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Geography & Development Studies Personal Statement

One of the reasons why I would like to major in geography and sustainable development is my interest in a wide range of topics. I enjoy reading about important global issues like climate change, food shortages and the population explosion, as well as global trends in economics. Recently I grew interested in urban geography and town planning, particularly in topics like public spaces and their uses, processes of suburbanization and shifting of the town centres, urban regeneration, slum development and gentrification.

In my childhood I was fascinated by maps, and tried to draw them myself - in fact, I mapped out the streets of my grandmother's village at the age of ten. Reading the National Geographic Magazine turned geography into a passion long before I went to high school. When I started high school, though, I began expanding my idea of geography. When I read Jared Diamond' Guns, Germs and Steel, I was fascinated by the scope of research a geographical question could entail, tapping into so many different fields. Then I read articles of criticism about it and realized how much more I have to learn in order to be able to critically evaluate information and approaches to research topics. During my high school years I participated twice in the International Olympiad in Geography (iGeo) as a member of the national team, in 2014 and 2015. Participation in iGeo was a truly useful experience for me, as I had the chance to apply my geographical knowledge in a series of challenging tasks and improve my field research, data analysis, problem-solving, cartography and English communication skills. During iGeo 2015's fieldwork segment, I used my knowledge of the principles of sustainable development into making a plan for an economic revitalization of a Russian town with a negative migration balance, researching the possibility of development based on tourist resources and local eco farming. My interest in sustainable development was also furthered by a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in March 2015, which was a prize for winning a school competition, where I debated on the future prospects for development of Europe with young people from all over the EU, and by a participation in a national youth economics conference, where my team was given the task to make a plan for tourism development in Bulgaria.

Attending a class with an academic emphasis in Mathematics for eight years has enabled me to understand statistical data and make scientific calculations well. I also have a keen interest in history, which I find to be quite helpful in understanding the tendencies in human geography. I enjoy reading books like Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns and Barbara Demick's Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, which vividly describe societies like the Afghan and the North Korean one, and showcase their problems. My passion for geography has led me to enjoy traveling and hiking, and I strive to maintain a good level of fitness by frequently visiting the local gym. I have decided to pursue my interest in geography and sustainable development at university with no firm career ambitions but mostly out of pure passion for these subjects. Yet, I believe that somehow my university studies will help me a lot in preparing for some of the careers I find truly attractive, such as a travel writer, an urban planner, a sustainable development counselor, a politician and many others.

I have chosen to study in UK because of its long tradition of high standards in education and the multicultural environment. An added benefit is the abundance of historical heritage, which makes for a very inspiring study environment.

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I hated it at first, but seems it did its job. Hope it can be helpful to someone. :)

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