Jimmy - Why I chose Herts

January 1 2020
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Why I chose Herts

Hey, I’m Jimmy and I just finished my final year of Physical Geography at the University of Hertfordshire. One of the main reasons I was attracted to the Physical Geography course at Herts was the sandwich year abroad in a country of your choice. I got the chance to study abroad in Oklahoma, USA. During this year I was able to take new classes that weren’t available to me at UH (University of Hertfordshire), with my favourite being ‘Unusual Storms and Weather Systems.’ I was even lucky enough to go storm-chasing! (an unforgettable experience as the state of Oklahoma is situated in Tornado Alley). I made some great friends whilst I was away - if I ever want to go travelling, I know there is a guest room or sofa!

Favourite trips summary

Studying Physical Geography at university enabled me to specialise in a range of areas that I will utilise in my career, most notably through the extensive field trips. In the first year, we studied hydrology and learnt about river discharge and how to measure the water flow rate through salt dilution experiments. This required a lot of teamwork which I found a vital attribute for successful field days. In the second year, we went to Switzerland and studied glacier dynamics with Dr Phil Porter and paraglacial landforms with Dr Alastair Curry. This trip put into perspective a lot of the content we had seen in course books and photographs. Nothing backs up your study notes quite like seeing the environment with your own eyes. For the final year, my Natural Hazards class included a trip to Folkestone where we completed a landslide risk assessment and evaluated flood impacts on Romney Marsh.

Final year

Returning from my study year abroad put me in a great position mentally. My mindset was focused on doing the best I could for my final year at university. Final year success is heavily reliant on staying motivated and pushing forward bit by bit, though this was made all the easier by the incredibly dedicated Geography and Environment staff at Herts. This was best shown during the COVID-19 outbreak where lecturers and supervisors went above and beyond to put the well-being of students first. Aside from their willingness to support you academically, for me, it was the tight-knit community of the department (coffee mornings, wine-tasting and other events) that I will cherish the most.