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Biology Personal Statement

My interest in Biology started at a very young age due to spending a lot of time outdoors. I am intrigued by the functioning of living organisms and how they are all linked; one small change in one species will affect a whole range of others.

I’m fascinated by what makes something ‘alive’, and how something as complex as the human body can exist. I often brought home mice, birds and insects to study their behaviour more closely (I even raised two day old a blackbird chick with boiled dog food). I was lucky to travel during my childhood which enabled me to see many exotic animals and plants in their natural habitat.

These trips have fueled my thirst for knowledge and my curiosity of the world. My father is English, my mother is Serbian and I was born and educated in Belgium.

I spent my first half of primary school in the International School of Brussels where the lessons were focused on oral presentations which made me accustomed to speaking publicly.

I then moved to a Belgian primary school where I learnt French and Flemish, and I’m proud to have passed the first year with 86 % in general, 10 % above the class average.

This boosted my confidence and I feel more prepared to take on challenges and manage difficult situations. In secondary school I studied four years of Latin and one of ancient Greek. Learning many languages has improved my memorizing and logic skills.

I chose the Maths-Sciences option which allowed me to focus on what I enjoy most. I feel my knowledge of high level maths will be useful for understanding the analytical aspect of the course.

I love nature and am keen to learn about species conservation and restoring ecosystems. After reading Tim Flannery’s ‘The Weather Makers’ I was horrified by the extent of irreparable damage we have already caused and that has made me interested in solutions to reduce the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere through biotechnology and the manufacture of bio fuels and biodegradable materials.

I was able to experience first hand the effects of global warming on my three week volunteering trip last summer to Burkina Faso with the NGO Défi Belgique-Afrique where I was part of a team of Belgian and African volunteers to reforest the Sahel, where the desert is advancing at an alarming rate.

I was thrilled to have what I learnt about parasitology at school put into practice when I helped in a clinic in Koudougou where the doctor explained the technique of extracting guinea worms from a patient. I learnt a lot from the experience of working in close-knit European-African teams, while being in a challenging environment.

I have enjoyed every aspect of the biology course in secondary school; from making a herbarium to a research project on cloning last year. The latter opened my eyes to a world of scientific discoveries that I didn’t know were possible like Shinya Yamanaka’s work on converting mature cells to stem cells.

I have 11 subjects in total and a 34 hour week timetable as well as various extra scholastic activities.

This requires a lot of organisation and time management. I enjoy sports; I ran in the Brussels 20 km race in order to raise money for the micro-dam project we were funding in Burkina Faso. I came third in the Brussels’ schools’ rock-climbing competition, I play in a badminton club and have also been playing the piano for six years.

I’m quite competitive which may be due to having a twin sister whom I always want to outdo. I want to study biology in the UK because I would like to go abroad to embark on an adventure where I can be independent.

Having never lived in the UK I wish to discover my roots while studying in a leading internationally recognized university. Having the chance to focus uniquely on what I love is really exciting to me. I’m a friendly and hard working person who is determined to succeed and would thrive at university.

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This personal statement was written by acasey for application in 2013.

acasey's university choices
The University of Durham
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Manchester
The University of York
The University of Sheffield

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

acasey's Comments

Got offers from all of the unis I applied to, and considering that my marks weren't exactly what they were asking for, I think it's mainly down to my personal statement :)

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Business management

Hey. I've written a personal statement that has 3,997 characters without spaces and wanted to apply for an undergraduate course for the University of Edinburgh. Will this exceed the word limit?

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