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May 10, 2023

Where do NSA grads go?

NSA graduates go on to a variety of careers. Rachel Sebourn will study in the School of Classics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Rachel graduated from New Saint Andrews in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Culture. This article continues a series on NSA graduates and what they do with this degree. 

Rachel explained that she desired to find a program that shared NSA’s approach to classics. NSA encourages "mastering the language and literature, being shaped by it, and being prepared to help others master and be shaped by it.” Rachel says many graduate programs don't necessarily share that vision with NSA. She says, “The focus in most programs is new research."

Rachel describes NSA as training her to be a master and no longer reliant on teachers. This meant she was looking for a program that would allow her the freedom to pursue her own academic goals. She says, “Someone pursuing doctoral education should certainly be setting their own educational goals rather than looking to an institution to do so for them.”

“My dissertation will be on Xenophon's linguistic style, comparing him with several classic Attic authors including Plato.”

Rachel will be working on a D.Phil in Classics: "My dissertation will be on Xenophon's linguistic style, comparing him with several classic Attic authors, including Plato."

Rachel explains NSA prepared her for this program by regularly evaluating its educational goals for its students. She says, "[NSA] is not characterized by conformity to whatever is happening in higher education as a whole. This is probably one of the greatest ways NSA has prepared me."

Rachel will be starting at St. Andrews in the fall of 2023. She is not the first NSA graduate to study in Scotland. There are a few others who are going there to study in the MLitt program: Knox Merkle, Elise Goodwin, and Anneliese Mattern. This will be Rachel's first time living in Scotland. After growing up in the suburban sprawl of the San Francisco Bay Area, she says, "I am looking forward to trying life without a car."

The University of St. Andrews was founded in the 15th century and is Scotland's first university. The campus is home to a number of old buildings, including St. Salvator's Chapel, a beautiful example of Late Gothic architecture. The website notes that the cobbles beneath the bell tower are marked with the initials' PH' to mark the site where 24-year-old Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake for his Protestant beliefs in 1528.

Rachel previously earned a Master of Arts at the University of Kentucky in Classics with Drs. Tunberg and Minkova. This program was the one Tim Griffith attended, NSA's Senior Fellow of Classical Languages.

Rachel has also completed Immersive Greek studies with the Polis Institute. Her work has helped her connect with classmates from all over the globe, and she has enjoyed studying in Greece with other spoken ancient Greek enthusiasts.

The University of St. Andrews attracted Rachel for a number of reasons, including its reputation in classics and a dissertation-only program. But she was particularly interested in the advisor and dissertation she was able to focus on. She says the program "made it possible for me to do something that will actually benefit me from this standpoint."

Rachel earned a full-ride scholarship from the School of Classics at the University of St. Andrews.