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Wait… It is over???

I am now on my way back to the United States from Scotland and I am happy to be heading home, but so sad to be leaving Scotland behind.

At the beginning of the trip I was very homesick and could not wait for this trip to be over and by the second week I never wanted it to end. Soooo, why should you study abroad? Because it is the single best thing you can do to make yourself grow as a person. It is the best thing you can do to truly learn about a topic. It is simply the best thing you can do. So do it. I mean it. I worked many hours of overtime and spent many sleepless nights working to save up for this trip. I applied for every scholarship possible and it was one of the most tedious processes, but everything I did for this trip was worth it. It was worth it when I first landed in London and saw the British flag. It was worth it when I was gazing up at the Eiffel tower taking in its beauty. It was worth it when I was walking through Edinburgh’s castle.

Edinburgh Castle

It was worth it when I smelled and touched the ocean for the first time in my life. It was worth it when I found new friends in the park. It was worth it through the sleepless homework filled nights. It was worth it gazing at the Highland mountains in Scotland. It was worth it. I would do it all over again tomorrow. I was so homesick in the beginning and now I never want to leave Scotland. A piece of my heart will always be here. There is a maturation that comes with traveling abroad and stepping out of your comfort zone so far you want to be sick. When you decide to step out of that zone you discover the greatest joy and some of the best memories. Do not let fear hold you back because if I had let it hold me back I would have missed the greatest experience of my entire life.  I left my small town and everything I have ever known and experienced the world for all it had to offer. I met new people. I tried new things. I laughed….. A LOT. I guess what I want to say to all of you is please study abroad. Please meet new people. Please try new things. Please try this. It will be one of the best things you have ever done. Good luck everyone. Adventure finally found me, I hope it finds you.


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.

A Guide to Scottish Food

The best breakfast I have ever had.

Hearty. That is the best word I can come up with to describe Scottish cuisine. I love the food here so much. I would stay in Scotland forever just for the food. The breads are all fresh. The fruits are all sweet and the deserts are out of this world. Don’t even get me started on how good their jams are. I am not a fan of their meats, but I don’t really like to eat meat back in the United States either. I am going to give you a guide today on what you MUST try if you are ever in Scotland and some great foods to try if you are a vegetarian! First, eat the scones. They are phenomenal. I have had a scone everyday for the past week because the are so good. You can put butter on it or eat it plain. But I think they are best with the raspberry jam here. The raspberry Jam is so good I could just eat that without the scone! Next, you must eat some pie while you are in Scotland. The fruits here are so good and fresh in the summer months, so a fresh slice of pie with a cup of coffee is a great way to spend an afternoon in Scotland.

My lovely pie and coffee.

It is a bit colder here in Scotland even in the summer months, so a nice cup of steaming hot coffee is nice on crisp breezy mornings. Make sure you find yourself in one of the many coffee shops around Scotland to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and the view of scenery around you. Another must have is Scottish shortbread cookies.

My half eaten Scottish Shortbread cookie! It was too good to wait to take a picture!

They are delicious with some of that raspberry jam I keep going on and on about or you can have them by themselves they are still just as great! The cheese here for sandwiches or Mac’ and cheese is amazing as well. It is very rich and worth a try. The vegetarian Lasagna here was not my forte, but my friends who are vegetarian loved it and the Risotto as well. Scottish scrambled eggs are also a must try. I ate all of my eggs up and I am going to have eggs again (and again, and again) before I leave Scotland! But to warn you, they do not refrigerate their eggs here… I went to the grocery store and the eggs are just sitting in a random food isle. I tried them though and they were still very tasty and I am still alive, so I promise you it will be okay!  Another Scottish staple that you must have is of course the famous Haggis. If you do not know what Haggis let me explain. It is diced up and seasoned sheep INSIDE of a sheep’s stomach. Now here me out, it is their national dish and it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Also if you are a vegetarian there is vegetarian haggis that you can try that is pretty tasty as well. These are just some of my favorites since I have been here, but feel free to branch out and try something new and different. You never know a new dish may become one of your favorites, or if not you may get a funny story out of it. Good luck and may cuisine adventure find you.


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.

The Adventure Begins…

‘Twas the night before adventure, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the Osprey was packed with minimal clothing, in hopes of adventure that would soon be here. The boy, however, was not nestled all snug in his bed. Instead he had visions of a laptop and his very first blog.

At 07:00 CT today (6/30) the adventure begins! I will be off to New York, then leaving for Scotland in the evening! My osprey is indeed packed (my osprey porter 46) with what I deem as minimal, however, considering we will be in Scotland for quite awhile I made sure to pack a little extra than what most travel experts may typically consider as minimal, but only to avoid a copious number of laundry days.

I have always been a self-proclaimed wander-luster. Having been a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout I have gone on many adventures to many different places, however, I have never been to Europe and certainly not on my own. This upcoming trip brings a lot of emotions, but for me, it primarily excitement, as I am finally achieving one of my biggest dreams of traveling to Europe, an area that I have always kept a special eye out for on the world map in my room. The world is so vast and beautiful I cannot ever imagine spending it all in one place. The world was made to be seen and I fully intend to do so.

In preparation for this trip I have been reading many travel blogs, websites, and books. For me personally though I found Savvy Backpackers guide to traveling to be the most useful thus far. I will have to reflect on this point when I return to see if all of the advice given was actually good. If you are gearing up to travel though I would definitely recommend it.

At the end of the day, I am ecstatic to be able to travel and learn in Scotland. I am also excited to get the opportunity to do some side traveling after my Study Abroad in Scotland is completed and I intend to visit Southern Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. I will be sure to update you all not only on my study abroad in Scotland, but also whatever mischief I find in my side travels!

As my eyes begin to drift shut I know I have an incredibly busy day tomorrow and should have gone to sleep hours ago, but there is much ado when adventure is in the air, and not even the visions of sugar plums dancing in my head could lull my excitement tonight.

Until next time,

Fitz


Brandan Fitzgerald is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Business with an emphasis in Finance. Brandan is spending the summer term abroad 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.

Where is the slow down button..?

It has been one week here in Lyon and I have felt like i’ve done so much! It’s true, I swear. Back home you would never see me do so much in one day. It’s crazy! I guess since it’s a new city and a new way of life, i’m just getting adjusted to it. (I really do believe that the days and nights in France are longer than your average 24 hours!). One thing I have noticed is that the French are very, very social. Their culture allows them and helps them to be, but back in the states, we need our alone time – our time to relax, procrastinate, maybe watch some Netflix (P.S. Netflix works here and I am so happy for that but no do not worry, I am watching in French!). When you’re trying to figure out a city, it is hard to stay at home and be antisocial. Spoiler Alert: You have to go out and explore.

In the past week, I have been to about three museums, a plaza on the middle of town, hung out by the riverbank and slept at two different places (my friend’s houses from the program) other than my host family’s place. And don’t even get me started on all the walking i’ve done! (Totally losing weight and gaining muscle *insert arm muscle emoji*).

An experience that really struck me was the one I had Thursday night with my friends, Taylor and Manny. We walked by the river and saw a huge amount of people hanging out by the berges (riverbank). We decided to join them and it was such an eye-opening experience. There were people playing the drums, others playing the trumpet, and others singing. The riverbank by Le Rhône looks exceptional and tranquil at night. Seeing these people resembles seeing people sitting around a campfire singing and laughing – having fun, but on a much bigger and better level! There was probably hundreds of people there. Again, the French are very social.

Another thing I’ve learned this week is that the French are very serious when it comes to food. They love their food! Typically, the French spends about an hour to two eating diner. My host mother explained to me the reason why they take so long to eat and how important it is to have diner together as a family. When you compare that to our busy American lives, it is hard to do that every single night. I learned in my psychology class that a variety of eastern countries are very social and put lots of importance to family and those responsibilities compared to western countries which are more egocentric and based on individuality. I agree.

All in all, it has been a great first week here in Lyon, although it rained (on my parade :P) a couple of times this week, it did not stop me because i’m in France!! I can’t let a little rain bring me down.

Au revoir,

DA.

Only Lyon sign that moves throughout the city.
Only Lyon sign that moves throughout the city.

Arriving in Cork

  Leaving the airportAs of today, I have been in Ireland for 11 days. From the Thursday I arrived it has been a nonstop journey.

Here is just a glimpse of what my days have consisted of.

  • Saturday, June 8th
    • Hop on/Hop off tour of the city of Cork
      hop on hop off tour
      During the Hop on/Hop off tour of Cork
  • Sunday, June 7th
    • Went on a Paddy Wagon tour to the Cliffs of Moher (one of the tops tourist places in Ireland)
      Cliff of Moher
      Sitting on the edge of the world 🙂 Cliffs of Moher
  • Monday, June 8th
    • First day of Irish History Lectures
    • Visit St. Finn Barre Cathedral and The Elizabeth Fort
    • Movie night with the class, “Waking Ned Devine”
  • Tuesday, June 9th
    • Lectures during the morning and afternoon (all day)
  • Wednesday, June 10th
    • Daytrip #1
      • Kissed The Blarney Stone and enjoyed the nature of the park
      • Ran in to Madison’s Momma 🙂
      •  Walked the Pier at Kinsale (Probably my favorite Irish City I’ve been to)
      • Toured & Explored the beauty of Charles Fort
        charles fort
        At the top of Charles Fort
      • Celebrated Jacob’s birthday at Chamber’s (Free cake & Sparking Grape Juice)
  • Thursday, June 11th
    • More lectures (I’m going to tell you every time I’m in class, just so you think I’m actually learning, in which I am… It’s just a lot more fun!! :P)
    • Travel to Edinburgh, Scotland for the weekend

The first week, as you can see, there is barely any time for sleep!