1. Take advantage of the SPIA community. Sign up for events! One event I attended was a meet and greet with the State Department, where I learned more about a Foreign Service career. Be sure also to utilize the UGA Mentoring Platform to connect with SPIA alums, who can provide fantastic advice and guidance throughout your college career.
2. Study Abroad!!! SPIA supports great programs in places like the Oxford program, Italy, South Africa, and many more! These programs are there for you to be a part of! I studied abroad with the UGA at Oxford and honestly had the best experience. I got to take classes on the English Legal System, British Politics, philosophy, and History. This program helped me step out of my comfort zone academically and physically; I was literally in a different country!
3. Get Involved in SPIA. You can get involved in so many ways: you can become a SPIA Ambassador, sign up for the SPIA mentoring program (as a mentor or mentee), apply for the CITS Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Program, or even attend SPIA events.
4. Don’t forget about the Washington Semester Program! I participated in the Washington Semester Program in the Fall of 2022, where I interned at the Department of Commerce. In DC, I got to network and make unique connections with fellow SPIA students. This program helped me figure out what I wanted to do after graduation. WSP added valuable experience to my SPIA experience and helped me understand the application of Political Science and International Affairs in day-to-day life.
5. Read the news daily. I promise it’ll help. Most classes are structured around current events. By no means do you need to memorize a comprehensive list of all global events down to the minute. But by reading the news, you can build your knowledge to become a more well-rounded student.
6. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of SPIA. There’s no reason to limit yourself to only the opportunities SPIA offers. For example, if you are interested in the environment and law, look into the Environmental Law minor offered by the College of Agricultural & Environmental Studies. You can supplement your SPIA education in many ways, so don’t stick to coloring inside the box!
7. Cherish your time within SPIA! I am a Senior and genuinely grateful for all the opportunities that SPIA has brought me. SPIA truly is composed of a great community that will help you every step of the way.
Poorvaja Rao Joganpalli – International Affairs and Political Science Double Major/Minor in Law, Jurisprudence and the State