Preparing to study abroad for the first time in St. Andrews
I’ve spent most of the last 2 or 3 weeks saying a lot of goodbyes. I didn’t realize how many people that I would miss while I’m gone. Of course, I will miss my family most of all. They’ve done more to prepare me for this experience than anyone else. I spent a few weekends at Holy Cross trying to meet up with and say goodbye to as many people as I could. Saying goodbye to my best friends, the guys who I’ve lived with, eaten with, and hung out with for the last two years, was probably the hardest. Although I’ll miss all my friends a Holy Cross, I can’t imagine spending my junior year doing anything else but studying abroad.
Since the academic year at the University of St. Andrews doesn’t begin until the end of September, I’ve had an extended summer, lasting well over four months. (For all of those people studying abroad in the future, use those four months wisely. They go by quick.) It has given me a lot of time to think about what I want to do in Scotland, but while studying abroad has been in my mind all summer, it still hasn’t hit me that I’ll be in another country for an entire year. If it doesn’t hit me while I’m packing, I figure it will when I’m flying over the Atlantic.
I chose Scotland for a number of reasons. Of course there are the academics, the local culture, etc., but Scotland also offers something that no other study abroad location offers, the links at St. Andrews. Throughout all of the pre-departure meetings, we were told to immerse ourselves in the culture of the country in which we are studying. Since Scotland is the birthplace of golf, I figure playing a few rounds on the Old Course is a good way to start immersing myself.
Golf isn’t the only sport I plan on playing while I’m over there, however, as I also plan on developing some rugby skills. And of course, I am going to travel to as many countries as I possibly can without going into major debt. Actually, if I do go into debt, I’m not too worried. While I have one year to travel the entirety of Europe, I have the rest of my life to pay off the bills. My goal is to undertake as many adventures as possible.
I leave the Manchester airport on Friday at 4:30, and after a layover in Newark, I arrive in Edinburgh on Saturday at 8:00 AM. That means the next post will written from my dorm room in Fife, Scotland.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!