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

Post Script: Homestay

Time July 6th, 2017 in 2017 Spring, Scotland | No Comments by

Since my laptop has crashed, taking the footage from the semester with it, my final final anecdote will have to be told the old fashioned way: written word.

Like all other abroad students, I participated in a three-day long homestay. My host parents were named David and Susan. They lived in an old-fashioned farmhouse in Stirling, Scotland. Their quaint and beautifully curated home sitting on green farmland surrounded by gardens, was sort of the pinnacle of what I pictured country-living in Scotland would be before I left. Susan and David were talkative and welcoming; they introduced us to traditional Scottish meals (including haggis, neeps and tatties – duhlish), gave us a tour of different sites (including Stirling Castle, The Kelpies, and the amazing Falkirk Wheel) and poured us cup after cup of tea over stories about previous exchange students they had hosted, and comparing common practices and products between the U.K. and the U.S.

The moments that I really cherished were ones that were very, for lack of a better word, human. They were experiences one can only encounter through coexisting within a group, rather than ones planned on an itinerary. For example, Susan had a persistent cough that I at first thought might be the result of smoking, but unlike the tobacco scent of my grandfather’s house, hers smelled like rain and clean tile. She apologized for it on the third day, explaining that she was prone to throat infections as a result of being quote, “allergic to children.” I laughed when she said this – she did not. I thought that an odd diagnosis considering not only had she and David hosted approximately 150 other exchange students over the years, but was also a primary school teacher. In another instance, Susan’s car engine had to be jumped when we were leaving the Falkirk Wheel. She was apologetic, embarrassed even, and insisted that the two other students and I continue to wander the grounds and entertain ourselves while she tended to the engine. We did for a short while, then returned to help with the car. I really enjoyed these episodes. They were familiar; reminiscent of charmingly idiosyncratic exchanges when traveling with one’s family. Of course, I also loved sitting on plush chairs in front of a fire place, playing board games. Susan and David were extremely lovely all around, providing comfort and warmth.

I continue to recall my experiences abroad almost daily. I miss Scotland very much, and hope to return soon.

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My First Week

Time January 23rd, 2017 in 2017 Spring, Scotland | No Comments by

My first week abroad was mixed with so many different emotions! I honestly think that I felt every emotion possible this week. I was excited to move into my dorm and see how everything was set up. I was surprised to see that I had my own bathroom and shower right in my room! I was so happy to finally unpack my bags! Living out of a suitcase was really  drag and it was starting to get to me.

The day after I moved in I got to meet my flatmates. I was very nervous about this because I really hoped that I would like them all. I was so delighted because all of my flatmates were wonderful! It was amazing how all of us just clicked and instantly got along! One of my biggest fears before studying abroad was that I would not get along with my flatmates. Luckily, all of my concerns went away after meeting them! I must say that I feel lucky to have been placed in such a wonderful flat with amazing people.

Unfortunately, on Sunday night I started to feel regret. I began to feel as if I had made the wrong decision to study abroad. I kept thinking that it would just be easier if I was home in my usual routine. I could be at home with my family and friends enjoying life the way it was. I was feeling so down that I even looked up how much it would cost to fly home. I had only been in Scotland a few days and I was already missing home. Even though everything was going right, I felt that my decision to leave was wrong. I went through this inner struggle most of the day on Sunday. Then I was watching the sunset and my feelings started to change. I was walking outside and the sunset had been perfectly placed behind a tree. The branches were lit up by the sun and in that moment I felt complete peace. I knew in my heart that studying abroad was the right thing to do. In my life I will never get to experience anything like this again! I felt a type of tranquility that I’ve never felt before. It was like something was telling me that I had nothing to worry about.

16114442_1351103798243184_1814365309122428851_n Here’s the image of the sunset behind the tree

Once I actually started classes my week started to get even better! I’ve always liked school and part of studying abroad is learn things that I may not learn any other way. In my classes I was even happier with my adventure whilst studying abroad! I felt that my life began to be structured which was missing from the trip so far. Now that things were starting to get settled I’m very happy with my decision to study abroad! Even though I struggled to be where I’m at now, it was worth it.

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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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