I am applying for the Master's scholarship to one of the London Universities. The requirements for the essay are standard:Applicants are judged on academic merit and on the likely economic/social benefit to their home country of them doing a degree in the UK. In your personal statement, please describe how you believe that your past work, study and other activities meet these criteria.
I would appreciate your comments.
For as long as I remember myself I always knew what I enjoyed doing best in my life. Learning languages, studying different countries and cultures has always been my passion. For this reason I chose tourism because I knew I would succeed in what I like most of all. It has been almost five years since graduation that I am following course of life in this area. Working in the public sector tourism gave me an enormous start-up arming me with rich industry experience and understanding the overall structure of tourism sector of Uzbekistan, its resources and potential. Probably the most valuable experience was the one I obtained abroad. I underwent tourism management and development trainings in Malaysia and Singapore - two of the most popular destinations in Asia. Having been outside my country for the first time ever I opened my eyes wider and my mindset changed. I would call that period "acquaintance with tourism".
Two things stood out in my mind from my visit to a small Malaysian village in Perak, within the framework of training on homestays: indigenes living deep in the rainforest, who, thanks to tourism, preserved their centuries-old unique subculture despite the effect of globalization and importantly, financial support they receive from tourists, government and tourism businesses. I was truly amazed to see people living a lifestyle and practicing rituals which were even unique to Malaysia itself, and which were not lost at all.
To be frank, I perfectly knew that barely can any other industry compete with travel and tourism in having the same level of influence on both economic and social life of a country, and hence offer a win-win situation compromising its economic needs with social values of its people. But how exactly I could bring my personal commitment was still a question for me. In homestay programs I found a perfect match between the principle of "helping people help themselves" and my intention to benefit the society I am living in. I would call that period "finding the goal".
I really admire that with my counseling Uzbektourism initiated the first homestay in the village of Farish, Djizakh region in partnership with GTZ (German Cooperation Agency). However, I found it difficult to initiate such projects in the government sector because of financial and bureaucratic obstacles. I tend to step into an independent path using my knowledge, experience and a wide range of existing network that would consists of government and private sectors as well as international organizations to popularize homestays across Uzbekistan. It surely gives obvious benefits to all the stakeholders. Indeed, Uzbekistan's unique multicultural society with over 80 nationalities living in one land can make this country Makah for cultural tourism. However, the effect of modern development causes a real threat to the survival of cultures and subcultures in my country. I am sure that tourism potential of Uzbekistan has all to preserve the existing ones and revive the lost cultures.
In order to follow this path I require an advanced knowledge in international tourism management. I believe that the program offered by XXX will fill gaps in my understanding of tourism in the global context and give me expertise in strategic management. What can make me a successful student? It is five years of experience and my hunger to learn. I am more of a practitioner, therefore, I am confident that I can well combine my field knowledge with theories taught in the university. Moreover, I am eager to be exposed by the network of other outstanding fellow students with different backgrounds. I really hope to call this period "the biggest step forward in achieving my goals".
All in all, my decision to continue studies in tourism is another display of my ambitions and the proof of correctness of the chosen path, which I can, this time, direct to the contribution the economic and social development of my country.