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How to write the perfect personal statement for summer schools

NCH London | April 11, 2022

Our Summer Schools 

Delivered by NCH faculty, our summer school programmes are designed to give you a taste of university-level teaching, allowing you to develop your skills and giving you an edge in your future university applications. 

If you’re looking to expand and strengthen your knowledge around a particular subject area or satisfy your intellectual curiosity, our summer schools are a great option.

As part of your summer school application, you must submit a personal statement. 

Writing the Perfect Personal Statement

We know that writing a personal statement can be a daunting task. However, writing one for the summer schools is a great way to practice the art of personal statement writing for your future university applications.  

If you’re unsure how to begin a personal statement, consider the following:

Your personal statement is your chance to tell us more about why you’d like to take part in a summer school. It gives you the opportunity to promote your interests, skills and strengths, and demonstrate your passion for your chosen subject.

It’s a good idea to refer to particular elements of the subject that you’ve enjoyed studying or researching. If this is a new subject that you’ve not studied before you can consider how your current or previous studies taken together relate to your chosen subject. Make sure you refer to any books or papers that you’ve read that have inspired you; and if you have been to any lectures or talks that deepened your understanding.

Have you taken part in any activities that demonstrate your interest in the subject? Make sure that you include your activities which take your academic interests further.

At NCH we are looking for evidence of your enthusiasm and motivation. We want to hear why you’re suitable to take part in our summer schools, and, if you already know them, your future aims, goals and career plans.

Your summer school personal statement should be around 100-200 words.

1. Identify your reason for applying

Are you applying to expand your knowledge on a subject you have been studying? Are you applying to learn more about a subject you have never explored before? Do you want to experience wider discussion with new people around a subject? Or do you want to push yourself outside of your comfort zone for personal development? 

Identifying the reason for applying is the key to starting your personal statement, so make sure to spend some time thinking about what made you want to apply for the summer school. 

2. Use the ABC format to structure your personal statement

Structuring your paragraphs is important, and mastering this skill will boost your confidence to when writing your personal statement for university. In each paragraph, it’s important to always link each point to your programme of choice. This is what we call the ABC format. 

A = Activity: What have you done?

B = Benefit: What skills has it given you?

C = Course: How do these relate to the course? 

Example: 

A = Last year I had the opportunity to take part in organising the annual ball which was a great experience. 

B = It showed me the importance of teamwork, taught me better time management and improved my communication skills. 

C = Team work skills are very relevant to successful study, involving listening to and understanding other people’s viewpoints, as well as introducing my own ideas. Time management is essential to organising a busy study schedule. Communication skills are vital in essay writing, responding to questions, and taking part in debate.

3. Get started 

The hardest part of writing a personal statement is staring at the blank page in front of you. The best thing you can do is get something written down as soon as possible. Even if it isn’t perfect, getting started will help you to formulate your ideas and make that blank space a little less intimidating. Remember, the sooner you start, the longer you’ll have to make your personal statement as good as it can be!

Before you submit, proofread several times to make sure you have been as succinct as possible and check for any errors in spelling and language.

Good Luck!