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This week, I decided to talk to one of my friends who is a '26, Fatemah Ebrahim, about the government major at Dartmouth. Fatemah's from Pakistan and has been a government major since freshman fall, so I thought it'd be helpful to know a little bit more about the department from somebody who's been taking classes within it for a year.

Q: How's the Government Department at Dartmouth?

A: Great question. Honestly, they're really helpful and nice. Overall, I really like the government department—the courses are all interesting, the professors are really well-established and are doing cool research that's pushing the boundaries of politics. One thing that is definitely interesting is that a lot of courses are American-centric, a lot of the viewpoints are American centric, but that's kind of where I get to put my own unique perspective forth, so that works out too. It's definitely a learning curve on how to find your voice, but once you do, it's pretty cool.

Q: Being an international student, how is the government department helping you understanding both domestic and international politics?

A: As I said before, there is definitely a focus on domestic politics — which makes sense; we're at an American university, with primarily American professors. But I will say that there are international politics classes that are super interesting and focus on issues that are shaping the socio-political world as we know it today. You just have to seek them out and actively work on finding out. They're still taught from an American perspective, but that's (like I said) where your own voice has to come in.

Q: What's your favorite Government class you've taken?

A: The one I'm taking currently is definitely my favorite gov class I've taken at Dartmouth. It's called Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's super small and intimate, the whole class knows each other, we're all in a safe space where we can share our perspectives without fear of judgment, our professor has made sure to create good relationships with each student, and it's honestly a lot of fun. Another thing I love about it is how timely and relevant it is—we're talking about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their implications. So, when I open my news app and see what's going on in the world, it's nice to take that into the classroom and discuss the ethics/implications of it.

Q: Great. Last question: any words of advice for Government majors that are applying to Dartmouth?

A: I'm not the best advice giver, haha. Be yourself, I guess. Wait, that was so formulaic. I don't think I can give advice on how to get into Dartmouth, but I can say that if you're here/want to be here as a government major, open yourself up. Government is a big major, so most people want to follow this 'pre-determined' plan of which classes to take, when to take them, what's the smartest way to go about it and all that. Try not to do that. The government department has a lot of diversity in thought and courses, and therefore you need to approach it as such—try new things out, I promise it can't hurt.

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