Intercultural

10 Things That Will Happen to You When You Study Abroad in Scotland

Allyssa Acevedo is a student at Montclaire State University and was an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Stirling, Scottland.

Since I began studying in Stirling, Scotland over a month ago, the new experiences and learning have been non-stop. There are so many things to take in and process upon arriving (and studying) in a different country, and it can be overwhelming at times, but trust me- it is all part of the fun. Here are 10 things that will happen to you when you study abroad in Scotland!

1.) You will find yourself hearing (and eventually saying) “cheers” every day, in various different situations.

First things first, in Ireland and Great Britain, people LOVE to say “cheers”. You will hear it, and maybe even decide to use it every day, because here it means thank you! Why settle for thanks when you can say “cheers!”

2.) You will try something haggis flavored, if not haggis itself, because come on, you’re in Scotland!

Here in Scotland, haggis is almost everywhere. If the idea of eating a sheep’s stomach doesn’t necessarily appeal to you- don’t you worry! There are haggis flavored crisps  (or chips if you’re from the U.S.) called Mackie’s of Scotland that give you a taste without eating the meat! (For all of my vegetarian and vegan friends, the crisps are animal produce free, so you can give them a try too!) While in Scotland, eat as the Scots do, right?

3.) You will discover or rekindle a love for nature and/or hiking.

Upon arriving in Scotland, you are sure to notice the beautiful hills, lochs and mountains all around. Especially if you come from somewhere where this isn’t the norm, it is truly incredible. Being surrounded by such beauty and nature will awaken something in you, perhaps your hiking and nature loving inner self, and you may feel compelled to buy a new pair of hiking boots and set off on an adventure! Go with it. You won’t regret it!

4.) You will try Irn-Bru- THE most unique and Scottish soda.

You will find that all around you, people are drinking this orange liquid from cans and bottles. What in the world is that, you ask? Its Irn-Bru! The most Scottish drink to ever exist. It is a soda that has been brewed in Scotland since 1901 with an extremely unique and indescribable taste. You will buy it and try it. It’s inevitable.

5.) You will begin to decipher the Scottish accent with some help from professors, classmates and new friends!

If you weren’t really familiar with the Scottish accent and lingo before arriving in Scotland, you will be. It is filled with ayes and wees and other fun words that may not make immediate sense to you, but don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!

6.) You will find yourself noticing and appreciating Scotland’s history more than ever before. 

Scotland is overflowing with history. There are monuments, castles, museums, old buildings and so much more that are just incredible. It’s impossible to ignore and you’ll love it.

7.)  You will rediscover the beauty of public transportation.

Public transportation is KEY here, and also extremely efficient. You may not need it so much in the states (depending on where you’re from), but here you will fall in love with the accessibility.

8.) You will find yourself a part of an international friend circle. 

Part of the beauty of Europe is how close all of these different countries and cultures are. Even just living at university you will find yourself surrounded by people from all over the globe! It is an amazing way to learn about the world and yourself too.

9.) You will definitely get your exercise in from all the walking (or biking).

In Scotland, getting from place to place can require a lot of walking, (or biking if you’re feeling daring!) and sometimes public transportation too. Your legs may not be used to it at first, but exercise is always good.

10.) You will never want to leave. 

Once you get used to living in Scotland, it will feel like your second home and this can make the idea of leaving seem like the worst. But don’t fret. This experience will never leave you.

The world awaits…discover it.

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