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Finding Similarities

In the last post I talked about the role that differences played in my own experience abroad. There are some differences that took some time getting used to, and some that I am still not used to. I am still not accustomed to listening to a Scottish accent, and I may never be. It’s still so fun to listen to someone speak with that accent. I quickly got used to the weather in Scotland. I loved the type of weather that they had while we were there. It was rainy and cold. I am usually not a big fan of such sad weather, but I loved how much it fit my own perception of Scotland. The rain and cold weather just made me feel like I was actually in Scotland. All that being said, I was happily surprised by the similarities to be found in Scotland. The picture above was taken during a tour of a local agricultural college in Dumfries, Scotland. I remember thinking how similar animal agricultural practices in Scotland where compared to the U.S.. But most of the noticeable similarities came from talking to people in Scotland. It was stunning to consider that with all of the differences in culture, the people of Scotland were a whole lot like the people that live in America. I remember a student asking me, “What is it like in America?”, I said , “It’s a lot like the U.K.”; and it’s true. We all know the same T.V. shows, know the same celebrities, love to hang out with our friends, drink a lot of coffee or tea, speak the same language, and hear the same news. We are all human. I was worried before the trip began that I would have trouble connecting with students or peers from Scotland because of cultural barriers. I quickly realized that we all shared a lot in common, and I was more assured that I would be able to make those connections.