Scotland is everything I thought it would be and more. When I first arrived, all of my roommates were already there and unpacked. Initially I just wanted to be left alone to adjust and recover from my 28 hour journey; however it is really important when you first arrive and are trying to adjust to being so far away, especially when it is for so long (over 10 months), to spend time with people who feel exactly the same as you do. Going out as a group to shop for groceries was a good way to get acquainted.
It didn’t take long for me to adjust to the mud, although the humidity is still quite difficult. The university structure is very similar to Flinders with recorded lectures and compulsory seminars. The university is very international and most of the students in my classes are international students which has made it difficult to meet Scottish nationals but I’m sure that will change over time. During the first week, between classes, two of my roommates and I ventured into town to check out the shopping and nightlife of the city. Although the city is quite small, it has everything you need.
So far, we have been travelling every weekend. On the weekend after we arrived we took a day trip in Edinburgh. The amount of history wherever you turn in the city is astounding (and it is a Harry Potter fans dream come true). The following weekend we went on a Highlands tour run by Heartland Travel. I already know that this three day tour will be a highlight of my exchange. The tour takes you to the Isle of Skye, the Harry Potter Bridge and Loch Ness just to name a few and is really worth the time and money if you’re interested in seeing the Scottish Highlands without going to the trouble of hiring a car, booking accommodation and planning a trip.
Last weekend my two flatmates, our friends from another flat and I went to Glasgow. It is more spread out than Edinburgh and more of a centre for shopping and partying as opposed to history, but nonetheless, still an interesting place to visit if you plan out what you want to do carefully.
This weekend three of my friends from another flat and I are planning to take a day trip up to Aberdeen. I’m really excited as I’m not sure what to expect, but I am sure it will be great. The other night my roommates and I also booked a trip to go to London during our ‘Reading Week’ for four days. It’s really exciting and having things to look forward to, are a really good motivator if uni or homesickness is getting you down.
Courtney Davis, Bachelor of Arts student, Semester 2 2017 exchange at University of Stirling, the United Kingdom
Check Courtney’s first blog post here