Monday, June 22, 2015

Ashley in Scotland!

Hi, everybody! I’m currently writing this at the airport as I wait for my flight home, giving me the chance to really look back on the last five months of my study abroad experience in Glasgow, Scotland. Study abroad is so many things and since I’m writing this at the end of my experience I’m not even really sure where to start. In general, Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to (and thanks to study abroad I have been to a few now!). The natural scenic views you can get in Scotland by simply taking the bus or even looking out your window always surprised me, even up until the day I left. Also, people in Scotland are very friendly and especially so when they find out that you’re a foreigner. In general, they also have a sense of humor that while hard to describe or explain never the less always makes me laugh. My favorite place in Scotland is called Glencoe and it was one of the first places I went to when I arrived. It had recently snowed and the mountains were covered and the lochs glistened- it was truly magical. 

Glencoe, Scotland

However, what really made study abroad so great, and what is probably my favorite thing about study abroad, was spending it with all the amazing people I met, my flat mates in particular.  Obviously traveling and trying new things was amazing, but to be honest, some of my favorite memories of study abroad are hanging out in my flat with my amazing friends and flat mates. 

The famous Loch Ness
The ruins of Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven

Study abroad also gave me the opportunity to travel to different parts of Ireland, Poland, and England which were all incredible experiences. I went to Ireland during the St. Paddy’s day festivities which was definitely an experience I will not soon forget, however I particularly loved the views from parts of Northern Ireland. 

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

I went to Poland next and it was an interesting trip to say the least. There was a lot to see and do which was exciting, however it was the first time I went somewhere alone where almost no one spoke English. However, as nerve-wracking as it may have been at times it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything because I learned so much about myself and another culture in just six days. 

King Sigismund's Column in Warsaw, Poland

My next trip outside of Scotland was England, which I loved. There is just so much to do and see and so much history to explore, which is right up my alley. 

Palace of Westminster and Big Ben in London


Nonetheless, no place will be as special to me as Scotland, and Glasgow in particular. If study abroad has taught me anything it is that if you want to do something then you have to go for it- you can’t let fear stop you, and you have to learn to take things as they come. This is a concept that while it sounds good and obvious, I think it takes an experience such as study abroad to really help you learn it. I’m so grateful for my experience and the country I called home for five months. 

Ashley Hodges
Strathclyde University
Glasgow, Scotland

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