Supporting Personal Statement
Dear all, please help me developing my personal statement. I am planning to apply Erasmus Mundus International Program Children's Literature, Media and Culture. This is such an important scholarship for me. Any constructive criticism is welcomed especially about the part where I should indicate my topic plan for year 2 dissertation (because I still completely clueless what should I write). Thank you.
These are the prompts:
Please be as precise as you can when writing your Supporting Personal Statement. Do not repeat yourself and do not exceed the word limit (1200 words max). You should make sure that you address the following issues in your personal statement:.
My name is Maria Nirmala. I am university graduate from University of Indonesia with humanities degree I earned in 2013. I would like to express my interest in applying International Erasmus Master Program called Children's Literature, Media and Culture.
There is no doubt that the world has been dominated by the advancement of the internet and social media. Indonesia is one of the country that has been influenced by these phenomenon and even is ranked high for social media users. Not only adults, even for Indonesian children and teenagers are already exposed with the digital media advancement. This has changed society's characteristics, including reading behaviour. According to study conducted by Central Connecticut State University in The United States, Indonesia is the second worst among the world's 61 most literate nations. This is my first motivation to continue my studies to higher level. Five years after I finished my undergraduate studies, I have been working in educational sector. The first two years working as kindergarten teacher assistant in international schools made me realize I really enjoyed working in educational sector. The most favourable activity I have done during my employment as teacher assistant when I was assigned to do story-telling every morning, where I read one of the children's book from the book shelf, before they start learning lessons. From that experience, I realized how children's literature can contribute in children's growth in terms of mental and social development. My goal is to increase the reading habit of Indonesian people, especially for Indonesian children and teenagers, who are currently more addicted staring at their gadgets playing electronic games than reading the actual book. After I finished my studies in this program, I hope I would find better and creative ways in order to increase reading habit for Indonesian children. I believe in order to make Indonesia grow into a developed country, a good reading habit is one of ways to reach the goal and the most importantly it should begin from the young generation.
Indonesia is a diverse country which has different cultures, ethnics, local languages and also religions. Conflicts and terror already occurred in some areas in Indonesia due to these differences. For instance, bombings in Surabaya that occurred on May 13th 2018 in three different churches. There are several elders and children casualties from this incident and many people are traumatized because of this attack. This incident is caused by one family, even their children were involved and was told by their parents to carry this attack, who had been brainwashed by extremists that there is no other religion better or right than what they believe in. This is truly made me concern because the mastermind of this attack was not only adults involved, but also children included. In order to prevent another incident similar to this in the future, in my opinion it is important to teach children and teenagers as earlier as possible related multicultural society, living with tolerance attitude and the freedom of religion. This is my second motivation to apply Children's Literature, Media and Culture program. Indonesia is still lack of children's literature related to multicultural issue. I hope after I finished studies this program, my knowledge and skill in this field would be enhanced and I would like to contribute to write and publish children's books related with social differences and multicultural issue. Therefore, in the future, Indonesia would develop into a better country, where the citizen could live harmoniously regardless of their background differences according to the national motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" which means Unity in Diversity.
I believe I am a suitable candidate for this programme because I always have passion for literatures since I was a little. Thus, I decided to take Russian language and literature for my bachelor studies. I believe I have a good academic foundation before I apply this program because throughout my undergraduate studies, I learned various courses, such as linguistics, history, culture and literary studies. Among those four specializations, literary subjects always fascinated me because I learned how literature can reflects the social condition during the time it was made. Studying at CLMC Program would complement of what I have had studied during my bachelor studies. With my academic background in linguistic and literature and my related work experience in educational sector, I find this program would be a great opportunity for me to enhance my knowledge in literature, specifically with the intersection between children's literature, culture and media. Furthermore, with the mobility opportunities given by the consortium, I believe I have good intercultural skills where I can contribute my insights during academic year and collaborate with other international students who have different backgrounds and cultures.
I am planning to produce a master dissertation with the topic of The Importance of Multicultural Value Represented in Indonesian Children's Book. The reason why I chose that topic is because Indonesia consists of citizen with different ethnics, local languages, religion and culture and there has been several conflicts and terrors occurred triggered by these differences in some areas in Indonesia. Therefore, it is important to teach Indonesian young generation regarding multicultural values as earlier as possible, for such things like accepting differences, build a tolerance and the attitude of respect with each other.
Personally, I considered myself as a life-long learner who always curious in learning something new and up for challenge. Thus, during my undergraduate studies, I took several chances to explore opportunities to participate in cultural events held in campus and also tried several internships outside college even though that experience is not something related with my study background. Throughout my academic year in Russian Studies program, I joined organization called Student Association of Slavic Studies, which has aim to unite all students from my department to contribute something in developing the quality of my department in terms of studies support and also to maintain good relationship between lecturers and students through various events. One of the contribution I have made when I propose an idea to make a t-shirt written 'Русский' meaning Russia to worn by students from my department as our identity for the event called Cultural Festival, one of the biggest annual event held by Faculty of Humanities, University of Indonesia. During my employment in EF English First Indonesia, I was appointed as Life Club Coordinator, where I was responsible to held indoor or outdoor activites outside the regular English course program. The activity would give opportunities for EF students to apply their English skills in real life. At that time, I have seen that there were not so much Life Club event held specifically for teenager and adult EF Students in the branch where I was working. Therefore, I took initiative to create a Life Club event called "Barista Wannabe", which gives opportunities for EF Students to learn how to make a latte art in one of coffee shops in Jakarta. Surprisingly, with great collaboration and good team work between EF teachers and staff, the event ran smoothly and got immense enthusiasm from EF students and also their parents. Our target was to reach approximately 25 participants and turned out there were 35 people who attended this event, which was beyond our expectation.