Community contribution statement

The 'community contribution statement' is the personal statement you are asked to provide when applying to become a Member of Goodenough College. Here are some hints and tips (and examples) from our Admissions team to help in thinking about your statement.

In the community contribution statement we ask you to describe, in up to 500 words, what form your contribution to College life will take and how this reflects your motivation for applying to join Goodenough College.

The statement is an important part of your application to join the College and so you should spend some time completing it.  Some of the things you could consider including (this list is not exhaustive) are:

  • Why do you want to be part of Goodenough College?
  • What would you gain from living here?
  • Have you lived in an academic community before? What did you gain from it?
  • Previous experience of running, helping to run or contributing to the organisation of a sport, social, cultural, academic or community group
  • Hobbies and interests that you participate in regularly
  • Community or voluntary work
  • Details of other skills or abilities that you could contribute to the community, for example, perhaps you are a qualified yoga teacher, an amateur film maker or design websites
  • Something inspirational, or that you are proud of, that you have done or have been part of

If you have not had the opportunity to participate in extra curricular life so far because, for instance, of family, financial or physical limitations, please include brief details. We understand that not all applicants will have had the same opportunities in life and we will take this into account when assessing your application.

The selectors are not assessing writing skills or English grammar. You don’t need to write everything you do or have done and you don’t need to use all 500 words.

Sample statements

Here are some examples of contribution/personal statements:

Example A

I am excited to become part of Goodenough College as I would love to live and learn from people coming from all over the world. The Goodenough website shows so many opportunities to interact with people of so many cultures and so many activities to join in.  I want to make the most of my year in London. I see it as a unique opportunity to live in such a large a diverse city but also a small and diverse College. I don’t expect that I will find such a community atmosphere at my university and so I am seeking it elsewhere. Of course I can’t deny that the Harry Potter like experience of having dinner in the Great Hall is very appealing!

A good way to share culture is through food. I love to cook and I love to eat.  I have seen that you have so many clubs and societies around food. I would love to join these and also demonstrate and cook dishes from my home country. I am from Japan and I have been attending sushi-making classes. I would love to be able to share with others how to make sushi and other Japanese traditions such as the tea ceremony.

During my undergraduate degree, I was a member of lots of clubs and societies and helped organise the Salsa club. I booked the room, organised a teacher, advertised the classes and kept the accounts. I would love to do the same at Goodenough or with a similar club or society.

I am passionate about climate change and regularly take part activism and education.  I would be very interested in what Goodenough is doing in this area and ways that we can build on that to make our living conditions more sustainable.

I am so excited by gaining a place at LSE but being selected to join Goodenough would be the “icing on the cake”.  I know it will make this one of the most memorable years of my life.  (335 words)

Example B

I have been fortunate to have travelled widely and have lived in many different countries.    This has shown me the value of learning about other cultures and outlooks.    Goodenough is culturally diverse and would be the ideal space for me to develop further a global perspective that will help me in my studies, work and life.

At school, I was part of a system that welcomed new students and helped them settle in.   Many of these were either students from overseas or scholarship students.   Generally, they were all nervous of being away from home, not fitting in or not knowing what to do and inadvertently doing the wrong thing.  I really valued being able to mentor them, put them at their ease and eventually see them making friends and feeling like part of the furniture.   I understand how important this is and although I know Goodenough is postgraduate I would love to get involved in or develop something similar at the College.

One of the current loves of my life is acting in plays and musicals.    I joined the amateur dramatics club at university as a way to stretch me and do something outside my comfort zone.   I had no idea I would love it as much as I do.    I have acted in a number of amateur plays and have even turned my hand to writing my own one act play which was performed in my final year at university.    It was an extraordinary experience to see others interpret your words.

There are so many events at Goodenough that I will be excited to be part of but I think I will gain most from conversation around the dining table in the Great Hall.  (285 words)

Example C

I will be coming to London to complete a PhD which will be a long and perhaps (but I hope not) lonely path. It will be very important for me to have a good support network around me. When I heard that over one third of those living at Goodenough would be studying for a PhD that strengthened my resolve that I must gain a place. I could not think of a more ideal environment – lots of people on the same academic trajectory as me, lots of activities and intellectual stimulation and walking distance to my university. I am truly grateful to have discovered Goodenough and some of my fears of moving half-way around the world and speaking English full time have been eased by the thought of being at Goodenough.

Extra-curricular is my middle name. I am a person who lives by the philosophy of staying busy and stimulated. I am a runner, I love yoga, I read avidly from comics to heavy academic tomes not in my field – I sing, I dance and quite a lot of times I have to stop to take a breath and reprioritise. I do not see this as a failing – I am enthusiastic and love trying new things. I could just copy a list of all the things to do at Goodenough here and it would not be a lie to say you would see me at as many of them that I can squeeze in.

One thing I always try to work into my life is volunteering. I believe it is good for the soul to give something selflessly. I have tutored children who have had a disrupted home life and seen the difference that having someone there just for them can do for their confidence and sense of self.  Wherever I am I look for opportunities to volunteer whether it is just a weekly shop for an elderly neighbour, cutting someone’s grass or helping to file and put in order hundreds of casework documents for a children’s charity. I am glad to see that Goodenough has opportunities to volunteer in the local community and I think through these opportunities I will see another side the London and the UK.

If you decide that I am the right kind of candidate to join Goodenough College I would be humbled and I will make the most of every opportunity. (398 words)