Ursinus sophomore Alex Niedmann was given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to study for a full year at the University of Edinburgh for the 2011-2012 academic term. The Philosophy major and Neuroscience minor was awarded the McFarland Scholarship from The St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. The society awards five scholarships, including only one McFarland scholarship, for students to study at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and Glasgow, Universities in Scotland. Candidates from 18 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia region are given a chance to submit a candidate to study at on
e of the four universities during their junior year of college. The scholarship Niedmann received is the highest honor, and essentially designates Niedmann as the top applicant.
Niedmann, of West Hartford, Conn., enjoys philosophy, and wanted to explore scholarships or study abroad options that would allow him to continue studying philosophy. The philosophy departments in Scotland are among the world’s best, he says, and the prospect of spending a full year studying at a University there is “as attractive intellectually as it is culturally” says Niedmann. Niedmann is looking forward to the many opportunities this experience will offer him, including getting to know his new city. “To find myself feeling at home . . I would look forward to this aspect of any extended residence abroad,” he says.
In applying for this scholarship Niedmann was required to submit a personal statement and attend an interview with the Scholarship Committee of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. Referring to his personal statement to the scholarship committee, he says, “The Scottish philosophical tradition produced the first inquiries of their kind into the workings and nature of the human mind. The year of immersion supported by this Scholarship affords me the experience of actually being embedded in the physical and cultural context to which my study of the mind owes much of its meaning and shape, a tangible rediscovery of the historical and cultural source of so much of what fundamentally animates my life.” – By Kaitlyn Ott 2013