Technical Trouble in Paradise

I’m 290 pounds lighter, and not in the extreme weight loss kind of way. Saturday afternoon saw my first major problem in the UK, and it was something that I never imagined I would have to deal with while abroad.

Arthur’s Seat, early on Saturday

Most of the group elected to do a small hike up to Arthur’s Seat earlier that morning, and since I had some time after lunch, I decided to upload photos to Facebook from the past three days of my trip, as an effort not to wait until the last minute to share my adventures. I finished posting my photos, packed up my laptop and walked downstairs to the common area. Immediately upon opening my laptop, an error message flashed in white text on a black screen, in that all too scary “error” font that no one wants to see on their computer. I ran some diagnostics tests and even tried to call Dell’s technical support, but the worker just ran me through the same set of diagnostic tests.

Delicious mussels for lunch on Sunday, helping me relax

I found a computer shop that was close and seemed competent enough and reluctantly told my case to the worker. We discussed my options, and I decided on the faster and better solid-state drive. I liked the idea of a faster computer, but not the extra 130 pounds I would be paying. I went ahead and took the hit. I was told my computer would be ready early Monday afternoon. “Monday.” I said, as a statement/question, knowing that I was planning to spend all weekend working on my speech outline (due Tuesday). I was met with a nod, which didn’t please me. Thankfully, I start all of my school assignments on Google Drive (here’s your plug for starting to use the cloud for your documents too!), so I could still access my files from my phone. It was just… tedious, to say the least. However, I managed to get through the weekend with minimal difficulty.

With Nicole, another girl studying from UMKC

Today, I picked up my laptop and paid my 290 pounds (about $364 USD), cringing a little bit as I inserted my card. I had to set up my computer and set-up everything again, but it is kind of nice having a clean computer again. By logging in to my Microsoft and Google accounts, I saved myself a considerable amount of time. All of my bookmarks from chrome were saved and once I logged into Microsoft, my password and personal data came up easily. Microsoft Office was easy to install, as I get it free from the university (finally, tuition costs paying off!).

Although it was a hiccup, and not a cheap one, I’m thankful that I was able to deal with the situation almost entirely by myself. It was a lesson in flexibility and perseverance. My dad was great through the whole thing, asking if I needed him to wire me money or do anything from the States, but I ended up having enough in savings to cover the expenses, due to my dad’s strong suggestion of saving enough money for emergencies. I’m thankful for good parents, a fairly reliable job that provides for my needs and wants, and for User 2 Computers, who fixed my Dell laptop gifted to me by my wonderful grandparents.


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.