Study abroad brings new experiences

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of columns by students studying abroad.

This past weekend, some friends and I drove up to Scotland. Yes, that’s correct, a bunch of Americans (and one Aussie) drove on the left side of the road to Scotland.

Note: the driving on the left isn’t a big accomplishment for the Aussie, and I was sure to remind him of that while the rest of us thought we were so cool (he tried to brag).


While sitting in the left side passenger seat of the black-one-hubcap-missing-barely-fitting-five-people Vauxhall may not seem overly comfortable, I don’t really recall complaining about the lack of personal space often (though it did happen occasionally – I am human, after all). I reckon that it’s because of what I was seeing outside of those little windows.

This is going to make me sound like a complete toff (British for an idiot with their nose in the air), but I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit. I’ve been to beautiful places like Hawaii, Yosemite in California, and the ever-wondrous Quetico Provincial Park in Canada (look it up, it’s gorgeous), but I have never seen anything quite like the British countryside – especially Scotland.

I can’t even do it justice with these meager words. It’s so beautiful – more so than a painting – the rolling hills through Oxfordshire and beyond, the cascades of the Scottish mountains dotted with heaps of sheep, the castles that you can easily spot as you maneuver around that bend in the road. None of it seems real; it’s that picturesque. Can you imagine driving through that? Because I did and yet, here I sit, still in awe. I honestly have fallen in love with the British countryside.

At the end of all of this talk about my road trip, here’s my shameless plug for study abroad: you’re in a new place, so you get to learn all about the culture and gain new experiences. And with that, comes the obvious bonus of getting to see amazing, breath-taking places.

I live on the 17th floor of a building, get a brilliant view of London every morning (now who’s bragging?), and get a completely different experience every day. I, for one, can’t complain.


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