International Development Personal Statement

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As the gulf between the world’s rich and poor becomes greater, study of the underlying causes of poverty and the constraints that prevent people moving out of poverty is more important than ever. My ambition is to contribute to the development of social justice and the reduction of poverty and inequality in under developed countries, especially those affected by war. At the moment I am unsure what field I want my contribution to be in. A degree in international studies will improve my understanding of the impact of education, health, human rights, the environment, economics, conflict, and other fields on development as well as the impact of under development on those fields. In addition, the multi-disciplinary nature of the subject will enable me to explore options for later specialisation. My interest in international development has arisen out of my experiences as a child when I was fortunate to spend extended periods of time in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In Thailand and Cambodia I became aware of the plight of refugees and displaced populations. In Vietnam I learnt about the effects of war on the population and the continuing effect of Agent Orange. I also became aware of the difficulties faced by ethnic minorities who don’t speak the national language and don’t have the same rights as the majority of citizens.

From my experiences in South East Asia I can see that although we live in a globalised world, the benefits of globalisation are not spread equally between countries or within countries. Studying International Development will help me better understand why some countries have become developed, some are in the process of developing and some have not developed at all. I would like to understand the historical forces like colonisation, the impact of political systems like socialism and capitalism and the politics of aid such as why some countries receive help while others do not.
In addition to understanding the causes of poverty and

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