My study abroad experience was in Edinburgh, Scotland. Initially I chose Edinburgh because of my own heritage and the rich history I knew the city held. Needless to say, my time in Scotland was a very eye opening, challenging and exciting time. See I have Muscular Dystrophy which gives me major mobility issues. Knowing that Edinburgh was an old city meant plenty of cobblestone and old flights of stairs. Not to mention I would be relying on public transportation and the help of strangers. The first month was very difficult due to the culture shock and feeling of isolation from not having friends there to begin with. After this though I realized that this city was incredibly friendly and all I had to do was put myself out there to learn this.
Part of the culture in Scotland is they do things at their own pace. As an American where everyone is constantly rushing and multitasking I found this rather frustrating. As time went on people continued to tell me “take your time”. This statement changed my perspective entirely. I see this “take your time” mentality as one of the best things I have been able to take away from this experience. And that is exactly what I did, being in Scotland there is so much beautiful architecture and landscapes that are really hard to truly take all in. Take your time, that is the only way to do it. It is really easy to miss things that are right in front of us and in return we aren’t getting as much out of an experience as we can. This way of life has made being back in America now rather shocking. Scotland also has so much more to offer than just their popular touristy city. I spent a large portion of my time abroad in the highlands of Scotland. Seeing beauty like that really changes the way you see beauty back home as well. Scotland was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing about my time abroad, nor my choice to go to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Fiona Cauley is majoring in Graphic Design. She spent a semester studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland through CISabroad. Fiona’s advice to future study abroad students, “take your time!”
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