University of Mississippi honors students Megan Smith and Vince Chamblee have a lot of packing to do over the Christmas break. In January, they travel to Scotland for an intensive five-week study at the University of Edinburgh, then a 10-week internship with the Scottish Parliament.
Smith and Chamblee are among 20 students worldwide to be chosen for the internship, UM Study Abroad Adviser Maury Breazeale said.
“Vince and Megan are among the best and brightest students at Ole Miss,” Breazeale said. “Being accepted into the Scottish Parliament Internship program is a tremendous accomplishment. This is a very prestigious program, and the Study Abroad office is proud to send Vince and Megan to represent Ole Miss.”
This is the first time UM has placed a student in this internship, and it is something the Study Abroad office has been trying to coordinate for some time. The Scottish Parliament notified both students of their candidacy a few days before Thanksgiving break and requested that they submit a second essay before their selections were finalized.
Besides acting as liaison between the two schools, the university will make up the difference in tuition for Smith and Chamblee, so the trip costs them only normal spring tuition.
Scottish history culture and politics will be their topic of study while in the classroom. However, once the school work is done, they will each be assigned to a member of Parliament to shadow for the remainder of the spring semester. Interns actually get to help research and shape policy in this program.
“This will let me combine everything I have studied (at Ole Miss),” Chamblee said. “I can apply all my interests in the field in which I one day hope to become a part.”
Chamblee, who is in his junior year studying public policy, accountancy and economics, has studied abroad before. The Fulton native spent last summer in England studying at the London School of Economics.
Chamblee is also the student director of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the equivalent of the college’s student body president.
Smith, a junior journalism and political science major from Long Beach, is also no stranger to life abroad.
“I am fascinated with other cultures,” she said. “Obviously, this will let me get to know that part of the world a little better.”
Though Smith has never studied abroad with UM, she did spend last summer in Saltillo, Mexico, with a friend from high school where she improved her Spanish a great deal.
She is also a contributor to The Daily Mississippian, UM’s student newspaper.
Both Smith and Chamblee said they look forward to careers in politics one day, and this internship is certainly a step in the right direction. But, they also plan to obtain an advanced degree after they graduate in May 2010.
Chamblee plans to pursue a master’s degree in economics, hopefully back at the LSE or some other school abroad. Smith is planning to enter a master’s program in international politics upon graduation. She hopes to combine her interests for a career in public communication or as a press secretary.