Your Study Abroad Location Is Important


Choosing to study abroad in Scotland was not a difficult choice for me; it offered everything that I wanted – hiking trails, old towns and buildings, a different dialogue, transferable credits, and a different culture. After talking to a few individuals studying here with me, some of them have agreed to not regretting their decision to be in Scotland, while others consider themselves quite bored. Naturally, I felt inclined to ask my friends why they felt the way that they did about our location being boring.

“The location has nothing to do other than hike or take a bus to town and visit random things. These are fun and all, but I am tired of repetitively doing the exact same activity each night. Why is the campus life so boring?” one said, all the while exaggerating the ‘so’.

I could see some truth in her answer. From what she has described of her home university, there is always something to do, no matter the time or day. Taking into consideration that she goes to a big university, I can understand her boredom. Personally, my university is quite small with a little over 1200 undergraduate students; the town alone may have 6000 residents. But for me, my campus does not have the funds to host events and I do not have the opportunity to hike on a daily basis around green land, forest trails that lead to caves and waterfalls, “skyscraping” hills, and through old-town architecture.

This cave was used for individuals to stay the night during an eclipse. When the sun entered the cave, the individual would become wise! My ISA group visited it while on the Darn Walk.

Coming to Scotland has allowed me to become more free and really focus on the world around me both physically and mentally. I am able to ‘relax’ amidst the homework and appreciate my location of study. Every morning, I wake up and look outside my window that overlooks Dumyat Hill and all of its beauty. I start each day with a happy smile – even when I see rain with no promise of when it will stop – knowing that I am gazing on such a beautiful landscape that locals can see every day. I envy Scottish individuals that literally have nature and hills in their backyard.

Here is a difficult hill the ISS at Stirling University climbed one evening for fun…it took three hours and 6 miles!

I had a conversation with one of my professors because he spoke about his lack of enthusiasm towards the landscape and what Scotland has to offer because he has lived here his whole life. “I know what we have is beautiful; I see it every day and have visited most places. But I do not find a wee interaction of glamour because there is nothing abnormal about this place.” Obviously, the location was not a problem for him because he was constantly viewing it as his norm. But for a foreigner like me, this location is absolutely breathtaking and one of the many reasons I am visiting for the summer.

Bethany Gillet is a student at Concordia University. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA Veritas in Stirling, Scotland.


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