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Sample Personal Statement of Purpose for the MA in International Affairs, African Applicant

The MA Program in International Affairs at XXXX University’s XXXX School is my first choice for a variety of reasons, especially the fact that your program has an Africa Track, allowing me to focus much of my studies on my continent of origin, Africa. I hope to return to Africa as a professional diplomat at some point after earning my Master’s Degree. I look forward to developing a cutting-edge grasp on the issues that affect Africa and how they are grounded in history. I appreciate the focus of your program on security, as I seek to become not only an expert on the security of African countries but also the many complex ways in which the security of Africa affects the security of the USA – and the rest of the world. Immigration, refugees, and human rights will be my three long-term devotions to which I look forward to giving my all for the balance of my professional life.

My mother tongue is Kinyarwanda; I am also a near-native speaker of both French and Swahili. I knew very little English when I came to the USA in 2012, at the age of 21; but I have given it my all. It is not quite as good as my French but continues to improve rapidly. I see my future unfolding in French and Swahili as well as English, since they are the three foremost languages of commerce and interaction in Africa.

A Tutsi originally from East Congo, my first memories are of fleeing political violence in the land where I was born. In the events surrounding the genocide in Rwanda of 1994, both of my parents disappeared, one at a time, presumed deceased. The bodies of my two oldest siblings were recovered. We had sought refuge in a refugee camp fleeing violence against Tutsis in the Congo. I subsequently grew up in the refugee camp in Rwanda, reading everything that I could get my hands on. I was resettled to the USA in 2012 along with my two surviving brothers. Now 26 and a US citizen, I hope to serve my country.

I am especially excited about the prospect of studying under the direction of professors XXXX and XXXX. Dr. XXXX has written extensively about African conflicts. Since I am especially interested in “Conflict Resolution” as a response to the refugee crisis, I also see the work of Dr. XXXX on the African diaspora to be especially relevant to the research that I hope to undertake in the future. Finally, GWU is also the perfect location as a result of the wide range of internships available.

The generosity that the United States has showed to me is a powerful motivating force that drives me to excel as a student of International Affairs, preparing myself for a career with the State Department, the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services, or the United Nations.

I thank you for considering my application to the XXXX School.

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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Master's International Relations Sample Statement of Purpose, Chinese Applicant with background in Finance, Humanitarian Initiative

International Relations have, since borders were created millennia ago, been a vital area of study if conflicts are to be avoided or quickly terminated and trade encouraged. However we live in particularly ‘interesting times’, as the Chinese describe such eras of potential conflict and tension, as that in which we find ourselves living today.

I recognise that this age in which knowledge of other cultures, peoples and attitudes is almost instantly available, there exist unique opportunities and challenges that are entirely new in the world of diplomacy and I want to be a part of a ‘new diplomacy’ that will be required to fully exploit this situation and to identify and overcome its challenges.

Like most young people, I have always wanted to spend my life ‘making a difference’ rather than merely making a living but this ambition was rather vague and unfocussed until I took up a post at an INGO called Saferworld.  Although my role was financial, I worked alongside dedicated and highly trained people whose goal is to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives for those affected, or potentially affected, by war. I was inspired by their idealism and enthusiasm and this fired a desire in me to work to the same or similar ends.

I have recent experience working as a volunteer with a local NGO in Cambodia whose goal is to encourage development and effective local government. I assisted the NGO in the design of effective fundraising campaigns, assisting in the improvement of financial procedures and controls and improving local staff English Language skills. This first-hand experience of seeing the cheerful and determined way in which enormous challenges are faced was highly inspiring and totally confirmed me in my ambition to work in the field of international relations. I have also made several visits to my parents’ home country of Pakistan and travelled in Europe and North Africa.

A background in Finance may be atypical for applicants for this course but I believe that this specialist knowledge will enable me to ‘add value’ to it and to provide specialist input in a future career in such matters as the financial controls necessary for effective provision of aid and in countries struggling against the scourge of corruption. I would be very interested in assisting in research related to effective means of combatting corrupt practices during the course or some other finance related project.

I have happily worked, studied, served and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds. I enjoy meeting new people and sharing experiences and cultural knowledge and I have a well-developed sense of humour. I have experience of effective report writing and of designing and providing interesting verbal presentations. I am an enthusiastic amateur writer and I ‘unwind’ by boxing which also keeps me fit and calls for high level tactical skills and self-discipline.

I greatly look forward to interacting with students and a faculty who share my enthusiasm and passion for this area of study and can promise to apply exceptional enthusiasm and diligence during the course.

Thank you for considering my application.

The Paradox of Humanitarian Aid

International Relations is a multi-disciplinary major that draws from politics, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, philosophy, ethics, and geography. You'll be dealing with foreign cultures, languages, worldviews, and values. The study of foreign languages is a necessity, as is a sense of empathy, compassion, and good will.

As someone with a PHD in Religion and Social Ethics, I am especially engaged with the study of  those aspects of international relations theory which concern the extent and scope of ethical obligations between states in an era of globalization. I will help with creative ideas for your statement as we work together as a team forming and eloquently expressing the most important part, your long term goals. A world traveler who has gotten to know Asia and Europe personally throughout decades of study of politics and history, I could be a very valuable asset to your endeavors.

International Relations & Ethics

Leading schools of thought that serve to articulate an ethical posture for International Relations include Cosmopolitanism and anti-Cosmopolitanism, Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. These are all ethical traditions that conceptually address moral issues in international relations. As a historian of the Cold War, in particular, I understand the historical background of IR, especially as concerns the Developing World.

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Development Studies, International Relations, and Obstetrics

Sample 1st 2 Paragraphs MA Diplomacy and International Relations, Middle Eastern Applicant

I hope to be accepted to your distinguished Master’s Degree Program in Diplomacy and International Relations at XXXX University primarily on the basis of the fact that I was born and raised in the Middle East and have spent significant amounts of time in several countries – as well as my adult lifetime so far reading about the region. Most of all, I have hope that my application will be looked upon with favor based upon my potential to serve my country, the United States, in the area of diplomacy and international relations, based on my language abilities: completely fluent in Farsi, Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Kurdish. I am currently learning Arabic.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in IR, International Relations/Affairs

For more than 20 years, I have been assisting applicants from all over the world to get accepted to Master's and Doctoral Degree programs in International Relations and Affairs and related areas,

Sample 1st Paragraph for the Master’s Degree in International Public Management at the XXXX School of International Affairs, Korean Applicant, Program in France

I am a student from Korea, still 22, and I recently finished my undergraduate studies in History. I feel strongly that studying history has helped me to better appreciate the opportunities and responsibility involved in being a public servant, especially in the complex arena of international relations, law, and management. Your program in International Public Management at the XXXX School is my first choice for graduate study because I want to return to France, and because I see your program as the most thoroughgoing and creative curriculum available to prepare students for a lifetime of service in the public arena. I lived in France for one semester as an exchange student and this helped me to bring my French up to a professional level and to maintain it since. This is another reason why I am convinced that I can excel in your program.

International Relations – Feminism and International Relations.

The Heroines of International Relations

There is little about the heroines of international relations online. Scour the Women Leaders in International Relations & Foreign Policy Facebook group, and you´ll find some mentioned, as well as a speech or two from Michelle Obama.

But as Madeleine Albright hilariously and very rightly said: “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” Yep. So we decided to help everyone get on the bandwagon and recognize some of the amazing women in this field. Let´s get started.

Martha Finnemore 

Martha Finnemore was born in 1959, and is now a constructivist scholar of international relations. She is also a University Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Finnemore is best known for her books, which helped to pioneer constructivism National Interests in International Society, The Purpose of Intervention, and Rules for the World (with Michael Barnett).

In 2009, a survey of over 2700 international relations faculty in ten countries named her one of the twenty five most influential scholars in the discipline, and one of the five scholars whose work in the last five years has been the most interesting!

An earlier survey of over 1000 American international relations faculty also ranked her similarly in both categories, and in 2011, she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Finnemore completed her B.A. at Harvard, followed by an M.A. from the University of Sydney and a Ph.D. from Stanford. Her husband, David Furth, is acting chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha 

Nadia Murad Basee Taha is a Yazidi human rights activistNobel Peace Prize nominee and since September 2016, the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations. She was kidnapped and held by the Islamic State in 2014.

Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq. Her family, of the Yazidi people, were farmers. Murad grew up on a farm.

In 2014, when she was 21 years old, Murad was a student living in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq. Islamic State fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village and killed 600 people – including six of Nadia's brothers and stepbrothers – and taking the younger women into slavery.

That year Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq, held as a slave in the city of Mosul, beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped when trying to escape.

But in November 2014, Nadia was able to escape after her captor left the house unlocked. She was taken in by a neighboring family. They were able to smuggle her out of the Islamic State controlled area, allowing her to make her way to a refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq, and then to StuttgartGermany.

On December 16, 2015, Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking and conflict for the first time. As part of her role as an ambassador, Murad participates in global and local advocacy initiatives to bring awareness of human trafficking and refugees.

She reaches out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide.

As of September 2016, Attorney Amal Clooney spoke before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss the decision she made in June 2016 to represent Murad as a client in legal action against ISIL commanders.

Clooney characterized the genocide, rape, and trafficking as a "bureaucracy of evil on an industrial scale". He described a slave market existing both online, on Facebook and in the Mideast that is still active today. Murad has received many serious threats to her safety as a result of her work.

Nevertheless, she has received a number of honors:

These very different women all have something in common: they are strategically placed within international relations and the human rights world.  And they take what they do seriously. Do you fit into that category? If so, we´d love to help you.