Acclimating to Edinburgh
Sarah Lyon '13 is spending the semester in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I’ve officially been in Scotland for one month now, and life across the pond has been full of castles and shortbread and...oh, school. Getting used to the academic system at the University of Edinburgh has definitely been an adjustment, but it’s nice to have more free time outside the classroom to structure my days however I want (yes, that can include Wednesday-night clubbing—let’s just say the Scots know how to make the most of the middle of the week).
Attending school in a city has also been a big change. During my 15-minute walk to campus, I pass countless shops and people, all the while dodging traffic and trying to remember which way to look when I cross the street. At night, I’ll often consult Mapquest before meeting up with friends, only to realize that a “flat” (or apartment) that shows up as a four-minute drive away is actually a 20-minute walk. I definitely won’t be complaining about walking from Bobs to Foss anymore once I’m back on the Hill.
Speaking of Colby, there are actually nine other students from the Hill in my program, and it’s been nice seeing familiar faces in the library or just around the neighborhood. That said, I’m proud to say that I’ve branched out a lot, though I’d still like to get to know more Scottish people—Edinburgh is such an international school that this can be difficult, but obviously it’s neat meeting people from all over the world.
Since it’s still pretty early in the semester, I haven’t yet traveled outside of Scotland, though I did complete a required family-stay with a couple who lives in Stirling, which is about an hour away from Edinburgh. It was nice to explore somewhere new, even after only two weeks in Edinburgh. I’ve been surprised how quickly the time has gone by. As someone who had only been outside North America once before and was always a little ambivalent about studying abroad, I can definitely say I made the right choice and will savor the three-and-a-half months I have left in this wonderful city.
—Sarah Lyon ’13