Geography Personal Statement

Sample Geography Personal Statement

Geography shapes both the world around us and our experience of that world, shaping our cultures and societies as much as it shapes the physical space in which we live. A subject with multiple strands, Geography is an endlessly fascinating discipline, which will continue to inspire throughout undergraduate study.

The impact of Geography on our ever-changing society is of especial interest to me. I have explored the differences between urban and rural areas, and how these socio-economic, political and environmental contexts change over time, through a detailed study of the decline of once popular seaside towns like Scarborough due to changes in tourist behaviour. Exploring issues of migration, connection, diversity and power, I found the Open University’s Towns: Hidden Pasts, Multiple Futures particularly illuminating for its emphasis on considering a town’s past. A study of York, and its declining rural villages, also allowed me to investigate the tension between the rural and the urban. Reading Urban Geography- An Introduction by Knox and Pinch and Poverty, Progress and Population by E.A.Wrigley, helped me to understand the issues which arise from the expansion of cities and the pressure this puts on urban fringes and greenbelt areas.

How the physical geography of an area affects social geography also fascinates me. While skiing in the Alps, I became intrigued by the way in which the landscape has been changed by tourist activity, with large scale deforestation leading to a loss of slope stability and wildlife habitat and an increase in surface run-off. Seeing the impact that geographers can have in the creation of organisations such as The Alps Convention demonstrates the importance of understanding of these issues and finding resolutions.

A six-week exchange to South Africa allowed me to gain experience of living within a different culture, as I spent time staying with a family, attending a local school, and volunteering at a children’s hospital and township soup kitchen. Witnessing the variety of social contexts, and the inequality and poverty, inspires me to attempt to find ways that understanding the social and physical geography may help to make a positive impact. It also allowed me to gain skills, such as independence and the ability to integrate into new contexts easily, which should aid my transition to university life.

Undertaking a week’s work experience at Morrison’s head office in Bradford allowed me to gain an insight into all aspects of the business; including marketing, buying and merchandising. It also demonstrated the impact that geography can have on both profitability and issues of corporate responsibility, through giving me an insight into the company’s complex logistics and its attempts to lower its carbon footprint. Having been appointed as Director of the Board during the Young Enterprise scheme, and leading my team to become regional finalists, it was particularly rewarding to see how the presentational, financial and business skills I had learnt could apply in the real world.

Balancing my study with my extra-curricular and sporting activities has always required a great deal of time management and organisation. I represent my school at netball and athletics, while I am captain of the 1st XI hockey team and have represented my county and the North of England for several years. As School Monitor and Head of House, I pride myself on providing an enthusiastic and responsible role model.

I have demonstrated determination and commitment in my extra-curricular activities and my schooling. This, coupled with my appreciation of potential of Geography as a subject and its important impact on our world, will drive me to work to the same high standard throughout undergraduate study and into my career beyond.

We hope this sample Geography personal statement has given you some ideas to help writing your own.