Attending college is not just about gaining knowledge in the classroom; it’s about creating lifelong memories and embracing transformative experiences. As a geology major at UTC, I had the privilege of developing close relationships with faculty members and fellow students. However, it was my decision to embark on a study abroad program in Scotland that truly deepened those connections and opened my eyes to the wonders of the world.
Upon landing in Edinburgh after an exhausting day of travel, I was immediately revitalized by the vibrant atmosphere that enveloped the city. The blend of tourists and locals brought a sense of liveliness to the streets, while the architectural marvels that stood before me were nothing short of awe-inspiring. To think that many of these buildings were constructed long before the United States gained independence was a humbling experience that made me appreciate the rich history of Scotland even more. The hospitality of the Scottish people further added to the charm of the city. Their genuine curiosity about our origins and eagerness to engage in conversations about our home state of Tennessee made us feel welcome and connected.
While exploring Edinburgh and Glasgow provided endless excitement, it was the forays into the less populated regions of Scotland that left an indelible mark on my study abroad journey. Venturing to places like Inchnadamph and the Isle of Skye allowed me to witness the true essence of Scotland’s natural beauty. The rugged landscapes, breathtaking mountains, and pristine lochs painted a picture-perfect scene that seemed straight out of a postcard. Each stop on our itinerary revealed unique characteristics, showcasing the diversity of Scotland’s countryside and the profound sense of history that permeated every nook and cranny.
In Inchnadamph, nestled within the dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, I was captivated by the magnificence of the ancient rock formations. Exploring the region, I traced the footsteps of geological pioneers who had made groundbreaking discoveries in the area. From towering cliffs to hidden caves, every corner revealed a new marvel of nature’s craftsmanship. As a geology major, this immersive experience allowed me to connect theory with practice, bringing textbook concepts to life and deepening my understanding of the Earth’s geological processes.
Another highlight of my study abroad journey was the exploration of the Isle of Skye. Known for its mystical landscapes and rugged beauty, the island presented a breathtaking tapestry of mountains, waterfalls, and sea cliffs. I hiked through the enchanting Fairy Glen, a place shrouded in folklore and legend. The jagged peaks of the Cuillin Mountains stood as a testament to the forces of nature that have shaped the land over millions of years. Each step I took on the island felt like a pilgrimage, uncovering the secrets of geological history and leaving an indelible imprint on my soul.
Beyond the geological wonders, studying abroad in Scotland was also an opportunity to immerse myself in the rich tapestry of Scottish culture. From the haunting melodies of traditional bagpipe music to the lively atmosphere of gaelic dances, I was swept up in the vibrant traditions that define Scottish identity. Engaging with locals and hearing their stories, I gained insights into the history, customs, and folklore that have shaped Scotland’s heritage. Sampling traditional dishes like haggis and Scotch whisky became a culinary adventure, as I discovered the unique flavors and craftsmanship deeply rooted in Scottish culinary traditions.
Studying abroad in Scotland was an adventure that forever changed my perspective. It fostered personal growth, expanded my cultural understanding, and solidified my passion for geology. The memories I made and the experiences I had will forever hold a special place in my heart, reminding me of the transformative power of studying abroad. Scotland, with its rich heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted people, will forever occupy a cherished space in my life’s narrative, inspiring me to embrace new experiences, pursue a global perspective, and continue exploring the wonders of the world.
Caden Powers (BS Geology) spent part of July 2023 participating in a faculty-led trip to Scotland with the Geology department. Caden had the following to say about studying abroad, “Being able to study abroad was a truly life changing experience. The exposure to so many new things has changed my perspective on how I live here in the states. I would like to express my many thanks to UTC Study Abroad, UTC BGE, and The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for giving me this amazing opportunity. Traveling to Scotland has given me so many memories and has also given me a group of lifelong friends.“
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