Student Highlight: Tamsin Rankine-Fourdraine ’17

Abroad in Bologna!

Hi there! I’m Eimi (pronounced ‘Amy’) and I’m your correspondent for Student Highlight this year, a column dedicated to highlighting the scholars who attend this institution. While I’ve deduced that there’s no ‘typical’ Brown student, I hope to share a small glimpse into the wonderful and diverse individuals of this community.

Name: Tamsin Rankine-Fourdraine

Hometown: London, United Kingdom

Concentration: History

What classes are you taking this semester? Liberty, Equality, Fraternity? The History of Modern France (HIST 1272C), American Legal and Constitutional History (HIST 1972A), The Rise of China (POLS 1290), Contemporary Mande Performance (West African Dance; TAPS 1390)

Favorite class thus far? The End of the USSR and the Rise of New Russia (HIST 1420) with Professor Ethan Pollock. The great thing about history at Brown is that you can, and are encouraged by the department, to take classes that span across different time periods and areas of the world. This class allowed me to study a part of Russian history that is often neglected but important in understanding the state of present day Russia. Professor Pollock was a fascinating lecturer not only due to his passion for the subject but also because of his anecdotes about living in Russia as a student during this time period. This class really tested my analytical abilities as a historian; rather than simply asking for a couple of standard papers, I had to write an analysis of a historical source, an analysis of a historian’s argument, and a long research paper on a topic of my choice.

What do you do on or off campus? I spent my first two years at Brown working with HOPE, a student-led group that works with the homeless community in Providence. I volunteered at a soup kitchen and assisted in editing articles for Street Sights, a newspaper providing important information and news for this community. I also worked as a Lifeguard for the Brown Aquatics Center. Before studying abroad on the Brown in Bologna program during my junior year, I lived in the Buxton International House with 60 other students from different countries around the world. I enjoy running on Blackstone Boulevard, especially when everyone is walking their dogs so I can attempt to pet them, and going downtown to Providence Power Yoga with my roommates. Otherwise, I like to explore Providence to find the best coffee shops to study in.

Favorite place/ study spot? The Shop on Wickenden because they have the best avocado toast and a big communal study table. I can always convince a roommate to come with me!

Favorite Brown memory or experience?  Taking Money and Power in the International Political Economy (POLS 1420) taught by Professor Mark Blyth with 15 of my friends during the fall semester of my senior year… and doing the SciLi challenge right after the final exam.

Why Brown? Brown was exactly what I wanted in an American college; the lack of general education requirements meant I never had to sit in a class that I didn’t want to be in. Providence provides the perfect quirky backdrop to exploring a city and simultaneously enjoying the college atmosphere at Brown. I was able to learn a new language and study abroad during my time here, and the institution has a higher number of international students than many other colleges, which made me feel more at home and less nervous about moving here.

Know someone who should be featured or want to get in touch with a highlighted student? Send me an email at!


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