My name is Maxwell and I’m in my 3rd year of an MA in Politics.
I’m taking Approaches to Politics and International Relations, Comparative Politics, Global Justice and Citizenship, International Political Economy, Parliamentary Studies and US Foreign Policy.
Edinburgh specifically interested me because of its unique heritage as capital of Scotland and seat of the devolved Scottish Parliament. The Scottish university model has provided me with much greater freedom to craft a university experience suited to my interests through electives.
I have enjoyed the ability to study Scotland, the UK, and the European Union from a European perspective. To engage in comparative politics whilst living comparative politics on a daily basis simply by being in Edinburgh has been very fulfilling.
Parliamentary Studies, a course introduced this year in association with The Scottish Parliament, The House of Commons and The House of Lords was really interesting and challenging. Our lecturers included senior professors at the university, two MSPs, as well as Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. Instead of the traditional essay and exam, we were assessed on our ability to write a research brief for members of both parliaments and a submission of evidence for a parliamentary committee.
Living in Edinburgh
The best thing about living in Edinburgh is the history! Every single building, street and square has a story that ties into some of the great narratives of world history. Edinburgh, like Scotland, is small, but in its impact, stands among the greatest cities in the world.
It really is worth getting involved with the social side of life in Edinburgh. In my first year, I founded and led the North American Society, a student society dedicated to celebrating cultural understanding and exchange, while providing a community for Canadian and American students in Edinburgh. In our first year, we ballooned to over 800 members, and won EUSA’s Best New Society Award. Since, I have become a member of the Politics and International Society Committee, as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Politics and International Relations, Leviathan.
I have also been deeply involved in Edinburgh University Student’s Association, first elected as an Academic Campaigns Representative, where I got the chance to engage with the university to improve students’ academic experience, and then as International Students Action Group Convenor, where I have campaigned to improve the experience of international students both at Edinburgh University, and in the UK as a whole – great experience!