CAS '20 Christina Knox

SA: University of Edinburgh

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): University of Edinburgh: Political Parliamentary Programme

Ask me about...

  • Living completely on your own for the first time (as someone who was born and raised in Philadelphia and decided to stay close to home for my collegiate studies)

  • Being 3,000 miles away from home, my family, and my Penn friends, living in a foreign country and in a different time zone, and entering into a programme where I knew no one

  • Adjusting to being abroad and staying in touch with family and friends via FaceTime and Skype

  • Managing homesickness

My Experience Abroad:

I had the most amazing experience when I was abroad in Scotland. I studied political science at the University of Edinburgh, and I also had the opportunity to work as an intern in the Scottish Parliament. It was an exciting time to be in the UK and working in government as Brexit negotiations were underway, and the Scottish government was fighting to remain in the EU and also working on a campaign to gain their independence from the UK. I had the unique experience of working for a Member of Scottish Parliament, David Torrance, who was a member of party fighting for Scottish Independence. As an intern, I had the opportunity to work in Parliament as a researcher and writer. I was tasked with writing policy briefs, public statements, and speeches that were read in the Parliamentary Chamber of debate. I also got to attend party meetings and press conferences and got to meet with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 

Other Highlights:

  • I made the most amazing friends while abroad, and I am actually visiting them in California this upcoming Fall for a reunion and to attend a football game with them.

  • Not only did I fully immerse myself into the Scottish culture by exploring Scotland's major cities and the Highlands, but I also took the opportunity to travel with the friends I made on the weekends to different cities, such as Paris, Rome, Dublin, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Berlin, and Copenhagen.

  • The opportunity to work in Parliament was one that I am extremely grateful for, as it gave me real working experience and provided me with the skills I need going forward with my studies and in my future career.

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