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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.

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.

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.

To Stay In Iceland, Or To Go?

Iceland’s midnight sunsets

How does anyone bring themselves to leave this beautiful country?  How was I driving away from Hermann’s farm at 1am to make the four hour journey to a plane that was going to take me away?  It could be due to not having slept more than seven hours in the past two days, but this was a very challenging moment.  Iceland had been filled with so much adventure and I was very aware of the mere fraction I had seen.

Of my favorite experiences, I had made a friend. Marta, from Poland, was working for my airbnb host for the summer.  On top of Hermann’s home constantly being booked through airbnb, he guides tours on his Icelandic ponies, and is a butter and cheese maker in town.  Being the only one manning his home, he found it was very hard to keep up with his frequent guests.  So, he found Marta, and I’m so glad he did!  She’s on her way to becoming the very best tour guide, and this summer job in Iceland was a great way to get some experience under her belt (as well as a fabulous excuse to live in Iceland for a summer).  When I arrived my first evening, she immediately took me under her wing.  I could not have asked for a better spontaneous travel partner.

 

Melting in a pot of Germans, Icelanders, Americans, and Polish.
It was the crazy Americans who convinced us to hop in the neighboring waterfall.

 

Night One:

Over the dirt roads and through the pastures, to hot pools and waterfalls we went!

 

 

 

 

Castle of Elves in Dimmuborgir!
Caught in awe at Godafoss

Day Two:

I discovered that Icelandic people do, in fact, believe in elves!  We refer to them as gnomes back in the states.  Many construction catastrophes or setbacks in Iceland can be due to building on land elves inhabit.  It’s best to respect their territory and build somewhere else 😉

 

 

Eyes on the prize at Hverir.

It seemed like Marta and I shared a similar passion for beauty and adventure.  So much, in fact, that when we saw an opportunity to climb the mountain at the geothermal site, we went went for it!  Half way up this lone mountain, we realized rain had eroded the path up. Usually, this wouldn’t be a big deal.  A little rough terrain ain’t no thang… but the sediment that made up this mountain was like soggy chalk.  To make matters worse, I chose to wear my rain boots for the day’s adventures.  I wanted to make it to the views at the top so bad, but I quickly realized there was no hope in gaining a foothold.  This made sliding all the way down the slope a very real possibility.

 

 

The smart decision would have been to go down, but we could see a couple who had made it to the top.  This provided enough evidence to convince Marta, (the more sensible of the two of us) that we could do it too! We happened to be a mere 5 feet away from the only boulder in sight, if we could get to it, we figured there may be clearer path up.  After a lot of strategizing and teamwork, we both made it to the boulder. Sadly, the way up only became more daunting.  By the time we gathered ourselves, we saw the lovebirds making their way back down.  This was perfect! Now, we could trace their steps to the top.  This, too, was a bust.  Their way down was the way we agreed not to go up.  They quickly passed us at the boulder, and descended safely down the mountain.

Deciding we wanted to leave the geothermal site intact and in time to see more of Iceland, we decided to let dreams of the summit go.  Getting down was even harder, but working together, I’m proud to say we made it!

After one last stop, we ended our eventful day listening to the beautiful sounds of a choir. We wandered up to the Akureyri Church just as a women’s choir was performing “Hallelujah”.  And oh, did this day deserve a hallelujah. I was leaving Iceland, but I was leaving with a full heart. I had been humbled by beauty, blessed with a new friend, and encouraged having survived my first solo adventure abroad.  Next stop, Scotland.

Cheers to adventure and new friends.

See you soon, Iceland.

Serena


Serena Baker is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Serena is spending the summer abroad with UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland. Taking full advantage of her trip abroad, Serena will make a stop-over in Iceland and visit Germany after the program to improve her language proficiency.

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.

Happiest Country in the World?

¿Por qué Costa Rica?
Algunos dicen que es el país más feliz del mundo. Para mí,la primera vez que oí sobre Costa Rica fue durante una de las primeras clases de español que tomé en UMKC. Profesor Hidalgo-Johnson estaba hablando sobre su experiencia del paracaidismo y urigió a todos sus estudiantes a intentarlo mientras todavía somos “jóvenes y sanos”. Mezclada con un trasfondo de nostalgia, su entusiasmo por su patria de Costa Rica incluyó a este país a mi lista de lugares para estudiar en el extranjero al final. Su paisaje diverso que abarca desde las selvas a las montañas hasta los volcanes la hace una huella irresistible en mi corazón por la naturaleza y mi espíritu de aventura.

Durante esta experiencia intercultural, espero tomar parte en la cultura como un modo de vida compartido. Estaba emocionada de descubrir sobre el aspecto del programa ISA de vivir con una familia ya que allí no hay nada más personal que compartir la comida y la conversación debajo el mismo techo.

Traeré un poco de amor local de Kansas City (en la forma de una taza como un regalo pequeño para mi familia anfitrióna) a la tabla porque en mi opinión, las charlas del café son una de las bendiciones más especiales en vida. En toda su simplicidad, hay las oportunidades de descubrimientos que definen la vida y una cierta profundidad de vulnerabilidad dentro de un intercambio que se parece ordinario y cotidiano. Así como los granos de café vienen de una región específica de origen con su sabor y infusión distinta, espero celebrar la diversidad de la vida con personas de orígenes, valores y creencias varias y tal vez, con una taza de café.

Como siempre, muchas gracias por leer y nos vemos!

Pura Vida mis amigos,
Rebecca Yang

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Why Costa Rica?
Some say it’s the happiest country in the world. For me, the first time Costa Rica came under my radar was during one of the first Spanish classes I took at UMKC. Professor Hidalgo-Johnson was sharing about her skydiving-experience and encouraged all of her students to try it out while we are still “young and able-bodied”. Mixed with an underlying hint of nostalgia, her enthusiasm about her homeland of Costa Rica ultimately put this country at the top of my list of places to study abroad. Its diverse landscape, spanning from jungles to mountains to volcanoes, makes an irresistible mark on my heart for nature and spirit for adventure.

Throughout this cross-cultural experience, I look forward to taking part in the culture as a shared way of life. I was excited to find out about the home-stay aspect of the ISA program, as there is nothing more personal than sharing food and conversation under one roof.

¡Salud!

I will be bringing some local Kansas City love (in the form of a mug as a small gift for my host family) to the table because in my humble opinion, coffee talks are one of the biggest blessings in life. In all of its simplicity, they provide opportunities for life-defining discoveries and a certain depth of vulnerability within a seemingly ordinary, everyday exchange. Just as coffee beans hail from a specific region of origin with their distinctive taste and brew, I hope to celebrate the diversity of life with people of different backgrounds, values and beliefs — and perhaps, even over a cup of coffee.

As always, thank you for reading and see you on the next post!

Pura Vida my friends,
Rebecca Yang


Rebecca Yang is currently a third-year undergraduate student studying Chemistry and Spanish, with an emphasis in Pre-Medicine, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, but after spending three years in Kansas City, she is proud to call this place home. She is studying abroad for one month over the summer with ISA in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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.

“þetta reddast!”

“It will all turn out okay!” – as the Icelanders always say. So it did, despite my late arrival and early leave, my two days in Iceland were unbelievable.  Stepping into the Keflavik airport set the tone for my entire stopover.  In chatting with two other Americans in line for customs, we all agreed the entire airport had a soothing sense of serenity to it.  Everyone was calm and quiet, the people were kind and there was no rushing about.  I had left the Chicago airport at 7:30 PM on a flight that lasted six hours. I found sleep almost impossible, but it was dawn in Iceland, meaning I had a full day ahead of me.

Highway N1 views

It took me nearly two hours to find the center of the capital, Reykjavik.  The GPS I was given had been set to English, but every location had Icelandic titles, making my supposed 30 minute drive a fun game of trial and error.  My interesting detours did lead me to the infamous Icelandic gas station hot dog, for which I have no regrets!

Upon finally arriving in the city, I grabbed the first spot available to park.  After a bit of exploring, caffeinating, and finding food that wasn’t given to me by a flight attendant; it was time to start the drive to my airbnb four hours North.  This is where the fun began.  My convenient parking spot just so happened to be on a hill… facing up…and I was driving a manual for the first time in years. I quickly realized not hitting the car behind me was going to be yet another challenge.

Just me, Icelandic sheep sweater, and the Golden Circle

 

Up to this point of pulling out of my parking spot, I had driven a manual for a grand total of 2.5 hours in the last three years.  After some pep talking, I took a deep breath and started releasing the break.  In fear of revving the engine and making a scene, I didn’t give it enough gas and rolled closer to the car behind me.  I gave this a go two more times before I gave up, deciding I was far too close to my neighbor’s car.  What was I supposed to do?!  I was in a car that did not belong to me and in a country that wasn’t my own.  Today was not the day I would dip into my emergency fund.

 

It seemed everyone here drove a manual, so I decided to seek help. The first potential candidates were two construction workers, but after taking some time to muster up the courage to ask, I decided they were too busy.  I started walking up the residential street and came across an older man smoking in his doorway. He seemed nice enough, so I approached him and began to explain my dilemma. He listened intently, but when I was done speaking, he made motions and mumbles signaling me to stay put.  He disappeared into the doorway, yelling something up the stairs. A younger woman came down and they exchanged a few words in Icelandic.  She turned to me, asking for more explanation and I recited my whole situation again.  With a look of relief and annoyance, she translated my woes to the old man.

Simple beginnings

 

His eyebrows lifted and he threw his hands up in a way I assumed meant, “Okay, I can fix this! Show me your car!”  In relief, I lead him over to the sight of my predicament.  Putting his cigarette out on the wheel of my back tire, he took a minute to assess the situation. I tried to hand him my keys, but he motioned for me to get in my car instead.  This was not my plan, but the language barrier prevented me from insisting otherwise.  So, I dutifully got in my car and started the engine.  Hesitating, I looked back at him, but he didn’t need words to urge me to continue.  Next, he simply said “Okay!” instructing me to start moving forward.  I turned the wheel the correct way, squeezed my eyes shut and shifted my foot from the break to the gas a quickly as I could.  … I was out!  This may have been the best thing I had done all day!  I looked back at him, almost laughing, and thanked him with the most grateful smile I was capable of.

Waterfall 1: Painting 1

 

I guess all I needed was emotional support from a grumpy Icelandic grandpa.  As I drove away, more confident that ever, I couldn’t help but be thankful for his persistence and encouragement.   The rest of my day went on without a hitch!  I constantly found myself fighting the urge to stop and capture each breathtaking view upon rounding a new corner.  I had come to Iceland to paint, but I could tell it was going to be nearly impossible to sit in one place when I knew the entire continent was a masterpiece I hadn’t discovered.

Until the next adventure,

Serena

 

 


Serena Baker is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Serena is spending the summer abroad with UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland. Taking full advantage of her trip abroad, Serena will make a stop-over in Iceland and visit Germany after the program to improve her language proficiency.

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.

This Natural Phenomenon Will Surprise You

A las 3:19pm (una hora más o menos), voy a salir del aeropuerto de San Luis a San José, Costa Rica, con escalas en Atlanta, Georgia y Cuidad de México, México. Espero que las horas entre mis vuelos me dé tiempo suficiente para que todo lo decanta: ha pasado mucho tiempo esperando, pero está aquí y está ocurriendo finalmente.

¿Por qué estudiar en el extranjero?
Decidí seguir otro grado en español, porque no sólo funcionará como una ventaja invaluable para facilitar la comunicación con respecto al campo médico, sino que me enamoré del misterio lingüístico que se conoce como el lenguaje. Octavio Paz, un escritor que ganó el Premio Nobel, describió el fenómeno paradójico del lenguaje para incluir tanto la continuidad como la permanencia, la diversidad y la unidad, la variación y la universalidad, todo simultáneamente. Estando en otro país que tiene sus propias características lingüísticas, geográficas y culturales, la primera manera de establecer los puntos en común con alguien es a través del lenguaje. Y nunca deja de fascinarme la cantidad de interacción sensorial y percepción de la mente involucrada en el proceso de aprender un nuevo idioma. Escuchar una conversación en español y descifrarla automáticamente en fragmentos es un paso hacia la transición de la traducción directa a la fluidez del lenguaje.

Poder interactuar con mis compañeros de clase que son hablantes nativos de español ha hecho un gran impacto en mi aprendizaje, pero estar inmerso completamente en un ambiente donde el lenguaje se expresa más allá del aula a través de aplicaciones prácticas será un punto de inflexión. Uno de mis objetivos es dejar de lado el miedo a la incompetencia o el juicio a favor de ver el crecimiento de mis errores y ganar confianza en mis habilidades de hablar en español. Propongo a todos participar en el desafío de toda la vida y la alegría de aprender un idioma nuevo: el espacio para mejorar es sin límites, y lo que es más importante, el lenguaje es algo que nunca se puede robar de ti.

Mis estudias en el extranjero empieza aquí. ¡Muchas gracias por leer y nos vemos!

Pura Vida mis amigos,
Rebecca Yang

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I’ll be staying in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

At 3:19PM (give-or-take an hour), I will be departing from the St. Louis Airport Lambert Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica, with layovers in Atlanta, Georgia and Mexico City, Mexico. Hopefully, the handful of hours in-between flights will give me enough time to let this all sink in: it has been a long time waiting, but it’s finally here and happening.

Why study abroad?
I decided to pursue another degree in Spanish because not only will it become in invaluable asset in facilitating communication within the health field, I fell in love with the linguistic mystery that is otherwise known as language. Octavio Paz, a writer that was awarded the Nobel Prize, described the paradoxical phenomenon of language to encompass both continuity and permanence, diversity and unity, variation and universality – all simultaneously. Being in another country that harbors its own distinct language, geographic and cultural features, the first point of establishing common ground with someone is through language itself. And it never ceases to fascinate me the amount of sensory engagement and perception of the mind involved in the process of learning a new language. Overhearing a conversation in Spanish and automatically deciphering it into bits and pieces is a step toward transitioning from direct translation to language fluency.

The Costa Rican flag: blue stands for the sky and its many opportunities, as well as perseverance; white stands for peace, wisdom and happiness; red stands for the warmth and generosity of the people.

Being able to interact with fellow classmates who are native Spanish-speakers has made a tremendous impact on my learning, but being fully immersed in an environment where language is conveyed beyond the classroom setting through practical means will be a complete game-changer. One of my goals is to put aside the fear of inadequacy or judgement in favor of seeing growth from mistakes and gaining confidence in my Spanish-speaking skills. I highly encourage everyone to take part in the lifelong challenge and joy of learning a new language: the room for improvement is essentially limitless, and more importantly, language is something that can never be taken away from you.

My study abroad starts here. Thank you for reading and see you soon!

Pura Vida my friends,
Rebecca Yang


Rebecca Yang is currently a third-year undergraduate student studying Chemistry and Spanish, with an emphasis in Pre-Medicine, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, but after spending three years in Kansas City, she is proud to call this place home. She is studying abroad for one month over the summer with ISA in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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.

Dealing with Becoming Homesick

Sunrise view from my front porch at my farm

I know, how could I possibly get homesick? I have been visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world, I am having so much fun, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I should not be wasting it thinking about the small town I call home. Unfortunately, the human mind does not work this way and no matter how exciting and adventurous the world is when I go to bed at night I can’t help but feel homesick. I miss my family. I miss my pets.

Kittens from my farm back home

I miss being in a familiar place. I miss the farm. I miss home. I am having so much fun do not get me wrong, but it is not home. So how do you deal with this and still have fun? Cry it out. You read that right. Cry it out. Because you have to get it out some way. It’s okay to cry. It helps so much. Cry it out and then talk it out. This helps give you a new perspective. Once I cried it out and began to talk about it, it was an easier thing to tackle. It was also comforting to discover some of my friends were experiencing homesickness as well. Next, take a night of being adventurous off (just ONE night) and do something “normal”. Do something you do at home every evening like watch Netflix or scroll through social media or read a book. Take one night to spend on your to allow you to catch up and feel comfortable again. Next, sleep. Really, you have got to sleep. I know it’s hard with the time differences but one REALLY good nights sleep will make the worlds difference in your mood and your experiences. While exploring the world is something you only get to do once you need to take time for you and allow yourself to catch up and your body to catch a break. I know I needed it and it has helped me so much since then. I have been doing so many amazing things while abroad and catching up with myself and allowing myself adjust has made my experiences so much more enjoyable and allowed me to get past being homesick.

Castle of Edinburgh in Edinburgh

I have now seen Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the castle of Edinburgh. I would not trade those experiences for anything. I am now so grateful I traveled out in the world and am getting to experience some of the amazing things the world has to offer. I am not going to let homesickness stop me. I hope adventure finds you and your homesickness will pass.

Big Ben in London 
Eiffel Tower in Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.

Unexpected Adventures

Farewell to my favorite girls.

So, here I was, sitting in the international terminal of Chicago O’Hare, hiding my tears from the two Italian men beside me.

Today was the day. The day I would leave the country for the very first time. The day I would set off on my first solo adventure before studying abroad in Scotland. In a mere six hours I was supposed to be on the Golden Circle, searching for the first breathtaking view I would paint in Iceland.

As the man at the baggage check counter handed me a torn piece of paper with a number scratched on it he simply said, “Sorry, this is all we can do for you”.  I dialed the number, explaining that I had missed my flight to Iceland due my previous plane’s delay. At the end of that phone call, I not only had 24 hours until my next flight, but the four day stopover I had been looking forward to the most had now been cut to a mere hour layover.  Instead of a window seat and nervous butterflies, I now had two Italian strangers and a broken heart.  Being that my little solo adventure was, in a way, an attempt to leave a broken heart behind, this was not a welcomed alternative.

Cutthroat games of Uno.

 

I quickly realized self-pity and tears were going to get me nowhere.  It was time to put on my big girl pants and find a solution. Though I hadn’t seen them in years, I had amazing family in Chicago.  After some searching, I found my aunt’s number and gave her a call. Within 45 minutes, a car full of family was at the curb of the international terminal embracing me.

 

Every girl needs an aunt with a background in law.

 

I did not get my four days in Iceland, but I got a day of laughter and love with people I had waited far too long to visit.  My lovely aunt, being the bold woman she is, called that number back and got me a whole two days in Iceland.  The next day, I was back en route for my adventure, full of love and without a lost day.

 

 

 


Serena Baker is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Serena is spending the summer abroad with UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland. Taking full advantage of her trip abroad, Serena will make a stop-over in Iceland and visit Germany after the program to improve her language proficiency.

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.

Trains, Planes, and Scotland. OH MY!

Currently, I am staring at my complete mess on the floor of my bedroom. I am beginning to pack for my trip to Scotland, and I am struggling with the issue of “Do I really need to pack seven pairs of shoes when I know I will only wear two?” The answer is no, but my heart keeps telling me yes. I can’t help but chuckle at myself because I know that my shoes will not matter once I am there. I have never traveled before and when I say that I am not being dramatic. I have never been on a plane or a train before in my entire life. I have seldom ventured outside of my small town and I am about to embark on my first journey across the ocean.

Am I crazy!? I think the answer to that is a definite yes.  By the end of my five weeks I will have taken seven trains, two planes, and countless taxis. The stress I feel is incredible; I have never done this before. What made me think I can do this for the first time in another country!? However, with this stress comes excitement as I am finally exploring the world! I will see countless places such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Iverness just to name a few! I guess I am writing this to show everyone if I can study abroad, anyone can. I come from a small town of 424 people, so when I came to Kansas City I felt overwhelmed and shocked. Now, I am about to go to another country and experience all that it has to offer and then some. It is okay to be fearful and hesitant to travel abroad. It is not okay to allow those fears to keep you from experiencing everything the world has to offer you. The packing alone is enough to drive you crazy and call it quits (but don’t let it!).

What do you need and are considered the essentials? Coming from a girl who has never traveled here is my advice: less is more. Do not drag yourself down by over packing and worrying what outfits to bring. I am sure once you get there the main thing you will be worried about is exploring new places, trying new food, basically just doing anything new and exciting. But with that being said, exploring means a lot of walking. So be sure to pack comfortable shoes that you can walk around all day in (and I know you’re thinking about bringing your cutest, but least comfortable shoes, but seriously leave them at home!) Also, bring versatile things like a pair of pants that will match several shirts. Or a shirt that can be dressy with a necklace or dressed down with some leggings. Try to be realistic on your packing and the climate where you are going. For instance, I do not need to pack several pairs of shorts because where I am going it is cool almost every day. I hope you pack the right things, but if you don’t or forget something the beauty in going abroad is spontaneity. They have stores where you can buy this stuff and get a souvenir or a funny story out of it too. I hope that everyone takes the chance to go abroad as it really is a once in a lifetime experience. If a girl from a town that has more cows than people can do it, you can too. Good luck and may 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.