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Blake Atherton’s Year at the University of St. Andrews

Below is the reflection from Blake Atherton, who received the St. Andrew’s Society Scholarship in 2015. He is currently on his fellowship year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

I studied International Political Economy in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, and am currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Security Studies in the School of School of International Relations at St Andrews, though the majority of my coursework (and indeed my specialty) is in international and comparative law. I am also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, where I am writing a piece to be published on national constitutions and global lawmaking, and a Research Assistant for Kristen Harkness, whom I am helping to write a piece on comparative civil-military relations in Africa. As I am attending Georgetown Law next fall, this postgraduate degree is of tremendous value for my future career, which will directly or indirectly involve international and comparative law.

Master’s programs in the School of IR involve two compulsory courses, two electives, and a dissertation on the topic of your choice; further, the School of IR has a tremendous faculty and small classes, demonstrates an unconventional and multidisciplinary school of thought, and garners great respect nationally and globally. I highly recommend this scholarship, as well as the St Andrews School of IR, for anyone interested in a career in international affairs or even political science more broadly; it is a very logical continuation of (and a nice compliment to) the SFS curriculum in particular.

Regarding benefits, the St Andrews Scholarship provides $30,000 in scholarship money – which constitutes almost full tuition at Scottish universities – to the Scottish institution of your choice, provided you get in. As there are only two St Andrews Scholars, there are not fora or events that bring the scholars together. Broadly speaking, St Andrews scholars have a great deal of autonomy and few concrete responsibilities as fellows once they matriculate at their university in Scotland.

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