BY KAYDEE JONES
Gull Life Editor
It’s not an everyday thing to have class in a stunning park overlooking snowcapped mountains in the Scottish Highlands, or to study in the same café that JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter books in.
But my winter term study abroad trip to Scotland was such, and a lot more.
Not only did I receive four credits for CMAT 399: Communications Study Abroad (which knocked out a graduation requirement and will look great on a resume), I also had the chance to immerse myself in another culture.
And while it was fascinating and exciting to try different foods and to be exposed to new customs, mannerisms and traditions for the first time, I learned that culture shock is a real issue, even when being abroad for a short amount of time.
But experiencing a way of life different than my own broadened my worldview and awareness of other cultures. It also allowed me to look at my own culture from a new perspective and either be more appreciative or critical of it.
For most of their history, Scotland has always been the underdog which made them scrappy, rebellious and longing for for freedom (usually from the English). That is way different when compared to the United States, who gained independence very quickly and swiftly became a world superpower.
Studying abroad taught me a lot about myself in the process of teaching me the importance of seeing the world. I learned that even in a foreign country with 13 strangers I can be independent and adventurous.
One adventure separate from personal and cultural growth was visiting Loch Ness and looking for its famous sea monster, Nessie (sadly, I didn’t spot her). Another included seeing castles that are thousands of years old and climb the steps of monuments dedicated to some of the country’s greatest leaders.
Most of all, I got to know 13 awesome people from Salisbury University that I may never have met if I wouldn’t have gone on this trip. The memories we made will always be with me and I’m thankful to have shared my first experience abroad with them.
Studying abroad in Scotland for two weeks may have drained my bank account, but it made big impacts on me in ways I never thought it would. I have an enhanced global awareness that I am thankful for and a newfound love for traveling.
I’ll never have an experience the exact same as this one, and because of that it will probably be the highlight of my college career.