This summer I traveled to Scotland with a group of fellow students and faculty from UTC to learn about the complex Scottish geology. Prior to the trip, I put a lot of thought into what I expected to learn, see, do, and experience in Scotland. Nevertheless, my expectations were exceeded and I enjoyed every second of being there.
Me and one of the people on the trip had booked our flights together to and from Scotland, which was a great idea because it really helped with the nerves of traveling across the world. As we arrived in Edinburgh on the first day, I was amazed by the change of geology, culture, diversity, architecture, food choices, and much more. We stayed in so many different hostels throughout the trip, so there were many great opportunities to learn and see new things.
My favorite part about the trip was being surrounded by a great group of people while exploring what felt like an entire new world. We hiked to the top of volcanoes, mountains, and to geologically significant locations. Each significant location we stopped at was accompanied by a student presentation on the geology of each area. These presentations were a perfect way to increase everyone’s interest in the nature that surrounded us.
Our group traveled all over Scotland throughout our trip. We stayed at some locations longer than others, but this was because we had a busy schedule to keep and many more places to see. This ultimately allowed us to see amazing places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Arran, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Glen Roy, Glen Coe, Balmaha, etc. If I were to go on this trip myself, it wouldn’t have been easy to manage this many activities/destinations. This is why I was thankful for such a kind and organized ISA member with us on the trip.
As a result of 2023 graduation, some of my classmates/friends in this group were having to part ways with professors and people they wouldn’t see again. Initially, I was sad about everyone leaving, but I learned to instead appreciate the time we all had together. We shared many laughs and experiences and it brought the entire group closer together. Furthermore, this trip also caused me to go out of my comfort zone numerous times. An example of this is when a group of us swam in the freezing cold water at Cuillin Hills. There was a myth/legend surrounding many of the abnormal things we did, including this one. Swimming in the “fairy pools” is supposed to make us all healthier and more attractive. Earlier that morning, the whole group also dipped their face in river water for the same reason.
Overall, this experience was one I didn’t realize I needed. I was continuously fascinated by the new things I was seeing and experiencing. My knowledge of Geology was expanded and my mind was opened to many new ways of living on and seeing the Earth. There was a true sense of community in Scotland, and everyone there was more than interested to hear your story.
Dakota Bell (BS Geology) spent part of July 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Scotland with the Geology department. Dakota had the following to say about studying abroad, “As long as you are interested in your study abroad country, you will love it!”
Share this post: