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

En Route to Edinburgh

This was my first time solo navigating via airplane–and if that wasn’t stressful enough, this was also my first time going abroad at all.

I had been saying my goodbyes to my dear ones for the last few weeks and felt pretty confident about going by myself. On the day of my flight, I woke up bright and early, double-checked, then triple-checked that I had all my things that I needed to pack (lo and behold, when I arrived here I realized I had forgotten my towel and my stuffed Moogle…). I stuffed my warm winter clothes and other necessities in a tall, internal-frame backpack. I carried the rest of my normal everyday clothes in a carry-on, while shouldering a personal bag with all my papers that I’d need for customs.

Breakfast of champions before leaving to Scotland. Courtesy of my generous boyfriend!


I was both reluctant and ecstatic to finally be leaving … but I know not many people were enthusiastic about my departure. My mother called me relentlessly, thoroughly  reiterating reminders and expressing her dozens of concerns. My friends called to wish me a safe trip and the best of luck on my navigation skills (as they are pretty poor). But I think the most excruciating farewell came from my significant other. He had agreed to drop me off at the airport. Though this was a grand opportunity to go abroad, there was an opportunity cost. We had talked about it extensively, and he had vehemently refused to be an obstacle in my desire to study abroad.

Before entering the airport, we embraced each other in the bittersweet moment before I promised  that I’d come back.

When I finally pulled away, I lugged my baggage through the Minneapolis Airport. I was probably three hours early so I had nothing to worry about. I checked one bag in and was well on my way through TSA; woohoo. I had a three hour layover in Chicago before going to London, then Edinburgh. Fortunately, my first couple of flights went fine. However, (and I’m not sure how I missed this before) I had about an hour to get through UK customs… so naturally I miss my flight from London to Edinburgh. I’m lucky to have buddied up with someone who was also travelling abroad for the first time. He and I stuck through the tedious procedures before I buddied up again with a fellow IFSA-Butler student. Upon arrival in Edinburgh, we grabbed our luggage in a hurry and hopped on a bus to the City Centre before finally arriving at the Apex International Hotel for our IFSA-Butler orientation.

View from the hotel. What a lovely cloudy day, eh?


Needless to say, sleep came to me relatively early after that 30-some hour adventure to get to Scotland. I was happy to finally reach my destination albeit the paranoia of flight and TSA!


One Response to “En Route to Edinburgh”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Sandy, it sounds like you’ve already got some “meeting fellow travelers and figuring it out together” skills. Those will serve you well in Scotland, and will open doors to meeting the most fascinating people! Good luck, can’t wait to read about your journey!!

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