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'passion for geography' - UPenn Long Essay

glj 2 / 4  
Jan 1, 2012   #1
Required for all applicants: Considering both the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying and the unique aspects of the University of Pennsylvania, what do you hope to learn from and contribute to the Penn community? (Please answer in one page, approximately 500 words.)

I discovered my passion for geography in tenth grade. World Geography is a mandatory course at my high school and I began the year with relatively low expectations, anticipating that I would return to my love of History as a junior. However, I soon recognized that geography ties all my interests together, History, languages, English, and Sociology, and gives me a multifaceted approach to everyday life that I never had before. Eager to continue developing this passion, I decided to take AP Human Geography as my 11th grade social science rather than US History. It was the best decision I ever made and I realized that geography would play a major role in my life.

Earlier this year, I met a Penn senior who is majoring in Environmental Studies. At that point I wasn't sure what I wanted to pick as my major because Penn doesn't offer a geography degree. She raved about the freedom she's had at Penn and how interdisciplinary the major is-many of her classes are outside her degree. As she continued to describe her major, I noticed how similar it was to the course I loved so much eleventh grade. Intrigued, I researched Penn's Environmental Studies program and the college's emphasis on interdisciplinary study. After fifteen minutes online, I'd already switched from "Undecided" to "Environmental Studies" on my application. The educational options Penn offers would allow me not only to pursue my passion, but also to tailor a degree to my interests-sociology, international relations, and urban studies to name a few-with a freedom many other universities I've looked at do not offer their undergraduates.

Whilst browsing Penn's website, I found the college's "Preceptorials". They are a unique aspect of Penn that work to foster its students' dedication to learning through discussion of concepts chosen by students with faculty members. "Preceptorials" epitomize what I enjoy most about education. In most of my classes at National Cathedral School, we are given the opportunity to lead class discussion, debating our ideas with both our classmates and teachers. I believe Penn's stimulating environment would provide a forum in which I could thrive due to its small class sizes, incredible student mentorship, and encouragement of open discussion between faculty and undergraduates.

Another outstanding feature of Penn that caught my attention is its diverse community: the many clubs, sports, and different cultures present on campus were extremely apparent to me on my visit. All the colleges I've visited stressed their international populations but Penn stood out because its diversity was so striking and yet so integrated. This was most obvious in the vast diversity of my tour group. Over half were visiting from other countries. I am a British citizen and a US permanent resident. Penn's international range of students is highly important to me as I know it would add to my understanding of geography and I could add a great deal in return.

I think Penn is the perfect place for me to develop a deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, geography. I would treasure the opportunity to prove I belong at Penn and to share my passion with others who share it.
edwkoc 4 / 12  
Jan 1, 2012   #2
This is a fine essay, but it doesn't stand out. I think one way to fix this is your beginning. Maybe starting out with the story about the UPenn person who changed your mind or something...I'm not really sure how, but the first paragraph it kind of unnecessary. I want to hear more about your passion for geography and how specifically you plan to satisfy that passion at UPenn through environmental studies.
m7md 4 / 16  
Jan 1, 2012   #3
overall good however try to stay avoid excess praising towards penn to much of this and it can look like made up and fake
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ElsaG 2 / 3  
Jan 1, 2012   #4
I agree with edwkoc. I think you should change the beginning of the first paragraph. Maybe get rid of the part about it being a mandatory class. Give it a little more passion and you should be good to go! I'm applying to UPenn aswell. Check should out my essay. It would help alot!!

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