Greetings from across the pond!
Sorry for the long space between posts, since I last wrote I have officially arrived in Scotland, moved into my flat, and made it through my first two weeks of classes. In an attempt to make some sense of the fantastic chaos of the past few weeks I’m going to list my salient pros and cons of Scotland to this point:
Pro: Edinburgh is the perfect size city for a semester
I spent a good deal of time debating whether to study abroad in Edinburgh or London, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice (no offense, London.) Edinburgh is small enough for comfortable navigation of the city, yet large enough that I feel I can explore it for months. Also, the population of the city and especially the University is impressively international: I’m currently sharing a flat with an English and Norwegian student.
Con: Holy smokes
The Scots smoke like chimneys! On my first day of class the professor interrupted a two-hour lecture 45 minutes in to ask if anyone wanted to take a cigarette break. While this has not happened in any of my classes since, once was enough to make an impression.
Pro: KILTS. EVERYWHERE.
And no, wearing a skirt does not emasculate a man. Rather, the hottest Scots wear kilts!
Yep, the medieval culinary delicacy is still going strong. What’s more, the Scottish have gotten creative in their usage of haggis in recent years. Since arriving I’ve seen haggis-topped pizza, haggis flavored potato chips (or “crisps” as they say in the UK), haggis-stuff ravioli, and a plethora of other innovative cuisine that I do my best to avoid.
A Gaelic word pronounced “kay-lees,” (no, I have 0 idea how “cèilidh” could possibly = kay-lee) a cèilidh is a traditional Scottish dance that’s something akin to American square dancing, but SO MUCH MORE FUN. Cèilidhs are held regularly and tons of young people actually go! (When was the last time you went square dancing on a Friday night in the States…?) I attended one last Friday held in honor of Burns Night, a Scottish holiday honoring Robert Burns. Words can hardly do justice to this fantastic practice, so I posted videos as well!
Pun credit to Lauren Clement, fellow IFSA traveler