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SOAS University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to School of Oriental and African Studies. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities.

International Relations and Politics Personal Statement ***
Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the constantly changing world that we live in, wanting to understand and explore the causes and effects of current and future human interactions. During my teenage years I started listening to the BBC World Service and reading internationally recognized journals and magazines...

Agriculture Personal Statement ***
Ever since i watched "shaun the sheep" on CBBC, i have been passionate about becoming a farmer. For me, nothing in life would be as good as a farmers life; driving a tractor really slowly and holding everyone up, speaking in an "ooh argh" farmer accent, immediatly gaining a farmers wife upon becoming a farmer, almost guaranteed fame due to presence in most adverts regarding bread/wheat/cereal, wearing clothes that died out decades ago, and most importantly raising animals in order pit them against each other in a gladitorial pit...

Sustainable Development/Economics Personal Statement *****
The first time I recognised the magnitude of my passion for sustainable development was when my family visited the waste-site Smokey Mountain in Manila, Philippines. Smokey Mountain is a two million metric tonnes waste mountain and home for about 30...

Economics Personal Statement
Choosing an undergraduate degree in economics is a result of my deep seated curiosity to know why economies are they way they are; why oil prices in my country, Pakistan, rapidly fluctuate whereas economies like USA and China continue to strengthen despite recessions...

Anthropology Personal Statement
My fascination with human behaviour and the motivations behind human actions has existed for most of my adult life, to determine a cause however I would accredit this to the voluntary work I participated in with Crisis Single Persons Homeless charity...

Politics Personal Statement
My background, living in three major metropolises, Lagos, London and Aberdeen bestowed me a very diverse, open, multicultural way of thinking. The cultural shock of Lagos widened my eyes to vastness of the world and prepped my involvement in the Community Development Committee, allowing me to get in touch with all sectors of Nigerian society; here my interest in sociology, politics and government took flight...

Politics Personal Statement ***
I am of Somali and Maasai parentage, but was adopted and became a Dutch national. This places me firmly in the mainstream of multiculturalism. My family's extensive travels exposed me to various African and European cultures...

Government Personal Statement ***
On a vacation to the Krak des Chevaliers and Palmyra in the Syrian Desert, I witnessed the rich culture of the Middle Eastern people. This region is generally perceived by western democracies as a constant source of political and social turmoil...

Law and Politics Personal Statement *****
Human rights infringements, widespread poverty, economic dependence on advanced states, unstable governments, high rates of illiteracy, disease, population growth, but still wealthy ruling elites. All these are the common traits of the Third World Countries...

Religious Studies Personal Statement
I find it inspiring to be in the presence of other people who are seeking understanding of themselves, and the most intense experience I can remember is when I attended a Baptism where I witnessed the transformation people would undergo...

Politics & International Relations Personal Statement *****
I gained my interest in social sciences in my early teenage years, when I started to question the surrounding world trying to find my way and place in it. As I browsed through books, which introduce main points of today's cultural, management and social studies, I became eager to strive for more...

International Relations Personal Statement ****
The Middle East has always been a political hot zone, at the center of international disputes which gain worldwide attention. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the region has acted as a battlefield for other nations, making stability in the area an impossible feat...

Law Personal Statement *****
"If exams were spoken you would pass with flying colors" this is the very statement that fuelled my desire to read law at degree level. My ambition to read law can be traced back to my childhood as I sat watching lawyers helping people in need...

Law Personal Statement ***
I cannot remember a person in my life who has had a more significant influence on me than my father. Everything I have achieved with regard to academics, sports, or life in general, I am indebted to him for...

Geography Personal Statement (Gap Year) *****
A trip to the capital city of Iceland; Reykjavík, shaped distinctively by its earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, I noticed how fundamental tourism and investment in geothermal energy had resulted in a strong correlation of economic growth for the country...

History & Politics Personal Statement
For years I have listened to my family discussing the latest political and historical issues on the news and I have been fascinated and awed by the fact that there was never a wrong or right answer, decision or explanation to a given problem...

African Studies Personal Statement ****
Committed to lifelong learning, I am a designer-maker and arts facilitator supporting creativity through an interdisciplinary practice to enrich learning and appreciation for the arts. Curiosity underpins my desire to return to higher education to study the humanities...

Economics Personal Statement *****
I have an Austrian father and an Australian mother. I was born in Thailand and grew up in various third world countries around Asia due to my parents’ involvement in humanitarian aid work. From an early age, this sparked a deep curiosity about the way the world works and given me a good understanding of different cultures, traditions and languages...

Arabic and Islamic Studies Personal Statement *****
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world" - Ludwig Wittgenstein Even as a young child languages have been important to me. I used to try to sing along with hit tunes on the radio and watched movies without subtitles from an early age, all to improve my English skills...

Japanese & Politics/Religious Studies Personal Statement *****
England and Japan are two immensely contrasting worlds: this distinctiveness is why the undeniable magic of Japanese culture has always attracted me to study its oriental societies and traditions. I have been enthralled by the Japanese language since I was a young teenager; reading 'Japanese for Busy People' at school and trying to note down homework reminders in Kanji, anything to incorporate Japanese into my daily life...

Chinese Studies Personal Statement *****
As a pupil in a European school, on occasion I had the pleasure of being lectured about East Asia. Whenever that happened, I found any kind of information imposing. I always pondered why it always had to be cut off and not talked about continuously, like was the case with western countries, whose lectures flowed from one subject on to the next without hesitation...

Linguistics Personal Statement
Have you ever heard the Tuvan throat singing technique? Beautiful and intriguing at the same time. The question that's bound to accompany a throat singing performance is how the human voice could possibly produce such a sound...

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