Message from our Global Scholar – Micaela Ameson

Greetings from Edinburgh,

Spring has sprung! We’ve had a few weeks of lovely weather and the sun is setting later and later. The city is absolutely gorgeous.

All is well here. I’ve started at my dissertation placement in Glasgow, at Child Poverty Action Group, and I’m really enjoying it so far. The staff are wonderful and extremely knowledgeable. My first step is to get a handle on social security policy in the United Kingdom, and in Scotland specifically; a lot has happened with welfare reform over the past seven years. The focus of the dissertation will be how these changes have affected low-income families in Scotland, so I will be analyzing 16 interviews with four individuals/families that the organization, in partnership with a professor at the University of Edinburgh, have conducted. Depending on the results of the research, my dissertation may be used to help CPAG offer the Scottish government policy advice on the future of social welfare reform. It’s very exciting! I commute to the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays and work from Edinburgh campus the rest of the week.

Aside from my dissertation work, I’ve had a little time to do some traveling/sight-seeing, most notably in Peebles and York. Peebles is a very small town in the Scottish borders, about 20 miles south of Edinburgh. It’s quiet and charming, and surrounded by stunning countryside and many scenic walking trails.

York is one of the oldest towns in England, and although it’s also small, there’s a lot to see. The York Minster (largest cathedral in northern Europe), Castle Howard, the Shambles (a street of old buildings, some from the 14th century), the remainder of the castle wall, and any one of the many cafes and restaurants lining the river are all highlights. It’s a lovely, vibrant place.

That’s all from me this month. Hope you are all well!



Greetings from Edinburgh

I hope you all are well! My apologies for the delay in this update– I was preoccupied with final essays and my research proposal the last couple weeks. I’m very happy to say that I have officially handed in the last of my master’s coursework! Dissertation, here I come…

This last month has flown by, and I haven’t been doing much aside from studying and writing. My coursework was particularly demanding this semester, but I thoroughly enjoyed my classes; they were a perfect mix of theory and practice, and I learned a lot. To celebrate the end of term, I went to a masquerade ball hosted by the postgraduate law students at a very swanky hotel in Edinburgh’s New Town. Venetian masque balls are surprisingly popular in Scotland. (Some handy British lingo: “fancy dress” = costume, NOT formal wear).

Last month I also officially accepted a placement with Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Glasgow! I will be interning for the organization and conducting my dissertation research there. CPAG works on behalf of low-income families and children; my work will focus on the impact of social security policy on poor families in Scotland. If you’re interested in learning more about CPAG, here’s a link to their homepage:

There were no Rotary events in March, and so far the other scholars and I don’t have anything lined up this month either. There will likely be a few more gatherings and presentations this summer, however. I’ve had such wonderful experiences with the clubs in and around Edinburgh, and am looking forward to meeting more members in the near future.

Another notable Edinburgh attraction to add to the list: the Royal Yacht Britannia. She served Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip from 1953-1997, and is now moored at Ocean Terminal, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The yacht is absolutely beautiful– very well maintained and a fascinating piece of history. I highly recommend the audio tour!

I hope you all are enjoying the warm, spring weather and GO HEELS!!