Geography Personal Statement Example (with Gap Year)

Learning about the geographical basis of the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in Year Nine made me realise the relevance geography has in all major current affair issues, ranging from conflict and development to climate change and natural disasters. It's not only interesting to see why they happen, but potential solutions and how they are interlinked. For example, different views on migration can lead to widespread conflict, such as between the UK and the rest of Europe, with many seeing the free movement of Europeans into the UK as one of the main reasons behind Brexit. The fact that geography is one of the only subjects able to offer such an insight into so many of the modern day aspects of life inspires me to study it at a higher level.

Studying geography has enabled me to cover a range of both physical and human topics. I found the health topic covered in AS an eye-opener concerning the differences between LEDCs and MEDCs in both the ability and the resources available to cope with epidemics. It is these differences that have encouraged me to complete an extended project qualification looking at another issue, globalisation. I will investigate how countries at varying levels of development are impacted differently, focusing on whether transnational corporations benefit MEDCs or LEDCs and to what extent. By completing this I have not only been able to expand my knowledge on a topic I love, but I have been able to learn valuable research and time management skills that have been beneficial to completing my A levels.

Throughout A level geography I have enjoyed reading around topics studied in class. I have subscribed to Geographical where a recent article on the sustainability of fashion not only consolidated my knowledge of pollution and general damage to the environment, but provided a detailed account of solutions for an industry not usually taught about in schools. I am currently reading Making Globalisation Work by Joseph Stiglitz, one chapter of which offered useful insights into the option of free trade and how it could benefit countries at all levels of development. This idea I had not previously considered on a global scale due to feasibility, but being now more informed I can see how it could work.

My other A level subjects have complemented my learning. Studying mathematics provides valuable data analysis skills, specifically in the statistics unit which was very useful in AS geography when we came across Spearman's rank correlation coefficient as I already had an understanding of how it worked. RS has enabled me to develop my essay writing ability, teaching me to critically analyse and evaluate. In RS I had the opportunity to study the liberation theology taking place in Latin America, which allowed me to see the effects of capitalism in a different area of the world and also how different people respond to poverty, thus expanding on knowledge taught in geography.

Alongside my studies I have enjoyed learning to play the viola and hope to complete grade 7 this summer. This skill afforded me the opportunity to join Lincolnshire Youth Symphony Orchestra where I am currently leading the viola section, reinforcing both my teamwork and leadership abilities. Volunteering at my local village's kid's club, I have built upon my communication skills and responsibilities by planning fulfilling activities for the children that are both safe and fun.

I have applied for deferred entry because I wish to spend a year travelling to various Asian countries, including India and Sri Lanka, in order to volunteer in local schools, teaching children English and other valuable lessons including basic hygiene. This will enable me to not only experience new cultures but give back to society.

My belief that geography holds the key to understanding all aspects of life - from globalisation to climate change - inspires me to study it further at university to get a greater understanding of the world around me and gain transferable skills.

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Author's Comments

Hi, this is my geography personal statement that I wrote in autumn 2016 to apply for deferred entry in 2018. I applied to Durham, UCL, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle and got offers from them all. Hope this is helpful for someone! :)


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