Reflections on Study Abroad Program in Scotland

The travel bug runs largely in my family. Because of this, I have always known I wanted to go abroad. While it had been in the back of my mind, it took until my last week of summer before leaving for Scotland that it truly hit me. I would be moving to a foreign country alone, not knowing the land or the people. Naturally, it sent me into a full panic. I had never been so far from my family and friends for that long. I finally realized that I wouldn’t be able to call my mom and see her two hours later. I wouldn’t be able to come home at the drop of a hat whenever I wanted to see my dog or have a real home cooked meal. I would be missing my favorite things about fall and winter back home. Lots of FOMO when thinking of Thanksgiving, Homecoming, Halloween, etc. No more Mather dates with my friends or sitting on the quad avoiding all my responsibilities. This was really pushing my comfort zone. As I was constantly crying at the airport, I was convinced I wasn’t ready to make this jump. I then landed 6 hours later and realized that being in Europe for 4 months wasn’t complete torture. I was reminded after every sight I saw and new place I went to that abroad was where I was supposed to be. While it was obvious that it would be hard to be removed from my home and school for a semester, I kept telling myself there would not be another chance for me to go to school in another country, fully immersing myself in a new culture. I also realized that my comfort zone had to be pushed a little bit. After surviving the first few weeks, I realized that I can handle any situation thrown my way. I can even live without a dining plan. When people ask how I chose the University of Glasgow, my best answer was a complete gut feeling. Luckily, my gut could not have been more right. Glasgow is a gorgeous city. The people are so friendly here on top of the typical Scottish humor. I am not a huge city person, so Glasgow is the perfect mix of city life in combination with being right on a river, and gigantic green parks every few blocks. Not to mention the food is amazing (not typical Scottish food, that’s gross, but their other restaurants are amazing). As a history major I was immediately drawn to University of Glasgow, founded in 1451. My first day arriving on campus I truly realized I made the right decision because the campus was like nothing I had ever seen before (picture Hogwarts and Trinity combined but way better). Even though I have been here for almost over a month, time is moving by at a freightingly fast pace. The best advice I would have given myself a week before I left is the following: don’t judge a person by their GroupMe picture. Facetime is your best friend. Sleep is for winter break. Get to class early, because a class of 400 students will cause a bit of a line. Yes, you really can live out of two suitcases. Travel as much as you can. Say yes to every adventure. Most importantly, your friends, family and Trinity will all be there when you return in December.

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