Gap Student Wins Royal Geography Society Prize | Epsom College
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Gap Student Wins Royal Geography Society Prize

Michaelmas Term gap student, Zoe Henderson, has won a prestigious national Royal Geography Society prize. Here she talks through her inspiration behind the winning project, broadly titled The World Beyond My Window.

“Last summer, during lockdown, I decided to enter the Royal Geographical Society’s Young Geographer of the Year competition. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to conduct my own research project and continue to broaden my Geographical knowledge before university.

“The title of the project – The World Beyond My Window – captured my curiosity, as it focused on a world largely inaccessible at the time. I began to think about the significance of the impact Covid-19 was having on so many people’s lives, and how this may vary across the globe. My project was inspired by my desire to connect with friends, family, and total strangers close to home and abroad. I wanted to understand the varied impact of one virus on each individual life.

“My project evolved from an investigation into the differing lives of school children during the pandemic living on my home line of latitude, to an investigation into how the pandemic was affecting the lives of refugees across the globe, to a project focusing on the changed lives of my friends and family and their friends and family all over the planet. Each time I had to change my angle I learned new skills and valuable lessons in conducting my own research project on such a large scale.

“I have a particular interest in migration and the current refugee crisis, and I was desperate to get in contact with someone in the midst of it. Whilst we were all isolating at home to protect ourselves and others, millions of people have no home or shelter. How can any refugee avoid crowds in a refugee camp, or wash their hands regularly when they share a tap with 1,300 other people?

“I immensely enjoyed undertaking this project, I found it intellectually stimulating, engaging and a huge confidence boost in my communication and writing skills. It was a great use of my time in lockdown and I now feel more prepared for university.”