- What were you totally freaked out about before going that turned out to be no big deal?
I was worried about two things; firstly I was concerned about getting used to the city or getting lost. Although Scotland is an English speaking country, most consider it to be a mix of English, Gaelic, and Highland slang/accent which is impossible to understand at first (I had a translation book!). Secondly, I was worried about the friends I would make; it is almost like your first day at camp or at elementary school. However, everyone is in the same boat as you and they are eager to make friends!
- What do you wish you had done to better prepare before going abroad?
I wish I would have researched more about travel destinations, not only just in Scotland. I felt I experience an array of areas of the Scotland highlands and lowlands, however I did not get to see everything I wanted. I would advise students going abroad to make a list or priority destinations to travel to, and make it happen!
- What’s something you did for the first time while abroad that you’ll continue to do now that you’re home?
The list is too long to explain, however one exciting thing I did was go to my first Rugby game. I wish that Rugby is as big as it is in Scotland, but if I have the opportunity to watch our UCSB team I will!
- What’s the most annoying thing about everyday life in your host country?
The most annoying thing about everyday life would have to be the weather, just because we are spoiled by California. It snows and gets very cold in Scotland, so there are times when the entire road, trains, and airports are shut down which could put a damper on your travels. However, the solution is the pub!
- What local food and drink do you miss most now that you’re back?
I miss the comfort food of Scotland. Because it was so cold, we would stop at a pub between classes and grab soup and a pint of beer. The combination of the two were brilliant, and really warmed up your soul.
- What food and drink from home did you miss most while abroad?
Being from California where there is an immense amount of Mexican restaurants, and that is by far the food I missed the most. I would crave a breakfast burrito every morning.
- What standard local fashion styles would elicit strange looks in California? The Scots wear tights with everything, even jean shorts or pants. It was weird at first, but I understood it because of the weather. Also, they do not wear sweats in public like the California casual look.
- What’s something you witnessed while abroad that would never happen in California?
I met my teachers and TAs at the pub because that was the local hang out spot, unlike the United States where an appropriate meeting would maybe be held at a coffee shop. Also, there is a lot more mix of old and young when you go out for the night, unlike downtown Santa Barbara college nights.
- What’s the coolest place you visited while abroad?
Dublin Ireland was the coolest place I visited while abroad! It was exactly how it is depicted in movies, live music, pubs, and a great time! I also went around Christmas time so the festivities were beautiful!
1o. Where do you want to go next?
My next destination will be Scotland, Ireland, and France! However, my new destination will hopefully be on the other side of the world, to Australia or Asia.