My study abroad trip to Scotland was a transformative experience that left an indelible mark on my life. First, coming in by train, I was immediately captivated by the majestic landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality that greeted me. From the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh to the breathtaking highlands, Scotland offered a tapestry of cultural immersion and intellectual growth.
Academically, the trip was a treasure trove of knowledge. Having taught classes in Dumfries and Galloway in schools that were older than my country left an impression I will not soon forget. The curriculum was far different than anything I had ever been taught with in the U.S. and broadened my perspectives and challenged my preconceptions. It was much the same types of things we would learn but in no way similar to how we would learn it, and I was also able to tour universities and primary and secondary schools furthering my personal awareness of other teaching styles and practices.
Beyond the classroom, Scotland’s vibrant culture and heritage were at my doorstep. I explored ancient castles like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, imagining the lives of kings and queens who once ruled from within those stone walls. Not to mention the sights of ancient parliament buildings and other varied castles and churches such as Greyfriars and Threave. Even structures stemming from bronze age man like Clava Cairns.
The rugged beauty of the Scottish highlands beckoned me to embark on outdoor adventures. Hiking along the dramatic landscapes of GlenCoe and Loch Lomond, I was humbled by nature’s grandeur. The serene shores of the Isle of Skye provided solace and inspiration, as I marveled at the picturesque landscapes and explored hidden coves.
My study abroad trip to Scotland not only enriched my academic knowledge but also broadened my worldview and nurtured a sense of independence and resilience. It taught me to embrace unfamiliar experiences, adapt to new environments, and appreciate the beauty of cultural diversity.
As I left Scotland, I carried with me a piece of its spirit, forever grateful for the memories, friendships, and personal growth that I had gained. Scotland will always hold a special place in my heart, reminding me of the transformative power of exploration and education. I carry a great hope to return for another adventure here someday.