The past semester has been so impactful on me. Putting myself so far out of my comfort zone and having a fresh start at new university was a growing and maturing process. I definitely feel like more of an adult than I did when I arrived three months ago!
Looking back, the highlights were too many to name. Some of my favorite memories were my first two days in London, making friends with strangers because I traveled alone, going to the club on my first night in Stirling with flatmates who I had just met, going to my first Ceilidh, playing in tournaments across Scotland with the ultimate Frisbee team, singing with a Hawaiian friend at an open mic night, sharing in a huge thanksgiving feast with the other American international students, drinking the best mocha EVER in Norway and many more heart-warming memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life!
I have to say I am so glad I made the decision to study here for the entire year. It is so true that as soon as the semester ends you are just finding who your true friends are and beginning to feel like part of the community. I miss my SDSU friends and my family like crazy, but I get to come back to sunny San Diego for a month before diving into the next semester! There’s no place like home, but there’s no feeling like cultural immersion, discovering new places and connecting with international friends.
Looking forward to my next and final five months in Scotland, I have so much planned and so much to be excited about. Next semester I am going to Barcelona, Dublin, Amsterdam and the Scottish Highlands!
I am also conducting a research project for my International Studies minor where I will be interviewing 30 Scottish students about their creative writing. I have met so many Scottish people this semester that it will be a great way to learn more about my new friends.
I also have a whole semester of ultimate Frisbee tournaments! Being sporty was so not me before, which makes it fun to try something out of the box and, in a way, reinvent myself. Getting more involved in the Live Music Society next semester will provide a great atmosphere to grow musically!
I don’t mean to sound like I am bragging – I just want to get everyone excited about studying abroad! There’s a program out there for every student and funding the experience is possible as well. Broadening my horizons has been life changing and I wish the same for every student.
Peace and love friends!
Nathaniel Geoghegan is earning a bachelor’s degree in English at San Diego State University. He is blogging from Stirling, Scotland for the 2015-2016 academic year