UT international student received reputable US scholarship in strong competition
A student of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, American Alina Clay received a scholarship from the US Department of State that trains students to become diplomats. Clay considers her experience-rich time at UT an important factor in receiving one of the most reputable scholarships in the US.
Managed and funded by the US Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Pickering Fellowship provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the Foreign Service.
Hundreds of applicants from more than 160 colleges and universities competed for this distinguished fellowship. 10 undergraduate and 20 graduate students will take part in the fellowship starting June 2016.
Alina Clay said she is deeply honored and excited to receive this fellowship, as she is confident that it will give her the ideal platform to accomplish her long-term dream of creating positive change in the world.
“My time as a yearlong exchange student at the University of Tartu has been a truly transformative experience and has aided me immeasurably in my self-growth and understanding of who I am and those around me,” said Clay.
She added: “I have found some of the best mentors in both my faculty, the Skytte Institute of Political Studies, and in my internship with the Centre for E.U.-Russia Studies. These people have not only given me abundant knowledge to broaden my understanding of regional politics and international relations, but they have become invested in my personal success and have striven to help and support me whenever possible. As a result, they have fostered in me a deeper sense of self-confidence, which initially sparked my decision to apply for the Pickering in the fall.”
Vice Director for Research at Johann Skytte Institute of Political Studies and Head of the Centre for European Union–Russian Studies Piret Ehin said they are very proud that an international visiting student of the institute has been offered such an amazing opportunity: “This demonstrates how the knowledge and experience acquired at the University of Tartu helps international students succeed in their home country—studying and living in Estonia may become a valuable advantage for the future employer.”
“Alina is incredibly hard-working, intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic. She has been of great help in organising conferences and implementing several Horizon 2020 research and development projects. I believe she has gained valuable experience from us and the letter of recommendation sent from Tartu probably played its part in Alina Clay being selected,” described Ehin.