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Adventures GALORE

Time May 4th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I have just returned (2 weekends ago), from another wonderful get away put together by the IFSA-Butler program!  :)  Last time we went to the Argyll Forest, and this time it was the Isle of Skye!  The views were breath taking and the atmosphere calming.  The people seem to live a slower paced life and are extremely friendly.  We left on Friday, 20 April and spent the day slowly traveling to Skye.  Along the way, we stopped at Eilean Donan castle; the most photographed castle in Scotland.  Two major movies that filmed scenes there were Made of Honour” and “Elizabeth – The Golden Age.”  We also stopped at other places, of which I cannot recall at the moment lol.  Once at Skye, we settled into our rooms (we were paired off in twos), and got ready for dinner; which was delicious.  The next day, (Saturday) we had the option of going on a bus tour or a hike.  I chose to go on the bus tour, because it seemed there was more to see with that option.  One of my favourite parts of the bus tour was putting my face in a magical fairy river; supposed to keep you young forever lol.  I love mythical tales! :) On the way back from Skye we stopped at Loch Ness…..and no I didn’t find Nessy…even though I searched for minutes!! In a few days I will be going to the Orkney Islands with some of the friends I’ve met here at Stirling! It will be quite the adventure! 😀

The most exciting experience lately was my friend from Norway visiting me here in Stirling!! She stayed for 9 days! I showed her the lovely city of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and of course Stirling!  It was wonderful seeing her, and I cannot wait to visit her in Norway in June!!! I love studying abroad, it has given me the opportunity to see so many places that I otherwise might of never seen!! Only a month and a half left, WOW, time has flown!

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Best Spring Break Ever

Time April 17th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Unfortunately spring break is over and I have to rejoin the school world lol. Over spring break I went to London and Paris with my family, who flew over from Washington state. :) In London we went to Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, we saw London Eye and Big Ben :) I am sure there is more, but at the moment I cannot remember lol.  I liked London, but we stayed in Central London, and the atmosphere wasn’t very relaxing. My family and I took the Euro-star train from London to Paris.  Once we arrived in Paris, it was an entirely different atmosphere. Nearly everyone in Paris was very kind, and even though I don’t speak French, they were more than willing to speak English to us! :)  Plus, the French food is DELICIOUS!!! There potatoes are heavenly, I’ve never tasted anything like them!! 😀  In Paris, we saw Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, The Palace of Versailles, The Louvre, and the musee d’orsay. Again, there may be more I am forgetting X)! I cannot name a favorite place though, because it was all just so stunning and breath-taking! It was lovely seeing my family too, although I have to admit I wanted to return home to Washington with them lol.   Now that spring break has been over for a week, I am starting to accept that I must return back to the routine of schoolwork.  Just a couple more papers and then exams in May and I will be done.  I feel like my time here in Scotland is just flying by!! This weekend coming up is the IFSA-Butler trip to the Isle of Skye! I cannot wait, because I’ve heard from many people that Skye is absolutely stunning; keeping my fingers crossed for decent weather.  I am sure this trip will be just as memorable as the Argyll trip, if not more! :)  The reason it has taken me so long to post this, is because I have been ill with tonsilitis and pharyngitis; very fun lol!

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SPRING BREAK :D

Time March 28th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hooray!! Spring break is just a couple of days away!!! This will be the most exciting spring break I have ever had.  On Thursday I will be leaving for London, the best part is that my family is flying over from the states to meet me there!! 😀  We will spend a couple of days in London and then spend the rest of our time in Paris!! I haven’t been to either place, so it will be a new experience to the max. :) I have gotten my major work done for school so I won’t have to worry about much over break! It’s especially nice that I have all my major work done, because now I can focus on enjoying the lovely weather in the days before I go on spring break vacation. Except…I got sun-burnt yesterday lol.  I am really excited about seeing my family, I miss them so much! I think this trip will be great, because I am getting to explore more of Europe, plus I get to see the people I love; how much better can it get? Well….it would be so much better if I could have my cat here with me in Scotland lol. Today is laundry day, and tomorrow is classes, then flying to London!! :)  Hope everyone else is enjoying their spring break or has exciting plans, and has safe travels!! :)

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Argyll Adventure Weekend

Time March 16th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

The weekend of 3/9/12-3/11/12, the IFSA Butler program students went on a trip to the Argyll Forest.  This included the IFSA-Butler students from Stirling, St. Andrews, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and the Glasgow Art School (Hopefully I did not forget anyone).  Everyone from our cozy Stirling group was able to attend!  J  We left our University at about 2:00 pm on Friday and travelled to pick up the Glasgow students.  Once we picked them up, we had a total of 15 people on our bus.  We had so much extra room for activities lol.

Our final destination was Benmore Outdoor Education Center in the Argyll Forest.  In order to get there, we had to ride a ferry across a river.  To be more specific, the bus drove onto a VERY small loading dock ferry, and then the ferry drove us over on the bus, it was truly a frightening experience, but obviously, we survived.  The Benmore Outdoor Education center is amazing! We stayed in a castle-hostel!  We had multiple activities we could have chosen from, but we could only pick two.  The choices ranged from Gorge Scrambling to Kayaking to Mountain Biking and many more! Due to my knee limitations, I chose Hiking and Kayaking!

We were put into groups according to what activities we were doing and I was in Group 8.  The group consisted of seven girls, five of which were from the IFSA-Butler Stirling group, one from Edinburgh, and one from Glasgow!  Our activity leader, Angela, was so much fun!  She smuggled us hot chocolate and donuts from the kitchen for kayaking!  Our activities began on Saturday morning.  During our hike (our first activity), she introduced us to geo-caching.  You go online www.geocaching.com, you find coordinates for a hidden geo-cache, and then you go find it.  Once you find the geo-cache, you leave an item, and then you take an item.  I left a blue hair tie and took an Ariel figurine lol! After lunch, we went kayaking!  I have never been kayaking before, but it was so much fun!  Nobody tipped (thank goodness, and we all had a fabulous time!  After we finished kayaking, Angela asked if any of us wanted to go for a swim.  Of course, being the water baby I am, I said yes!  Two of the other girls joined me and so we started on the shoreline and just ran for the water.  I probably swam three strokes and then could not breathe.  Once we all got out of the water, we were freezing (of course), but I do not regret doing it lol.  We had dinner, and then were so exhausted that we pretty much all went to our room and passed out.

Sunday morning we were headed back to Stirling, but along the way, we stopped off at Loch Lomond.  J  We got some amazing pictures, and luckily, the sun came out for us!  After leaving the Loch, we dropped off the Glasgow students, and then continued on to Stirling.  Being back was nice, because it is lovely to have my own room, but I did miss the quiet of the Argyll Forest!  My advice is to go on ANY and ALL trips through your programs!

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My first week in Scotland!!

Time February 7th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

My first week in Scotland has been absolutely amazing!! :) I arrived at Glasgow airport on Thursday afternoon!  :)  I am staying with my grandparents for a week before I start at the University!  First things first though: The plane ride from Seattle, WA to Heathrow, London was about 9 hours (About 3 hours more than I found comfortable lol)!  I flew on British Airways and their food was DELICIOUS!!  😀  At the airport in Heathrow, I ate at a place called “The Giraffe” :)!!  I had a Farmer’s Vegetable Burrito, and a mango strawberry smoothie.  It was amazing food!!  So far, my stay with my grandparents has been amazing :)  I met my half-sisters for the first time and that was very exciting; lovely girls!!  :)  Cannot wait to see them again!  My family took me to see the Robert Burns museum in Ayr….to be honest it was not nearly as exciting as I thought it would be, my grandparents (who live in Ayr), weren’t impressed either lol; at least it was free that day!  :)  Today I went shopping with my Granny for groceries and I was stunned at some of the prices.  I was aware that it was more expensive here, but some items are absolutely ridiculously priced lol.  There were definitely great deals at Asda though; Asda is like a Wal-Mart just not as large.  I bought candies, fruit, and tea :)  YUM!  Lol I also picked out some juices that we do not have in the states!!!  😀  (I am a bit of a juice-fanatic) lol. Yesterday my Granny and I went for a look about town and I love all the little shops!!  Friday(February 3rd), my grandparents drove me to Stirling so I could visit the campus!! The campus is absolutley gorgeous and very easy to navigate! There are swans in the water, you can see the wallace monument from my floor’s kitchen, and you can see Stirling Castle from the campus!  Orientation starts tomorrow (February 8th), in Edinburgh! I can’t wait to meet everyone and to start school!!

Cheers!

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13 MORE DAYS

Time January 12th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | 2 Comments by

Only 13 days left until I board a plane to Scotland and begin my adventure!  I am feeling both extreme excitement and nervousness.  So here is what I am doing now, with only 2 weeks left!

  • Making sure all my medical stuff is taken care of
  • Thinking about starting to pack my suitcases
  • Making gifts to bring to my family in Scotland

In truth, I have not packed anything yet, and with just 13 days to go, I should probably start!  It seems to overwhelming when I think about it, so I keep putting it off.  Knowing me, I will probably start packing a week before I leave lol.  I am sure there are more things I am doing/or should be doing lol, but I am just too excited to remember them all right now.  Here are some things I am nervous about.

  • Leaving my cat
  • Leaving my family and friends
  • Being too shy when I get to Scotland
  • Getting lost while I am overseas
  • How different the classes will be run
  • The long plane ride

Not too many fears lol!  I really will miss my cat, he is my baby, and I will probably miss him more than he will miss me! X)  I tend to be an introvert, but I love meeting new people. I am hoping that when I am abroad, my introvert sort of disappears lol.  Now on to the best part; THE EXCITEMENT!

  • Visiting the castles
  • Experiencing cool little restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Making new friends
  • Meeting my family who lives in Scotland
  • Taking pictures
  • Learning about a different culture
  • Experiencing how the school system works over there
  • Using the University of Stirling’s pool, (I love swimming!!)
  • Meeting the other people I will be living with!! (I’ve talked with them via Facebook, and they seem lovely)
  • Having the first big adventure of my life!!

Photography is one of my favorite hobbies in the world.  I do not do nearly as much as I would like, so this trip will be the perfect opportunity for picture taking!! J I love my home University, Saint Martin’s University, but unfortunately, we do not have a pool. Hence the reason I am stoked for using the University of Stirling’s pool.  Swimming is one of my favorite extra-curricular activities.  If I am lucky, I will acquire a swim buddy!  This will be my first time traveling outside the United States, and my first time being away from my family for an extended period of time!! The challenges I will face will be many, but I am excited to take them head on!! J  I cannot wait until I step onto that plane on the 25th!! I hope that everyone who has studied abroad, or is planning to, is/was as excited as I am!!!!

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