The end of this term marks the first academic year of UCEAP’s Student Representative program! This is a program we have implemented to ensure that each of our Universities have a student volunteer that helps to coordinate social events and keeps up with the students at their particular universities. Over the next two weeks we will be sharing stories from all of our Spring 2017 Scotland and Ireland student reps about their time abroad. Some of these students you may have seen before on our blog given their tremendous involvement on UCEAP; stay tuned to see how their year wrapped up!
Carolyn Ho is a third year psychology student at the University of Berkeley who has been studying at the University of Glasgow during her spring term.
What have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of your time studying abroad in Glasgow?
“I feel grateful just being able to live in Glasgow! This city has shown me all the things that make Scotland the true, grounded, fluffless, highland glory it is along with its wonderful people that live there. Glasgow has a rough, independent character like no other and to be a part of that community makes me proud to study at their university. There’s no greater feeling than walking home through its windy evening and having a chip shop appear just when you needed that hot, toasty box of fish n’ chips.”
“One of the most memorable experiences from going abroad was my Eastern European adventure! As a history fan, I’ve wanted to learn about the effects of the post-WWII and Cold War era in places that have heavily been affected. From Hungary to Germany to the Netherlands, it was truly a democracy road trip with the taste of freedom to explore.”
What has been the most challenging part about study abroad?
“Even today, I still find myself facing things that remind me that I’m a foreigner to every group, or society on campus. That isn’t to say that I’m a black sheep, but a bridge of information (sushirittos, Disneyland, the Constitution, Trump presidency, SoCal’s +10°C temperatures) that links the things people are interested about in my country, and the things I’m interested in theirs. Overtime, I find this bridge to grow stronger and even though I still am a foreigner to my new friends (who’ve been in Glasgow for ages) we find ourselves to have more things in common than at first perceived.”
If you could go backwards, would you still pick Glasgow University as your study abroad campus?
“There hasn’t been a single situation that has me regret choosing Glasgow. I’ve known for the longest time that I’ve wanted to study in Scotland out of all the countries offered in UKIUCEAP- no matter what. I also know I would have lived another adventure in Edinburgh or St. Andrews but in terms of surroundings, affordability, and people there’s still so much to explore and make the most of in Glasgow.”
What advice would you give to future students venturing on your program?
“BE OPEN MINDED and TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY FOR ADVENTURE. 6 months in Scotland flies by fast and when you do not have a single important assignment coming up, DO NOT hole yourself up in your flat. One great way of meeting many people from all the world is going on the student tours that take you all around Scotland (they’re perfectly affordable)! These tours are full of people looking for adventure as well and they can be very helpful for your future journeys. Also, make a bucket list of all the things you want to see so you can start booking before your weekends start filling up. Lastly, especially if you’re new to the UK and need clothes ‘n stuff: Primark.”