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

Holidazzle in Edinburgh

It’s that time of the year again – THANKSGIVING! Normally, I’d be spending it with my beloved extended family, enjoying a dinner prepared by all parties.We also, shortly after, then celebrate at the annual Hmong New Year River Centre event in Minneapolis held every year the day after Thanksgiving. Depending on what sort of deals are around on Black Friday, I’m also usually fervently waiting in the cold to snag a good purchase in anticipation for Christmas. Though I can’t partake in such festivities now, I’ve been met with some wonderful opportunities to enjoy the holidays here.

I just came back today from a great Thanksgiving event hosted by IFSA-Butler Scotland: at their office, they provided us with delicious, catered food as a little Thanksgiving dinner get-together. We had apple/turkey pie, apple pie, pecan pie, couscous, caeser salad… just a wide range of yummy food! Even better: they all generously gave us a goodie bag full of ingredients to make pumpkin pie! Without question, I ate heartily for the first time in a while. Maybe not quite the same as Thanksgiving with the family, but it was certainly an appreciative gesture of the office to extend an invitation out! It reminded me that although I’m out here studying abroad away from friends and family, so are all of these other students. It was refreshing to be able to sit down and talk about what all of us would normally be doing this time of year with people who were in similar situations as myself.

The city of Edinburgh during this time of year is also packed full of gleeful opportunities for fun! Every year, Princes street is crowded with kids, teens and parents who are all dressed up in cozy coats and animal hats, sipping hot drinks and looking in awe at Edinburgh’s beautiful sights. There is a ferris wheel that gets set up near the Scott Monument, along with an ice-skating rink, an attraction called the Star Flyer, as well as a merry-go-round carousel. In addition, little shops for toys and candy, chocolate, hats and mittens are all set up; the best part? There are bright, lovely Christmas lights all around! Though I won’t be spending Christmas here, I felt some terrific holiday cheer as I weaved my way through the crowds to look at the dazzling attractions. Here are just a few of the pictures from the beautiful sights as I think about home in Scotland:

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Amidst all of the season attitude, what I’m missing most right now is food – and in partifcular, my mom’s cooking! Around this time, I usually enjoy voluptuous portions of food without rest… (and usually I would regret it a little) but certainly I can’t wait to get back home to enjoy traditional Hmong food, more than anything! Rest assured, once I get back, I have a list of foods that I will be enjoying when I get back!



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