — a step that alarmed some officials because it is not clear in what context, if any, the intelligence in the panel’s possession was presented. In a note to lawmakers, the House Intelligence Committee said the intelligence was about a “destabilizing foreign military capability.”
Capitol Hill is mired in a bitter political standoff over whether the United States should be mobilizing resources to counter Russian threats to Ukraine, a cause that most Democrats and some Republicans — including Mr. Turner — have maintained is essential to protecting U.S. national security interests. But a majority of Republican members of the House, including Speaker Mike Johnson, reject calls to put the Senate-passed foreign aid package with $60.1 billion for Ukraine to a vote on the House floor.
Former President Donald J. Trump has egged on Republican opposition, saying over the weekend that he would encourage Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to any NATO country that had not spent enough money on its own defense.
Other officials said Mr. Turner was making more of the new intelligence than would ordinarily have been expected, perhaps to create pressure to prod the House to take up the supplemental funding request for Ukraine that the Senate passed this week.
That measure, providing military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, faces an uncertain prospect in the House. While many Republicans oppose additional funding, Mr. Turner is an outspoken advocate of more assistance to Ukraine and recently visited Kyiv, the capital.
Shortly after Mr. Turner’s announcement, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, entered the White House press room to discuss the importance of continued funding for Ukraine’s military.
But Mr. Sullivan declined to address a reporter’s question about the substance of Mr. Turner’s announcement, saying only that he was set to meet with the chairman on Thursday.
“We scheduled a briefing for the House members of the Gang of Eight tomorrow,” Mr. Sullivan said, referring to a group of congressional leaders from both parties. “That’s been on the books. So I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow.”
Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the issue was “serious” and that Mr. Turner was right to focus on it. But he added that the threat was “not going to ruin your Thursday.”
Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, and Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said in a joint statement that the Senate Intelligence Committee had been tracking the issue from the start and had been discussing a response with the Biden administration. But the lawmakers said that releasing information about the intelligence could expose the methods of collection.
At the White House, when Mr. Sullivan was asked whether he could tell Americans that there was nothing to worry about, he replied that it was “impossible to answer with a straight ‘yes.’”
“Americans understand that there are a range of threats and challenges in the world that we’re dealing with every single day, and those threats and challenges range from terrorism to state actors,” Mr. Sullivan said. “And we have to contend with them, and we have to contend with them in a way where we ensure the ultimate security of the American people. I am confident that President Biden, in the decisions that he is taking, is going to ensure the security of the American people going forward.”
Mr. Turner declined to respond to questions on Wednesday. Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado, said the new intelligence was one of several “volatile threats” facing the United States.
“This is something that requires our attention,” Mr. Crow said. “There’s no doubt. It’s not an immediate crisis, but certainly something that we have to be very serious about.”
Mr. Johnson, apparently trying to spread calm after Mr. Turner’s announcement, said there was “no need for public alarm.”
“We are going to work together to address this matter,” he said.
The Outer Space Treaty was one of the first major arms control treaties negotiated between the United States and the Soviet Union, and one of the last remaining in place.
If Russia exited the space treaty, and let the New START treaty limiting strategic nuclear weapons expire in February 2026 — as seems likely — it could touch off a new arms race, of the kind not seen since the depths of the Cold War.
“Ending the Space Treaty could open the floodgates for other countries to put nuclear weapons in space as well,” said Steven Andreasen, a nuclear expert at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis. “Once you have orbital nuclear weapons, you can use them for more than taking out satellites.”
Erica L. Green , Luke Broadwater and Glenn Thrush contributed reporting from Washington.
Julian E. Barnes covers the U.S. intelligence agencies and international security matters for The Times. He has written about security issues for more than two decades. More about Julian E. Barnes
Karoun Demirjian covers Congress with a focus on defense, foreign policy, intelligence, immigration, and trade and technology. More about Karoun Demirjian
Eric Schmitt is a national security correspondent for The Times, focusing on U.S. military affairs and counterterrorism issues overseas, topics he has reported on for more than three decades. More about Eric Schmitt
David E. Sanger covers the Biden administration and national security. He has been a Times journalist for more than four decades and has written several books on challenges to American national security. More about David E. Sanger
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Politics and International Relations Personal Statement Example 15
My interest in Politics first came about during the June 2016 referendum, specifically how a country and even members of the same political parties could be so divided. After this monumental event in British political history I began to follow British and International politics actively.
What interests me greatly about the subject is that everything in the world has a dependency on politics, from trade to technology to finance and social aspects. International Relations will allow me to expand my political knowledge and learn more about politics overseas.
The Human rights and global challenges of politics is an area which I concern myself with the most. The fact that we live in a world where there are so many inequalities which are increasing and becoming more obvious when we should now be at a stage whereby the gap between inequalities has decreased, the changes that I could one day make to these have pushed me towards studying politics and international relations.
English literature has helped me gain both spoken and written language skills, from this I am able to come to a conclusive judgement after carefully scrutinising varying points of view. English has also enabled me to perform well in debating exercises and communicate eloquently with others, a necessary skill for a political career.
Economics is a subject I believe to be very beneficial to a politics degree, with economics I have learnt about the financial side of the government and how different governments generate and spend money with the driving force behind the government being economics. History is determined by political events and government influences.
The study of communist Russia and its political leaders which influenced political regimes throughout the years is a topic that interested me greatly, how each leader could be so different from one another yet share the same ideology.
Within this topic I was really intrigued by the reign of terror unleashed on Russia by Stalin, how power hungry he was as a leader and how people lived in fear of his next move. Our study of the GDR led me to do some wider reading on the topic, I read the book Stasiland to gain an insight on what life was really like for those living in the east at the time, the tale of Frau Paul touched me, how a woman who had no political agenda could go through so much despair all because she wanted her natural human right to be with her newborn son.
I was given the opportunity to meet Harry Spiro, a holocaust survivor, Harry’s story of his experience with the holocaust was moving and gave me a personal insight in too one of the most famous and important human rights concerns in history.
I was fortunate enough to meet our local MP Bim Afolami, we witnessed a political debate between him and other members of our student body and then took part in a question and answer session. Bim’s political voice in a debate scenario inspired me and made me more intrigued about politics.
In my final year of school I have been House Captain, I have had to be very organised so that I can efficiently run activities and charity events for my house and the wider community. Being House Captain has also meant that I have had to be a role model and learn to communicate with both younger and older members of the school community.
I am a very well rounded person taking part in both academic, musical and sporting activities over the years. I have competed at county level for my local swimming club and my school something I would like to resume whilst at university, swimming is a sport which has required me to show great levels of commitment, which is necessary for the demands of a degree.
Having a job has given me greater independence and time management skills as I have had to balance different aspects of my life. I am a determined, proactive, social and highly motivated individual who is fascinated with politics and international relations and excited to start my studies of the course at university.
There is no profile associated with this personal statement, as the writer has requested to remain anonymous.
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