Scotland through a Student’s Lens

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castle-sharpWe wanted to follow up with our St Andrews Student Representative Samantha Ku to see how the first half of her year abroad has been.  Samantha was kind enough to pass along some gorgeous photographs as well as a Californian’s reflection on bonny Scotland.

“It’s exciting to be studying abroad for the year. St Andrews is drastically different than UC Irvine but I have come to love its quirky traditions and tiny little town. We call it the Bubble because we’re relatively isolated (there’s no train station in town, rather we need to take a bus to Leuchars) and it is very small but there’s a very strong sense of community among the students.”

“I loved the quirky traditions such as the red academic gowns, academic families, St Salvator’s (my hall, also known as Sallies) High Tables, Sunday Pier Walks, and Raisin Weekend. Jannetta’s Gelateria is my go-to place for any mood, from stressing over papers to celebrating the return of a good essay score. As a person unused to libraries and easily distracted in my own room, I tended to study on the bench on the cliffs besides St Andrews Castle, overlooking the North Sea. Well, at least while the weather was pleasant. Due to our many beaches and the fact that I live only a brisk 3 minute walk from the closest (and my favourite, Castle Sands) beach, I also really like exploring the beaches and taking photos of dramatic sunsets. I did get quite homesick in the beginning but it got better after getting to know the town and people better.”

“I absolutely loved hiking in the Isle of Skye and we were blessed by the rain gods to not be rained on in late October in the north-west Highlands! There is something incredibly magical about the Highlands. We took a seven hour train up and it was lovely watching the landscape turn from countryside to sea to lush green lochs to rocky mountains and forests, and finally to the burnt-ochre brush of the Highlands. My favourite palace has to be Scone Palace in Perth with its sprawling grounds and my favourite place in Edinburgh is definitely the top of Calton Hill, preferably right at sunset when the lights of Edinburgh begin to twinkle.”


A big thanks to Samantha for sharing her experience and we hope you round off the year with more fantastic Scottish Adventures.