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UP….UP…. AND YOU ARE IN THE HIGHLANDS

The ocean

Want to know the most beautiful place on planet earth? It is the Highlands of Scotland! Greenery surrounds you almost everywhere you look and the water is restless, but stunning.

Just a small glimpse into the beautiful Highlands

There is always a hanging mist in the Highlands in Scotland and I admit it is really cold here, but if you bundle up and brave the cold it is a sight worth seeing. We took a boat into the Highlands and I have never been on a cruise ship, but that is what I imagined it would look like. It was huge and luxurious with a cafe. I was able to relax for a little bit and enjoy the ocean. On this trip to the highlands we are visiting the Isle of Lewis and the Isle of Harris. There are many monuments here and the start of our journey in the highlands we went to the Butt of Lewis. You read that right. I said the Butt of Lewis (don’t google or you may get some weird images). It is the end of the Island of Lewis and there are cliffs high up that we got to look off and stare at the ocean. I stared at the sea gulls circle around trying to get the fish and there was a seal popping his head out of the water daring the sea gulls to come closer. The water crashed into the rocks angrily and the vastness of the ocean is enough to make the largest person feel small.

There was a lighthouse behind the cliffs and it was everything I imagined it would be. I felt at home here and never wanted to leave. But we made our way back to our Hostel for the night where nine of the girls in my class here all stay in a hostel room together. It was so much fun, it felt like a slumber party! The next morning we had class things to clear up, so we gave our speeches in the hostel. This trip has taught us all how to be flexible and roll with the punches! It has been a very fun experience seeing what our journey will bring us next. The second day we made our way to the Isle of Harris where we stopped at an old town where we learned how tweed blankets and scarves are made. It was interesting to watch and the people there were very kind. A nice man explained everything to us and left nothing but happy feelings in my heart. I will definitely be visiting that town again.

The mighty and powerful stones

Next, we made our way to the Calanais stones which were tall, mighty, and mysterious. These stones are mysterious and no one knows exactly why there are there. After the stones we made our way to the beach and at the beach I got to see a HIGHLAND COW (pronounced coo). If you have been following my blogs you know I am a farm girl and all I wanted this whole trip was to see a Highland cow and get a picture with it! I finally got it and my dreams have been fulfilled.

My baby Highland cow. I FINALLY GOT A PICTURE!!

We then made our way back to the hostel and all in all. The highlands were pretty amazing. As always, may adventure find you… even if it is so far north that it doesn’t get dark at night.


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

One of my favorite things to do while I have been in Edinburgh, Scotland is going to all the different coffee shops. I love coffee and there are numerous different coffee shops all over. Of course, there are some Starbucks, but even more unique, privately owned little shops. I have made it my mission to go to as many of these as possible and avoid Starbucks at all costs.

One thing I have noticed about coffee in Scotland is there isn’t much fufu coffee offered. It is primarily americanos, lattes, and cappuccinos. Adding flavors or making a triple white chocolate mocha latte with extra foam is not a thing. Each coffee shop has been different from the next, none being remotely the same. And the coffee (I always get a cappuccino) has been some of the best cappuccinos I have ever had in my life. I know that sounds very exaggerated, but I’m not even kidding. The foam on the cappuccinos is sweeter and they either add chocolate flakes on top or draw the pretty leaf in the foam. I’m still amazed how they do that and I get excited each time I see it.

I got a heart drawn in my cappuccino! I’m in love.
My eggs on toast at Press Coffee!

My favorite in all of Scotland is this little coffee shop on the corner named Press Coffee.  I pass this shop everyday on my way to class. The outside is a bright, royal blue that made me notice the small shop in the first place. The inside was painted a sunny, shining yellow with small circular coffee tables and little wooden chairs. Here I got my cappuccino with the leaf drawn on top and eggs on toast. Not only was it the best coffee I’ve ever had, but also the best eggs. Everything in Scotland has been so fresh and yummy. You can definitely tell the difference. The bread was thick slices of whole grain bread that had been homemade. I sat here for about an hour with my friend, both of us going on and on about how much we loved this place. It was a very cute, homey little shop that made me so happy. I left with a full tummy and happy mood. We went back a second time before we left and I got the same thing, except this time my cappuccino had a heart drawn in it!

 

There’s a leaf in my coffee!
This is me sipping on my heart shaped cappuccino. It was so good, I had to get a larger cup this time around.
This is the inside of Press Coffee. There are more tables on either side of the picture that you can’t see.
This is my cappuccino from Natural Food Kafe. You can see the chocolate flakes they add to the top. Almost looks like a toasted marshmallow.

Another place I went to was called Natural Foods Kafe. I went here with my fellow classmates to interview the cafe owner for one of my class projects. The owner was an older, hilarious guy. He had a sign posted outside his cafe that read “Eat here or we will both starve. -The Owner.” He was humorous and his cafe was warm and cozy, it felt almost like home. The cappuccino there was delicious just like every other place. The foam on top was sweeter than the foam on the top back home in the States.

Coffee cup from The Frigate in Ullapool. I was walking on the street right outside the cafe when I took this picture.

 

The third place I went to was a place named The Frigate, Ullapool. I got this coffee while waiting for the ferry in Ullapool to take us to the Isle of Lewis. The coffee shop was in a cute little town and inside was just as decadent. There were two walls lined with delicious looking pastries.  You could pick up as many as you want, put in a bag, and take it to the register to pay. Of course, here I got a cappuccino again (I really need to start branching out and trying something new). This coffee was yummy, even more so because it was very windy and cold on the coast. In America, getting a coffee to take home is called “to go” but in the UK it is called “take away.” It has been an adjustment to remember to say “take away” or else they look at you like “what are you talking about.”

My time in Scotland has been fun trying out all the cute little coffee shops scattered around. May your travels be safe and full of good coffee!

-Nicole Wilhelm


Nicole Wilhelm is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. Nicole is spending the month of July in many different cities in Scotland with the UMKC Honors College Program in Scotland. Nicole is involved in UMKC’s Campus Ambassadors, Swim and Dive Club, BHS Society, and Student Nursing Association.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

My First Week in Spain

During the first week of my study abroad trip in Spain we traveled! This was an amazing way to get to see so much of the country that I wouldn´t have been able to see otherwise.

On the first day, we flew into Madrid and landed in the morning. This was such an overwhelming feeling, getting off the plane into a giant airport where everything is in Spanish. Once we got to the hotel, we met our new friends and visited an art museum called El Prado. For dinner we ate at a restaurant that was in a supermarket. In the first two floors it was a supermarket with different shops for each type of food. As you got higher up there became actual restuarants. The food was AMAZING!

The next day, Tuesday, we traveled to Segovia. Segovia was my favorite city because it is very old and has a lot of history. In Segovia, we saw the Roman aqueduct where the Romans brought water from the mountains to the city. Also in Segovia, we saw the Real Alcazar, which was a castle by the royal families. The Real Alcazar had a moat for protection.

Also on Tuesday, we traveled to La Granja for lunch and see the gardens at the Royal Palace. The gardens were absolutely breathtaking and the fountains were gigantic!

On Thursday, the group can on a tour of Seville and we saw all the consulates of other countries like the United States, Mexico and Argentina. In the end, the guide showed us the Spanish consulate. The consolidate of Spain was very beautiful and there  were benches decorated by each province in Spain.


Emma Cleaveland is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Communications. Emma is spending the summer term abroad on the faculty-led UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Dancing Culture

Lots of updates to post in the near-distant future, but for now I’ll share the opportunity I had to see some Scottish Highland and Country dances. My Study Abroad group was required to visit several museums as part of our curriculum, and on Monday we went to our final one: the National Gallery of Scotland.

Country Dances in the Grassmarket

We stumbled upon some Croatian dancers right outside of the museum. Much to our surprise, there had been Scottish dancing performed right before and we narrowly missed it! A few girls and I decided that we would catch the dancers the next day at 2 p.m. in the Grassmarket.

After a workout at the gym (and a shower after that), Erika, Nicole and I headed towards the Grassmarket, a place where regular food dealings used to be held, similar to a modern-day farmer’s market. It is a more authentic area of the town. While many tourists like to visit the area, there are not very many crowds. It is full of pubs with a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere.

Highland Dances with Edinburgh Castle in the backgroun

We arrived about 10 minutes early and got a great view of the dancers. Many of the dances were country dances, not Highland dances. (Which means that I didn’t know most of them!) I did get to see them perform the Lilt, which is a dance that was performed by Highland women. I remembered performing the dance but I (sadly) didn’t know all of the moves to it.

Pumpkin Brown, the coffee shop I visited

I also had the opportunity to visit this little coffee shop! (And by opportunity I mean I wanted coffee and found the nearest shop to caffeinate me.) I started chatting with the manager and ended up interviewing her for an assignment for class. She was very charming and was more than happy to answer all of my questions. She didn’t even make me pay for the

A gluten-free chocolate raspberry bar and dairy-free hazelnut milk latte

]iced americano that I ordered! (I love the Scottish. They are very friendly, just like those people in my traditional Midwest encounters.) The shop was (wait for it) gluten free, vegan, dairy free, no refined sugar, 100% organic! I returned for a latte with hazelnut milk and a gluten free chocolate raspberry bar a different day. (Delicious!) It’s been very easy to eat gluten free here, which has been one less thing to worry about.


Emily McIntyre is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a Spanish minor. Emily is involved with several student organizations, including UMKC Enactus, which uses entrepreneurship to solve needs in the community. She’s looking forward to studying abroad this summer with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland, where she plans to explore more of her family heritage and country of origin.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Eat Up

This was one of the streets in Newport. On the left is one of the Scottish museums and on the right (which you can’t see) is a bunch of shops. The streets are all made of cobblestone, which you will find throughout all of Edinburgh.

I set aside the homework for the day and went out to go shopping with some friends in my study abroad group. After a few hours we all had worked up an appetite from all the money we had spent and the miles of walking probably had something to do with it too.

We found ourselves in a part of Scotland called Newtown, which had more expensive shops and glamorously dressed people. We stopped at this vegetarian place called Hendersons. It was a cafe, salad bar, and restaurant all wrapped into one. We decided to do some fine dining that night and sat in the restaurant portion of the building. This was the first sit down restaurant any of us had been to while in Scotland.

The restaurant had a kitschy, homey feeling about it. It was dimly lighted with a flame candle in the center of each table. There were also fresh daisies in a vase along with a silver bucket full of silverware. On the far edge of the table was a little wooden square that held the drink and dessert menu. The tables and chairs were wooden, some painted a soft, baby blue color and others left with its natural pine, wood color. On the wall across from where I was sitting, was a painting of people out on the farm. Overall, the restaurant had a warm, cozy feeling to it that allowed me to relax and forget about time.

Once my eyes adjusted to the dimmer lighting, I looked at the menu. It was short and sweet. I was skeptical at first of going to a vegetarian restaurant as I tend to associate vegetarians with eating weird vegetables. And from looking at the menu there were a lot of things I couldn’t pronounce or even knew what they were. One of the items on the menu was Hasselback Aubergines. We all looked at each other like, “what’s an aubergine?” We googled it and it turns out it’s just eggplant.

This was the entire food menu at Hendersons. There weren’t many options to choose from.

One of my friends was daring and ordered the Hasselback Aubergines and the waitress asked us if we knew what it was. We told her “eggplant! We googled it.” She laughed and thought it was funny and explained that a lot of people come in asking what it is.

I decided on the Lasagna of the Day (which was vegetable lasagne) with potato wedges and green salad. I was starving and it was the only item on the menu I could fully pronounce and sounded safe, so I went for it.

This was my vegetable lasagna, salad, and potato wedges. So far I have found that Scotland’s salads don’t have dressing on them nor offer a dressing.

When the food arrived my mouth was watering. My plate was full of delicious looking food. A fresh, crisp salad on one side. Two giant potato wedges on the other. And a nice, big rectangular piece of lasagne. I dove in and took a big bite of my vegetable lasagne and boy was it good. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in it since I couldn’t see much in the dim lighting, nor did I want to look close enough because if I saw a weird looking vegetable I would freak myself out.  So I blissfully and blindly ate my enormous plate of delicious food until I couldn’t eat anymore.

When everyone’s plate was clear the waitress came back and asked us all if we would like dessert. We all eagerly nodded our heads yes. The dessert in Scotland, I’m finding, is just too good to pass up. I got their blackberry pie and it was yummy. It was just the right amount of sweetness and the crust was soft, just how I like it.

This pie was deliciously sweet! The strawberry jam on the side was out of this world.

When we were done we got up from the table and went into the salad bar portion of the building where we had to pay. It was right next to the restaurant, just up a few small steps. There the waitress split up the check by asking us what items we would like to pay for and that was it.

There were quite a few differences I noticed in Scotland’s sit down restaurant than in the United States’. First, the atmosphere was calming and there wasn’t the feeling of being rushed to get us our food and get us out and on our merry way. I felt like I could have sat down there forever and no one would have minded. There was no rush or hurry in the service either. It was like everything was at a slower pace so you could enjoy your time in peace. Also, the waitress didn’t come to the table every five minutes checking to see if we needed anything else. The only times we saw her was when ordering drinks, to order food, once to see how everything was (when we all had finished), and ask about dessert.

If I was in the States eating at this restaurant, most would consider it poor service. The waitress hardly came by, the water wasn’t refilled and so on. Being a waitress myself, I know what Americans expect when eating out, and this was not it. We tend to always want the waitress in sight, glasses filled to the top, prompt delivery, etc. However, it was nice to not have the waitress around so often.  I got lost in time just talking, hanging out with friends, and enjoying great food. There was no rush and expectations from the waitress and it was refreshing.

Also, paying was at our own leisure. When we were ready, we got up to go pay instead of waiting for the checks to be delivered, swiped and returned. There also wasn’t any spot for a tip nor was a tip “required.” By the cash register, there was a small vase for tips that looked like would go to everyone and not just that one waitress you had. I felt like nothing was expected, you could enjoy your time and everyone was very kind.

I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Hendersons and it is one of my favorite places I have eaten so far; I would definitely go back. Likewise, I loved how the service wasn’t rushed as I felt I enjoyed my time dining out much better.

I encourage you to go to a sit-down restaurant and try a new food you would never have tried before. Happy eating!

-Nicole Wilhelm


Nicole Wilhelm is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. Nicole is spending the month of July in many different cities in Scotland with the UMKC Honors College Program in Scotland. Nicole is involved in UMKC’s Campus Ambassadors, Swim and Dive Club, BHS Society, and Student Nursing Association.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

The mighty and powerful…. Ocean!

I am a little ol’ farm girl as I have said before. I had never been anywhere before this trip and that includes the ocean unfortunately. But I finally got to see the Ocean last week!!! Let me tell you I have never seen anything more beautiful and powerful.

The beautiful ocean!

I was immediately captivated and in love with the ocean. It was cold out and the water was dark, but I was still in love and I have made myself a promise to save all of my money and go to a warmer beach next summer! My classmates and I walked around the beach collecting rocks, shells, and memories. We laughed as many of us had to climb or rocks to get close to the ocean and quite a few of us fell a few times (I may or may not be the person who fell repeatedly, but we won’t talk about that). One of my classmates found a dead jellyfish on the beach that must have gotten stuck when the tide rose up and couldn’t escape when the tide went back down.

The poor jellyfish we found.

We were also had the most perfect view of a castle ruin in the background of our ocean adventure and what made the ocean experience even more fun was the people I was experiencing it with. My classmates are so supportive and sweet. They make every adventure fun and worth it.

The castle ruins.

I am very grateful I get to experience some of these amazing “firsts” of my life with them. A few of us sat on a rock for a while and just enjoyed the amazing view of the ocean in front of us. The air was a little crisp, but we didn’t care. We watched the amazing power of ocean waves crashing into the rocks and felt how truly small we are and how beautiful the world is. If you are in need of a humbling experience go to the ocean and just stare at how large it is. It makes you feels so small and your troubles even smaller. I hope all of you get to see the ocean someday and get to adventure the world with some amazing people like I do. Good luck and may adventure find you… and may it help you find yourself.


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

“Do You Fancy a Cuppa?”

Some of the most pleasant surprises can be found in the strangest places. In this case, a couple friends and I discovered Forsyth’s Tea Room hidden in a narrow alleyway between The Wee Gift Shop and a pharmacy on The Royal Mile, a road with Edinburgh Castle on one end and Holyrood Palace on the other. I would have walked right past it if I had not earlier read a review online mentioning the alley. When we entered the small teashop, the charming owner, an older woman in an apron behind the counter, warmly greeted us and the gracious host showed us to a table. The intricate carpet, patterned tablecloths, teacup-lined walls, and beautiful decorations made the narrow room of brick and stone walls exceptionally cozy.

 

Charming decorations at Forsyth’s Tea Room

Deciding against the full all-day breakfasts and “Traditional Afternoon Tea,” which included both a sandwich and a large sultana scone served with butter, preserves, and whipped cream, I made my way to the counter to choose a lighter option. I learned later that afternoon tea was originally a mini meal meant to hold busy workers over before dinner was served at 8:00 PM, explaining why such hardy options made an appearance on the menu. With my mouth watering, I stood staring at the counter filled with every kind of sweet and light dish you could imagine—Dutch apple pie, carrot cake, lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, chocolate fudge cake, coffee walnut cake, toffee pecan pie, fruit cake, apricot pie, Scottish shortbread, cheese pasties, and traditional Scotch meat pies (just to name a few)—and tried to decide which one to have as a compliment to my tea.

After considering each of these bountiful options, I eventually decided to order the classic “Scottish Oaties,” a sweet biscuit (or “cookie” as we would refer to it in the U.S.) similar to the oatcakes (recipe here) available at almost every restaurant serving traditional Scottish dishes. Almost immediately after we returned to our table, the courteous host brought our pastries on a delicate platter with a teapot painted to look like a house with children peeking in the window. With the tea and desserts warming us from the chilly, damp weather outside, we had a very pleasant couple of hours just visiting around the table, slowly sipping from our exquisitely painted teacups.

Although the website reported that the teashop was casual, I felt just a bit underdressed in my capris and tennis shoes, however, the comforting atmosphere created by the lovely staff quickly made me forget my embarrassment. It also allowed us, as unfamiliar customers, to thoroughly enjoy our first experience participating in a traditional British afternoon tea. I like to drink tea every so often while at home, but this was the first time I had it served with milk alongside the sugar, and my first cup since I’ve been in one of the largest tea-drinking countries in the world! One of my friends, who much prefers coffee, was also able to enjoy a couple cups and the new experience. The combination of friendly service, delicious food, delightful decorations, and, most importantly, hot, strong tea made our first teatime especially memorable and an experience I just may have to repeat at least once while I’m here.

 


Kathryn Smith is a freshman at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in Psychology and Pre-Medicine, with the goal to become a psychiatrist. During the month of July, Kathryn is participating in the UMKC Honors College Program in Scotland.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Helado and Heat Strokes

Last week we toured the Alhambra, a palace and fortress located in Granada, Spain. Originally it served as a small fortress until the Moors renovated and rebuilt it in the 13th century. But after the Christian Reconquista of 1492 it became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella. The same Ferdinand and Isabella that endorsed Christopher Columbus! History is so cool.

In the gardens of the Alhambra

So our toured started at 3 in the afternoon, which is not only siesta time but also the hottest part of the day. The day we went, it was a whopping 109° Fahrenheit. I knew it was going to be a hot day when I saw paramedics casually walking around with their gear and water jugs. Nevertheless, walking around a fortress that has stood since the 9th century was pretty amazing. I felt like I was walking in a set of Game of Thrones. 

A ceiling in one of the bedrooms
Spain is full of cute doors to take pictures in front of…

The tour took around 4 hours and by the end of it we were all exhausted, but it was worth climbing up all those stairs for the amazing view of the city we’ve all been living in for the past month. Also it was probably due to the dehydration, but I have never tasted helado (ice cream) so amazing.

From the top of the fortress
I couldn’t ask for better program leaders!

Thankfully, no one from our group had a heat stroke. But, if you do ever find yourself visiting the Alhambra make sure you bring a fan! I would also recommend going on a guided tour so you get the most out of your visit. I don’t think I would have appreciated the architecture, and I learned so many quirky facts about the kings and queens that resided there. I also need to brag about how amazing my program leaders are. Lorena and Louis have made this summer abroad so fun and I don’t know what any of us would do without them. If you’re thinking about studying abroad with UMKC, you definitely need to go with these two.

Follow me for more Study Abroad adventures!

 

Megan Schwindler is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying English Literature and Spanish. Megan is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Granada, Granada, Granada

 

Buen consejo / Good advice, “That which is chaos for the fly is normal for the spider.”

Hola amigos,

Hemos estado en Granada por un rato ahora.  Esta ciudad, aunque es muy antigua, me recuerda de Kansas City — es gran ciudad pequeña. Es muy fácil moverse por la ciudad andando. El grupo vio la Alhambra, que gigante!!! En la alhambra, había las tres banderas de Granada – de la ciudad de Granada, de la región de Andalucía, y de España. (ved las banderas abajo) Este sol andaluz lleva toda la energía y se necesitan muchas comida y agua para sustentarse. 😛 Encima una cierta colina, se existe el Mirador de San Nicolás, cual puede dar una vista buena de la Alhambra, así que yo saqué una foto 😉 el camino desde del centro de la ciudad hasta el mirador era un gran viaje por las colinas.

La Alhambra del Mirador de San Nicolás / the Alhambra from the Lookout of Saint Nicholas

 


 

Escudo de Granada / the Crest of Granada

Hello friends,

We’ve been in Granada for a while now. This city, although it is really old, reminds me of Kansas City — it’s a little big city. It is really easy to get around the city walking. The group saw the Alhambra, how giant!!!!!! In the Alhambra, there were the three flags of Granada – the city of Granada, the region of Andalusia, & of Spain. (See the flags below) This Andalusian sun takes all your energy and a lot of food and water are needed to survive. 😛 On top of this certain hill, there is the Lookout of Saint Nicholas, which can give a great view of the Alhambra, so I took a photo 😉 the way from the city center to the lookout was a big trip through the hills.

 

Las banderas / The flags | Andalucía/Andalusia, España/Spain, & Granada

Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

Top Ten Things Scotland Does that America Should Start Doing

Being a country for two and a half weeks makes you realize some of the things that your home country is missing. Aside from the beautiful rolling hills and castles with hundreds of years of history, here are ten things feasible that America should start doing that Scotland already does.

  1. Traffic lights should change to yellow right before they’re green. In the US, they only change to warn you the light is turning red, but here they change to let you know that the light is about to turn green again.
  2. Bring back the dollar coin. Great Britain uses the pound coin and it’s been great. I never thought I’d say that it’s easier to use this than the a bill, but it really is.
  3. Get rid of tipping. The price isn’t any different from the US and we only have to tip 10%. Yes, the service is a little different, but there aren’t any people hovering over you, so that’s a plus!
  4. Fix the public transportation system. It’s great to be able to hop on the bus to head to another city or grab a train. They also have a great tram system, similar to our KC streetcar, but much more developed.
  5. More student discounts! Maybe it’s because the University of Edinburgh is spread out all over the city, but tons of restaurants and even department stores give a 10-20% discount for student purchases!
  6. Stop being coffee snobs. Coffee over here is centered around the espresso maker, not drip coffee. Less room for error here, plus you don’t have to worry about your coffee having “floral hints” or “brown sugar notes” if you’re not interested.
  7. Encourage walking. I have loved walking everywhere, even though the weather doesn’t always cooperate. People are in much better shape here too, probably because it takes a good 10-15 minutes to get to the buzz of the city.
  8. Include tax in the price. Do you know how easy it is not to have to calculate the price of tax into your purchase? Shopping is a lot easier when there’s not as much math involved.
  9. Promote self-checkouts at neighborhood markets. Yes, they exist at Wal-Mart, but they are extremely inconvenient to use. The UK has got the system down.
  10. Have more live music. Do you know what it’s like to have bagpipes almost constantly playing? It’s like we have our own personal Scottish soundtrack everywhere we go. (Okay, that last one really isn’t feasible, but it’s still cool.)

Maybe we should implement these changes, maybe we shouldn’t. It’s still an interesting study to see the cultural differences between the two countries-both positive and negative.


Emily McIntyre is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a Spanish minor. Emily is involved with several student organizations, including UMKC Enactus, which uses entrepreneurship to solve needs in the community. She’s looking forward to studying abroad this summer with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland, where she plans to explore more of her family heritage and country of origin.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.