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A cosmopolitan young woman from Italy, still only 23, I am now making choices that will define my lifetime and I have made the decision to apply to your distinguished program in Chinese Studies at the University of XXXX because Chinese language, culture, and society is my first love. I spent 6 months in London during my gap year in 2010 working as a waitress and perfecting my conversational English. I decided to go back home after six months, however, because I found London to be very stressful, big and chaotic. In contrast, when I flew to Scotland a month ago to attend your Open Day, however, I fell in love with XXXX because it reminds me of home, a lot of green fields and tranquility.
Your program is my first choice for graduate study for several reasons; especially the fact that my second love and current area of formal study is linguistics and your university is very strong in this area. I look forward to one or two elective courses in linguistics as a student in your Chinese Studies Program. Perhaps my greatest asset is my ability with language. Both my Spanish and my French are almost as good as my English and my background has helped me to make enormous progress in Chinese and to be able to communicate fluently. I have also mastered the basics of Turkish.
I am currently writing my dissertation thesis and I will be completing my undergraduate studies in the area of European Languages and Culture this coming April 2015. This program also included the study of non-European languages. I am ranked in the top 10% of my class (graduating with 202 credits rather than the required 180). One great asset of my undergraduate education has been the opportunity to study in Turkey as part of an exchange program. While I was there, in addition to learning Turkish, I noticed a very interesting linguistic phenomenon that resulted in my thesis, the fact that a lot of words in Turkish were derived from French. Then, I read the research of C.B. Bozdemir (1999) who suggests that there are as many as 5000 French-derived words in Turkish. My thesis retraces the relation between France and the Ottoman Empire from 1500 to early 1900 in order to explain how so many terms entered the Turkish vocabulary. In this way, I combine my love for linguistics with my love for history.
My long term plan is to teach Chinese language, history, and culture. Thus, I see the Chinese Studies Program at Edinburgh University as the optimal springboard upon which to launch my career. Given the strength and uniqueness of your program and Edinburgh University generally speaking, I am convinced that excelling in your program will open the doors that I need opened for the future, particularly with respect to China.
I am adaptable, humble, generous and empathetic; I adore my volunteer work in a hospital feeding patients who are unable to feed themselves. It is at the university, however, where I feel most at home, surrounded by knowledge and interesting people who teach you many new things every day simply by sharing. Furthermore, I look forward to being more than an ordinary language professor; I want to be a life coach as well.
In addition to studying in Turkey, since I won a scholarship competition within my university, I was also able to spend another semester in China (Shaoxing). I hope to return to China during my second year of studies at Edinburgh and study at the University of Fudan in Shanghai. At the Open Day in XXXX, I had the chance to visit with Mr. XXXX, the program director, and Ms. XXXX, one of the Chinese professors and they encouraged me to apply. I left convinced that your intensive focus on language is precisely what I want since my first and foremost goal is to learn to speak Chinese extremely well.
Ms. XXXX explained to me that usually 25 students enroll every year and 20 are beginners, so the intermediate group consists of only a few students. Since I have already studied Chinese extensively, I hope to contribute to your program by helping the beginning students along. I love China very much and miss it terribly. Being accepted to your program will facilitate my going back.
I thank you for considering my application.