Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

The Cat’s Out of the Bagpipe

It’s only a few short days until I depart for Scotland, so needless to say I am equally psyched and terrified. As I begin to pack all of my belongings (that sounds more civilized than the frantic shoving of clothes into suitcases that will ensue shortly), amidst the deliberations of whether I really need all those pairs of jeans, I wonder how I will change this semester. I have never travelled to another country without my family, and know almost no one going through IFSA-Butler/currently in Scotland. Will I have the Scottish adventure of a lifetime? Will I spend the next 5 months sitting alone on a heath eating haggis? Only time will tell. Regardless, I don’t want to be pant-less doing either, so I’ll probably pack all those pairs of jeans.

One of the biggest questions currently casting shadows across my packing is the sun, literally. Scotland is so far north that there’s much less sunlight than I’m accustomed to during the winter: only about 7 hours a day presently. This is a big difference from the 9.5 at home in Philadelphia. Additionally, various guidebooks/internet sources inform me that with all of the clouds and rain so ubiquitous in Scottish forecasts, the meager 7 hours often feels like even less. Nothing makes me want to stay in bed more in the morning than waking up in the cold and dark; will getting up for classes everyday be a drag? How about walking home at 5pm through the chilly night air? At least I don’t have to pack sunscreen.

Additionally, as a vegetarian, the traditional Scottish delicacies of varying sausages, mincemeat, and haggis are not quite my style. How hard is it to come by fresh fruit and veggies? I don’t want to start out my travels by already having beef with the Scots. Hopefully I can come across some produce without too much difficulty.

I’ll keep you posted as I depart to this kilted northern region of the globe!

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