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November 20, 2012 / The Loop

Life in Edinburgh with Andrea Glover, ’11

by Josie Camarillo, ’14

After working as a reporter in her hometown of Elko, Nev. for a year after graduating from Whitworth, Andrea Glover, ’11, felt drawn to the field of social work because of how the profession values the stories and experiences of each individual and because of the diversity of a social worker’s responsibilities.

Glover in the window of a World War II bunker on Inchcolm Island, outside of Edinburgh.

Having always had an interest in the British social welfare system, it did not take long for Glover to begin researching graduate programs in the United Kingdom. She finally decided on Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, where she knew she would have the opportunity to work alongside the School of Social and Political Science’s faculty who are frequently asked by the Scottish Parliament to consult on draft framework policies.  Glover also works for the University of Edinburgh’s Alumni and Development Office, contacting alumni to ask for donations to the Edinburgh Fund, which provides bursaries and grants to students.

Glover graduated from Whitworth with a degree in journalism and mass communication and a minor in visual communications.  She also hosted a Whitworth.fm radio show with her roommate, Felicity Brigham, ’12, led Young Life at Salk Middle School, and traveled to New York City and Washington, DC on Whitworth’s Media Impact trip led by Jim McPherson, and spent two of her years at Whitworth as the production manager of The Whitworthian campus newspaper.

Glover feels blessed to have had the opportunities that she did while living in Spokane. She appreciates how the communication department, and especially Professor Jim McPherson, challenged and encouraged her during her time at Whitworth.

Standing with a friend on the wall of the ruins of St. Andrews Castle.

Living in Scotland has certainly been a new experience for Glover. She lives in on the Royal Mile, one block away from Edinburgh Castle, in a flat that was built in the 1600’s. She loves living in a historical, international city where she can walk across the cobblestones to class and hear dozens of languages. It still feels a bit like home though with a Starbucks on nearly every corner and weather similar to Spokane’s. Glover says it is the small things that usually remind her that she is no longer in the United States though. Cilantro is called coriander. Zucchini is referred to as courgette. Measurements are in milligrams and litres (which Glover still has not gotten used to). Stores are much smaller, and in order to satisfy a craving for pumpkin anything, Glover has to seek out a specialty American shop, because pumpkin puree is not sold anywhere else.

The most difficult part of studying abroad for Glover is the lack of a support system. “I’d imagine this is a universal feeling when you move to a new place,” she says. “But moving to another country, studying on a professional course, and having to relearn all the statutory laws and responsibilities of social workers as well as the set of unwritten, cultural aspect…was quite daunting the first six weeks.”

Glover and friends at the ruins of St. Andrews Castle.

Despite missing her American friends and families, Glover’s advice to anyone who wants to study abroad after undergrad is to try to bond with people of other nationalities. She says it will greatly enrich any study abroad experience, and it has allowed her to be more adept at working with different cultures and viewpoints.

Glover is set to graduate with her master’s in social work in September 2014. After graduating, she plans to move to England in hopes of joining a Community Mental Health Team to provide specialized services to individuals with mental health needs. Someday, she wants to find a position in academia as well as to return to the United States. Glover has found that the United Kingdom practices a very successful inter-agency model and would like to eventually be able to apply what she learns abroad to further good practice in social work in the United States.

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