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Sample Personal Statement for MA in Conference Interpretation

As early as I was 6 years old, my father took me to visit XX State Guesthouse, a place that has witnessed all the major diplomatic events in China over the past 50 years ranging from the establishment of Sino-U.S. Diplomatic Relations to the recent six-party talks on North Korea Nuclear Crisis. When asked how people from different countries and speaking different languages understand each other, my father said they rely on conference interpretation or simultaneous interpretation.

It is by no means a pure coincidence that now, on the verge of completing my undergraduate program in Diplomacy at the School of International Studies, XX University, I file this application to your Graduate School of XX for a Master’s program in Conference Interpretation. A number of motives underlie my application and those motives can truly make me stand out as a most worthy candidate for your program.

China’s accession into the WTO marked China’s comprehensive integration into the international community. Apart from that, XX’s hosting of 2008 Olympic Games has turned XX into an international metropolis. The rapid increase in international events means equally rapid increase in international conferences. According to an authoritative XX. organization, Chinese translation market totals a 20 billion RMB business volume, of which 20% is related to conference interpretation. In sharp contrast with this overwhelming market demand, there are only 30 conference interpreters with AIIC certification in China.

Conference interpretation is notorious for its challenging requirement on the practicing interpreter regarding the ken of knowledge. I believe that my undergraduate program, with its broad curriculum, has made me well equipped, as the subject of International Relations itself is all-encompassing. Moreover, I have familiarized myself through extracurricular readings with Western Art History, Environmental Ecology, Mass Communication, Christianity and Chinese Culture, General Psychology, History of Sino-Japanese Cultural Exchanges. As a member of XX University’s Computer Association and Network Association, I am proficient in computer applications. Among many of my extracurricular activities, my participation in “PKU Model XX.” held my our School’s Cross-Century Association has been most important, in which I made presentations in English in strict accordance with the procedures of the General Assembly concerning disarmament, human rights, environmental protection, etc.

With a GPA of 3.64 and a top 13th ranking in my grade, I have devoted special attention to developing my English proficiency. In my senior middle school, as Outstanding Student of XX of my school, I went on two exchange programs, one with Colonel By School of XX (in 1998) and another with XX College of English. In my undergraduate program, most of the courses are delivered in English, many by British and American professors. I achieved top scores in Special Oral English, Theory and Practice of Translation, and Intensive Readings of Specialized English. In the Translation course I received a 6-month training in conference interpretation from a Chinese conference interpreter who works at the XX Headquarters in XX.

My internship since early 2003 at the XX consists of offering reception and interpretation services to the visiting delegates. As a sophomore, I worked part-time at XX Oriental Singularity Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd. Where I did a large quantity of translation.

My educational objective is to receive a MACI from your program through a two-year period in which I hope to be educated in the theory and practice of conference interpretation. My language combination is Chinese-English. By receiving the most rigorous trainings, I expect that your 1:10 teacher-student ratio, high-tech classroom and auditorium, and your sequential, modular curriculum can help me meet the exceptional challenges of a demanding profession.

On completing your program and becoming a well-trained interpreter, I will return to China to work at a government diplomatic organization, or at an international organization based in XX, or on a freelance basis. I will concentrate on the interpretation in the fields of economics, trade, international politics, and culture. XX will offer me unlimited opportunities to perfect my interpretation skills. After gaining several years of professional experience, I hope to set up a small company of my own, perhaps the first of its kind in China, that can offer unparalleled conference interpretation. Whether in my educational or in my career objective, XX ’s MACI will play a vital role.


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