Study Abroad: Stirling, Scotland

For the UAS Whalesong
Photo courtesy of the same

Studying abroad was the best decisions I have ever made.

Originally, I had no idea where I wanted to go. I just knew that I had a deep desire to live abroad and explore all the differences that another country has to offer. Even though I ended up choosing a place that wasn’t too drastically different, it was still a big change. The way I lived, the way I went about school work and classes, and even the way everyone socialized was a bit different from what I was accustomed to. But, I was also able to participate in some familiar activities that I loved, like being a part of a sports team

I studied away in Stirling, Scotland last spring semester. I’m a biology student. While away I learned a lot about myself and how a different part of the world works. My time has widened my scope of how I see the world, and I have a better understanding of how Americans are seen by people from other countries.

I also learned a lot about Scottish history and was able to go to several events surrounding that history. The town I was in had quite a lot of history. Stirling is where William Wallace defeated the English at the battle of Stirling Bridge. If you have ever seen Braveheart, that is where the story is based off of….even though the film is very inaccurate.

When it came to academic classes the set up was definitely different but I liked it. We were given few assignments, and a lot of the learning was out of class, and only had one exam. For my exams I had two weeks to prepare and study, which I found very beneficial for remembering the information. A large part of my courses were also very hands on. All courses had a lab or practical section where you can get hands on and practice the methods, or perform an experiment throughout the term and do a scientific write up. I found that a lot of the things that I learned were very practical and helpful to things I would be doing in my career.

On the fun side, I was also the goal keeper for the university water polo team the entire semester; the experience was amazing and a great way to meet people. In addition, I also explored local landscapes and learned how to winter climb with the mountaineering club. The university made it very easy for people to join clubs and teams and, being a part of those really made my experience amazing.

Overall, my time abroad is one I will remember fondly and something that shaped me into being a strong, more confident person. I plan on returning to the UK in the future. As for you, if you are even slightly thinking about going abroad, do it! You won’t regret it. As a matter of fact, I would bet it will be an amazing time in your life. Maybe the best so far!

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