Scholarship Recipient Story: Mariah Cossey

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Mariah CosseyMariah Cossey

University of California, Berkeley

University of Edinburgh, Spring 2016

Melanie Woiwode Memorial Scholarship – Hill Walking Club

Part of what influenced my choice to study abroad in Scotland was the allure of the Highlands. I love to hike and explore so I knew I would have to make a trip up there during my stay, I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Then I discovered Edinburgh’s Hill Walking Club. They led weekend and day trips to the Highlands for intensive all day hiking as well as optional snow skill training. It sounded like everything I hoped for: a way to see the Highlands, learn new skills and get a good workout. My only hesitation was the cost, but discovering the Melanie Woiwode Memorial Scholarship settled the matter for me and I signed up for one of their first trips.

Looking back I can’t imagine what my time abroad would have been like without this club. Not only did I gain memories of incredible scenery and learn the mental and physical strength it takes to trudge up an icy mountain in a white out- I also met some amazing people. Whether bouldering together at the school gym, playing games and sharing food after a long day of hiking, or dancing together at the annual Ceilidh, the people of this club never failed to make me feel welcome.

I would definitely recommend this scholarship to future applicants. The costs of gear and weekend trips can add up fast but the scholarship is extremely helpful and you won’t regret it. Getting involved with this club connected me to the school and the country in a way nothing else did and I owe them many of my fondest memories from my time in Scotland.