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Chelsea McGimseyChelsea McGimsey
University of Strathclyde, UK

Expectations
Travel has been something that I have always loved and it was instilled in me at a young age. I always knew that traveling overseas was something I really wanted to do. And what better than to have the chance to go abroad and live and experience a culture during the few years at college. My family heritage is Scottish and after researching more about Scotland, I knew that it was going to be an amazing place to study and to immerse myself in the culture.

Accommodations
During my stay in Glasgow, I had a flat that was on campus, located in the heart of Glasgow. I was given my own personal room with a bed, desk, and a wardrobe. In my flat, I had five other flatmates from different countries, three were from Spain, one from Canada, and one from Virginia. Also included in the flat were a bathroom, living room, and a kitchen that was shared between us six girls. The Strathclyde campus is in the middle of the city, so from my flat I was a block from Buchanan street, which is almost equivalent to 5th avenue in New York City. I was within walking distance of everything I needed and wanted to do.

Classes
I enrolled in three classes at Strathclyde, which was a full load. I took a Geography class, Drama and Literature class, and an Accounting for Finance class. Each of the classes had a lecture once or twice a week and then a tutorial class where I would do specific work or projects with the material. I didn’t have to buy any books while I was there because directly across from my flat was the library and I always had access to class materials and printers there. My classes were from Tuesday to Thursday so I always had long weekends, which was nice if I wanted to travel. Also, classes start later in the day, my earliest class was at 10 and it was only once a week, so that was pretty nice. Teachers were very friendly and eager to help, as were my classmates who were very nice as well.

Travel
While I was overseas, I wanted to travel and see different parts of the world and explore new places. I was lucky enough to travel to Germany and Sweden, and many parts of the UK, including London, while I was there. Flying with RyanAir was incredible, because it was extremely affordable even with the exchange rate. Getting around was very easy to figure out. I never had a problem in any of the countries I was in; language barriers were not as bad as I thought they would be. It’s amazing how easy it is to communicate with somebody who doesn’t speak a word of English. In Scotland, I thought that since they speak English, I would understand everything, but that was definitely not always the case. Many times I had to ask someone to repeat something, or say it differently to me, maybe explain a new word. But the Scots were very determined to help me and make sure that the message got across.

Advice

  • Research places that you’re interested in going to before you get there
  • Save money, the UK is more expensive
  • Expect that things won’t be perfect all the time, but remember that it is worth it
  • Keep in mind that you’re doing something very special, when you could be at home doing the “same old things”
  • Scotland is known to have “crazy” weather (could be rain, sun, snow, wind all in one day!), so pack for all types of weather
  • Bring good walking shoes!
 

Page updated: 17-Feb-2009

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