3 Things I Learned About Myself During My Time Abroad in Scotland

Andie Parnell is a student at Texas A&M University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Stirling, Scotland.

Loch Lomond.

1. I’m a people person

Some of my friends on the Isle of Skye.

The first day I landed in Glasgow, Scotland I thought all of my fear and doubts would take over and hinder me from branching out abroad. After a long, chat-filled taxi ride with a native “Glaswegian,” my worry began to alleviate. Once I was dropped off at the University of Stirling and met my fellow ISA students I busted out of my shell. Instead of looking at my fellow ISA students and classmates as strangers I made it a mission to meet and get to know as many peers as I could. On this mission I realized just how fascinating each and every person was and how much I was able to learn from them. Bold and courageous Caitlin practically shoved me out of all of my comfort zones. Every time Caroline spoke it was with intelligence and eloquence as she inspired me to never stop discovering and seeking out understanding of the unknown. Fitch never took life or himself too seriously, a quality I found especially contagious. By being in an unfamiliar country and enjoying the company and qualities of an array of people, I realized I am a people person. Because of each of these individuals, along with others from my 8 weeks in Scotland, I go back home having known so many new people with so much to offer.

2. “Carpe Diem” can be coined my life motto

The view from Edinburgh Castle.

After some reflection abroad I came to realize my motivation to seize the day. For the University of Stirling’s International Summer School, we had weekly excursions around the country of Scotland. The first excursion was Edinburgh during our first week at the university. Although I had already visited Stirling Castle, the views at Edinburgh Castle were hard to beat. Between Edinburgh’s royal mile, incredible views, and of course their food, I caught the travel bug catapulting me to become more adventures throughout my time abroad. Unless assignments needed my attention or I was busy at my internship, my fellow peers and I seized the Scottish day to our best ability, something that will follow me back to the states and I hope to keep with me always.


Month 1 International Summer School students at the top of Dumyat in Stirling, Scotland.

3. I am a total foodie

Fried haggis and brie, homemade scones with homemade jam and whipped cream, lemon-blueberry pound cake, traditional Scottish/English breakfast.

My experience abroad has been directly affected by all of the delicious food. Throughout this journey I have ate my weight in “chips and cheese” and Scottish baked goods. All of the amazing meals while in Scotland have unleashed a foodie, way too excited to come back to the land of haggis, black pudding, tea and biscuits someday.

The world awaits…discover it.