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Post-Undergrad Abroad

When I was finishing my degree by studying abroad with the Honors College, I knew I wanted to stay on in Europe for awhile. I would already be there and it would be the perfect time to spend an extended period abroad before getting an “adult” job.

I began looking at my options and pretty quickly found Au Pair jobs in France. I wanted to go to France and improve my French skills which I did not have a chance to work on during my college career. Taking care of children and going to a language class while living in Paris is a pretty good gig.

Deciding to be an Au Pair is a year-long commitment, so I knew I needed the support of an agency to help me out with the paperwork and to intervene just in case things headed south with the family. That was the best decision I made. I’ve met other au pairs since that have not had that support and things can get messy so quickly.

The process was a long one, but having the agency really helped me step through each piece. I created lots of documents both for the government and for potential families. I began everything at the beginning of March and left the country at the end of June. My stay in Paris lasts from September to next July.

There are lots of options to getting abroad besides just studying; I am considering a Working Holiday Visa for Australia next year. I am also earning so much experience by settling into this new country that will only boost my resume. So take a gap year and go work in another country!


Claire Davis graduated from University of Missouri-Kansas City studied Liberal Arts with minors in Theatre and Environmental Sustainability. Claire spent Summer 2017 finishing her degree with the UMKC Honors 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.

Go Solo

I’ve just completed five weeks of traveling on my own. Navigating transportation, staying in hostels, and, of course, seeing the sites. It was a crazy adventure and I’m telling you to do it; but not because it was all fun and laughter. Sure, there was some, but I grew the most from the moments I felt the worst.

I traveled from Glasgow to Alnwick, Durham, Stratford-Upon-Avon, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki, and Oslo. I saw so many wonderful things and had some incredible experiences, but it was also a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am a bit of a loner usually, I don’t mind being on my own. The first thing I learned about myself was sometimes, I need someone else to make a few decisions for me. I got extremely tired of deciding where I would eat in the evenings. But now I’m a lot closer to knowing where the line is for me between being alone and having a companion.

The second thing I learned is that I really need a routine. Waking up every day and having to plan what I would do, where I would eat, etc etc etc, was fun the first two weeks but got super exhausting.

Feeling depressed and tired but still being able to go see all the things I wanted to was a really big win for me. I learned a lot in my time on my own and I’m grateful that I had the experience; though I don’t think I will do another five week solo trip.

My hostel in Stockholm, when I was really starting to feel it, had a sign in the bathroom with the quote:

“An easy life doesn’t teach us anything. In the end it’s the learning that matters; what we have learned and how we have grown.” ~Richard Bach “One”


Claire Davis graduated from University of Missouri-Kansas City studied Liberal Arts with minors in Theatre and Environmental Sustainability. Claire spent Summer 2017 finishing her degree with the UMKC Honors Summer 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.

Tips for Solo Travel

Study Abroad is a great opportunity to travel before and/or after your program. You’ve already paid for that plane ticket so might as well take the opportunity to see more things! The Scotland program ended with July and I’ve been traveling on my own since my classmate left on August 2nd. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned!

1) ASK! It’s never bad to double check. Whether it is tickets or reservations, asking to clarify always helps. I often pretend I don’t know the answer to see if they have the same information. Sometimes asking redundant questions reveals another alternative, most often a cheaper way to do something. It’s also good to step out of your comfort zone and strike up conversations with the people around you. I’ve had lots of interesting exchanges that make the time spent here even more rich.

2) Give yourself time! I’ve only missed one train so far, but I’d love to keep that to only one, though I’ve also done my fair share of sprinting towards to train. When you are on your own it’s easier to lose track of things, no one is there to check your work. Stay up to date on your next travel plans and know if you need to get a boarding pass at the airport or you already screenshotted it on your phone (Yeah, that was me. Waiting in a line for thirty minutes to remember, oh yes, I have that on my phone).

3) Take advantage! Being only one person, it is easy to walk onto tours or find theatre seats day of! Go and seek those things because chances are they can always put one more person on. This point also comes with a caution; be big when standing in lines especially for tourist attractions. Single people are more rare and get lumped together or entirely overlooked! Make sure to speak up for yourself.

Traveling alone can be very enriching. You learn a lot about yourself and have the chance to do exactly what you please. Don’t forget to ask, take your time, and take advantage!


Claire Davis is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Liberal Arts with minors in Theatre and Environmental Sustainability. Claire is spending the summer finishing her degree with the UMKC Honors Summer 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.

Grocery Oddities

One of my favorite things to do this week in Edinburgh is to go to the grocery store and find all the strange names for things. I’ve complied a collection of these items for your enjoyment!

 

Really just Cookies!
With Bits is so much cuter than with pulp
mmm Banana
Which is what..??
They like the whippy dessert to go along with squirty cream (not pictured)
That doesn’t sound particularly appealing but fair enough
Really just the word for a baked potato. It’s got a wee jacket on
Just an odd name
Regular name and regular hot dogs, just in a jar

Claire Davis is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Liberal Arts with minors in Theatre and Environmental Sustainability. Claire is spending the summer finishing her degree with the UMKC Honors Summer 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.

A Disturbance in the Culture

Arriving in Edinburgh was as exhausting as any international flight would be, not helped by the fact I took three flights to get here. I was immediately struck by the small differences that characterize culture shock. The first was actually during my flight when the flight attendants came around calling for our rubbish. Somehow, that word, especially when said in an English accent, sounds so much more sophisticated than trash. The second word difference I ran into was using the word “loo” instead of “bathroom” when searching for a place to do my business in the Manchester airport.

We had a bite to eat in a sit-down restaurant last night inside a hotel. The waitress seemed to be serving in the usual American manner of looking in on us to get our orders. When it came time to pay, however, she disappeared and the other waitress ignored us even when waved at. Finally, my friend went to check on the waitress in the other room and received the check from her, who was surprised we hadn’t gotten it yet. Although this particular situation was some sort of mix-up, sitting there, unsure of the proper protocol is rather unnerving.

The last, but largest difference is the side of street they drive on. Not only do you have to keep this reversal in mind when crossing the road and catching a bus, but also on the sidewalk! I am very comfortable with using the right hand side of the sidewalk, but here the default is the left side. The kicker is, not everyone abides by that rule so I’ve found myself jumping out of the way many times already.


Claire Davis is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Liberal Arts with minors in Theatre and Environmental Sustainability. Claire is spending the summer finishing her degree with the UMKC Honors Summer 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.