Our lovely Edinburgh Study Centre intern, Bryn, gave us her Final Goodbye and hopped on a plane back to Cali and the sunshine this past December. Taking up her position and holding the fort up in Edinburgh is our newest intern, Heather Ewart! I had the wonderful chance to chat with her and get to know her over Skype; read more to get to know her too!
Q: Let’s start with an introduction:
A: Hiya! My name is Heather Ewart and I’m thrilled to be starting my new post as the next UCEAP Programme Intern at the Edinburgh Study Centre. I’m originally from LA and I graduated in the spring of 2017 from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Psychology. Although immediate post-grad life was a bit of a disaster in that I had no idea what I was going to do next, I was lucky enough to land this position and am immensely excited for what is to come. I spent my third year abroad here in Edinburgh (2015-2016) and, despite being a SoCal gal at heart, I’m welcoming the bitter cold and windy weather back with open arms.
Q: What was one of your favourite memories from your time studying abroad?
A: Since I was going to be abroad for a full year, I knew I wanted to really immerse myself in the community of Edinburgh as well as the Uni, so I decided to join the University of Edinburgh Cheerleading team. After only a few practice sessions, I could tell our team was going to do very well that season because of how devoted every member was to the sport. My favourite memory from my year abroad was at our first competition in Birmingham, England when it was announced that our team had swept the board and placed as UK National, Grand, and even Platinum Champions. Having this experience be a part of my year abroad made my time in Edinburgh that much more meaningful and unforgettable.
Q: What impact has studying abroad left on your life?
A: Studying abroad has impacted my life in more ways that I can count, but one major change I noticed in myself after my year abroad was how broadened my cultural perspective became. I had the opportunity to travel to countless countries and cities during my time abroad and having only been outside the United States a few times prior, I was able to experience first-hand diverse customs and cultures in areas of the world I’d never even imagined I would visit.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are considering studying abroad?
A: Absolutely and 100,000% go for it! Living in a new and foreign place opens you up to experiences and opportunities unlike anything you would encounter at home. I know from experience that it can be scary, whether you are going for a semester or the full year, but UCEAP is an incredible program in that there will always be someone available if you need advice, help, or simply want to have a wee chat with someone.
Q: What does your position at the Edinburgh Study Centre entail?
A: My position here includes keeping the UK and Ireland UCEAP social media sites engaging and up-to-date. I also assist in the planning and implementation of arrival orientations and special events put on for UCEAP students here in the UK and Ireland.
Q: What inspired you to apply for this position and what are you looking forward to the most about it?
A: Aside from the obvious answer of having the opportunity to live in the beautiful city of Edinburgh again, I was inspired also by being able to give back to UCEAP and to be a part of providing abroad students with the amazing services and events that UCEAP offers. As this program was such a life-changing experience for me personally, one aspect of this job that I’m most excited for is seeing how it changes the lives of current students abroad.
Q: What will you miss most about California?
A: Although warm, sunny days will certainly be in short supply here in Edinburgh, what I will miss more than that will definitely be my friends and family. I’m extremely close to my family and friends back in California and that was without a doubt the hardest part about leaving yet again, but luckily I have my good pals Skype and WhatsApp to help us forget about that long jump across the pond.
Q: List one interesting or unexpected fact about yourself!
A: One fun thing to know about me is that my last name is on a pub at the top of the Royal Mile here in Edinburgh. Although my grandfather is from Glasgow, we’ve yet to discover if we have any direct relation to the Ensign Ewart – although it is possible considering it’s not too common of a name, even here!