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Scotland : Reviews (Stirling)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Jessica Erin Blakeborough, Fall 2012 Participant
I loved everything about Stirling, it was like living in a fairy tale! The campus is breathtakingly beautiful, centered around a swan laden loch, surrounded by rugged mountainous hills and all of the history of Scotland. The Wallace Monument is visible from almost every point on campus if not Stirling. The city itself is just the right size and the people lovely. But the best thing about Scotland is how easily everything is connected via trains. My friends and I would easily hop on a train and speed off to Edinburgh or Glasgow whenever we wanted a big city feel.

 

Spring 2012 Participant
The ability to live in Scotland, honestly. The town is beautiful and you're a 40 minute walk from a beautiful hike through endless hills and this is right behind the campus. The courses were rich and engaging but it was up to me to do the research and get things done which I really enjoyed. You're a half hour train ride away from Edinburgh or Glasgow, and the public transit makes it so easy to get anywhere.

 

Alexander Viktor Jaumann, Fall 2013 Participant
My favorite part was the city itself. Stirling is a beautiful town with a lot to see and a lot to do. An added bonus is the location of Stirling itself, only an hour(ish) train ride from Edinburgh and Glasgow and right next to the highlands too.

 

Fall 2015 Participant
The campus was beautiful in early Fall. The ability to travel around Scotland was very easy since Stirling is so centrally located.

 

Elizabeth Marie Lewis, Fall 2015 Participant
I lived with an amazing group of people, and I made great friends from all over the world. My time spent with them was by far my favorite part of being abroad, and it was definitely an experience I couldn't have had without traveling away from KU.

 

Bailie Hale Richards, Spring 2015 Participant
My favorite part of this program was definitely the opportunity to meet new friends from an entirely new part of the world. The University of Stirling had a high percentage of exchange students, so not only was I meeting Scots, but students from all around the globe! We all learned to get along and work together towards similar goals, and everyone was ultra-supportive of one another. I made several life-long friends that I plan to visit as an adult.

 

Maria Helena Ernst, Fall 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the University of Stirling program was living in the city centre (Union Street) in University housing because it provided me the unique opportunity to live with all international students and create strong friendships between my flatmates and other students in the building. I made so many friends from all over the world that not only wanted to learn about Scottish culture, but everyone in the building's unique cultures as well. This really helped make Stirling home and attending Uni so enjoyable.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
I enjoyed traveling and seeing Scotland. It's incredibly beautiful.

 

Belen Maluenda, Fall 2016 Participant
In Stirling, you have easy access to Glasgow and Edinburgh by train, cultural hotspots that demand your happily-spent time and rapt attention. Skipping the museums in Edinburgh would be an egregious mistake, even if you don't consider yourself a museum person. Having such easy access to so much made it easy to spend the weekends wonderfully. Also, Scottish people are HILARIOUS.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
I love that I got to live with all international students. It gave me a taste of cultures from all over the world.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
My favorite part of the program was experiencing a new culture. Although Scotland is not that different than the U.S., it was amazing to live in a new country and be able to just jump on a train and be somewhere totally different in a matter of minutes or hours. You can't do that everyday in the United States.

 

Stephen A Tafoya, Spring 2016 Participant
I joined several clubs and societies during my time at Stirling and that led me to meet so many natives and develop better relationships with people. They broadened my experience and gave me a much better look at the culture. Several of these relationships also helped later during my travels by getting me housing across Europe.

 

Kacy Alyse Nienstedt, Summer - One Month 2016 Participant
My favorite part was being able to meet people from all over the U.S. and the world and bonding over cultural experiences in Scotland such as trying haggis and seeing the castles.

 

Paige E Henderson, Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
The University of Stirling had a beautiful campus and amazing living conditions. I lived in a brand new flat called Juniper Court and got my own room and bathroom. The counselors in charge took us to different cities every Thursday, giving us a free form of transportation as well as guidance in the big cities.

 

Robert Rice Nickel, Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
I took a weekend bus tour of Skye Island and the Highlands. This was perfect: from a summary of Scottish history to viewing all the best sights from the northern and western parts of the country. Our guide Nory was welcoming, knowledgeable, and friendly throughout the life-changing weekend.

 

Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
I loved everything about this program! But if I had to choose my favorite part, it would be all the excursions provided for us by ISS. Each weekend we had the option to travel to a major city in Scotland. Our coordinators printed out an itinerary for the day and gave us a list of suggestions on what to do and see in each city. It was a great way for us students to travel and experience more of what our host country had to offer.

 

Courtney Claire Bierman, Spring 2018 Participant
I fell in love with Scotland during this program. I was grateful to wake up every day in a beautiful country full of warm, friendly people and centuries of history to explore.

 

Joseph P Hanson, Spring 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this experience was how open and willing the Scottish people are to accepting you into their culture. They love sharing everything about the Scottish culture and heritage and love hearing about the North American culture as well. It was not uncommon for a Scottish person to strike up a conversation with you at the local pub and end up telling you tons of their stories. Along with this, they would share the best things to do in Scotland, many of which you would never hear about on travel blogs and websites. The Scottish culture was just as awesome as the surrounding scenery and resulted in an amazing experience.

 

Robert John Estill Adams, Summer - One Month 2018 Participant
The degree of freedom my program allowed made my experience more than worthwhile. I could do anything within reason and getting around was incredibly easy. You could get around the entire country in just a few days or a few weeks. It could be as big or as small as you wanted and there were plenty of things to do and see.

Our coordinators encouraged us to really take in the country and it's culture, and there wasn't a single day I was bored. Every day something was going on and the more I put myself out there, the more fun I had. Honestly, and I don't say this much, this was one of the best decisions of my entire college career.

 

Samuel Murray Klein, Summer - Two Months 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was the location. The University of Stirling was perfectly situated approximately 30-45 minutes from both Glasgow and Edinburgh which was very convenient for traveling and exploring more of Scotland. I also really enjoyed the dorms that we stayed in as they were very nice and close in proximity to the academic buildings.

 

Spring 2020 Participant
Stirling, as well as being a great city in itself, was the perfect location to provide easy access to all of Scotland. It was easy to pop over to Glasgow or Edinburgh for a day trip or up to the Highlands for a longer one.

 

Elizabeth Marie Lewis, Fall 2015 Participant
The personal growth and independence I learned while abroad was the most rewarding for me. I feel that I matured in invaluable ways, learned how to be self-sufficient, and learned how to live within a small, multicultural community.

 

Cristelle Julia Fornesi, Spring 2015 Participant
Stirling does a great job of integrating students from all around the world. There are so many opportunities to join clubs, sports teams and take part in memorable cultural experiences.

 

Maria Helena Ernst, Fall 2016 Participant
I found adjusting to Uni the most rewarding, as the courses I took were a bit more independent learning than i was used to at KU. It pushed me to do a lot of learning on my own and reaching out to full time, Scottish students in my class for help when I needed it.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
Meeting people from other cultures gave me an enriched perspective. It was rewarding to plan my own travel as well.

 

Belen Maluenda, Fall 2016 Participant
The homework, at least for me, was only reading. This allowed me to really absorb the information from the courses without the stress of graded assignments. (I should mention that I'm a good exam taker. If you don't do well for exams, you're doome.) The lectures were well structured and extremely interesting so you learned everything in depth. With just the readings to worry about and only THREE credits per semester, it was very low-stress yet a very fruitful semester with plenty of free time for travel. (Use skyscanner for dirt cheap flights abroad on the weekends!)

 

Spring 2016 Participant
I found being able to adapt to a new teaching style and school to be really rewarding. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I went to study abroad and going into a classroom where there is no homework or quizzes, just a paper and a final was different to me. But I caught on easily and was able to adapt quickly. I found the experience of being in a new place to be rewarding in it self.

 

Stephen A Tafoya, Spring 2016 Participant
The extracurricular activities by far were the best part. The academics were all right and different from KUs programs, but where I felt I grew the most was in the time I had around my classes with people from all over the world. For me it was that the program allowed for that open time with its credit requirements.

 

Gabrielle C Marmon, Summer - One Month 2016 Participant
I really enjoyed getting to know my professors while abroad. They had a lot to teach me inside and outside of the classroom.

 

Kacy Alyse Nienstedt, Summer - One Month 2016 Participant
The most rewarding part of this trip was learning about world events and politics from a Scottish perspective.

 

Paige E Henderson, Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
Becoming one with the locals was the most rewarding experience. The city was just a short bus ride from campus and it was a great experience doing simple things like grocery shopping in a foreign country. The Scottish were great people and I was given many suggestions on places to go to get the real Scottish experience.

 

Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
Experiencing a new culture was very rewarding. While in Scotland, I had many conversations with the natives, whether it was a professor or someone on the bus. It was really cool to learn about the differences between us and also realize we had a lot in common!

 

Kylie E Loewen, Fall 2018 Participant
My mind was completely opened up by my study abroad experience. I met so many people, and heard so many opinions and perspectives and it really helped me to understand the world and other people a lot better than I did before. So, I would say my experiences with all the people I met from around the world were the most rewarding part of my experience, which only happened because of how welcoming and open the program directors and everyone else in the program were.

 

Robert John Estill Adams, Summer - One Month 2018 Participant
Making friends with the people from my program was perhaps the most rewarding experience. The memories we made were truly amazing, and each and every one of those people holds a special place in my heart. I really wish we all had more time together, because studying abroad together was some of the most fun I've ever had.

 

Spring 2012 Participant
Take as many chances as you can, don't be afraid of unfamiliar situations, and never stop exploring the new experiences that might come your way.

 

Paige Madison Cook, Fall 2015 Participant
Bring a raincoat.

 

Hannah L Johnson, Fall 2015 Participant
Be open!! Try new things and be outgoing! Make new friends! Start conversations! Initiate! It may be awkward at first, but it's the best way to do it!

 

Fall 2015 Participant
Be conscious of the exchange rate. Things get very expensive. Travel as much as you can, espescially when the weather is nice.

 

Elizabeth Marie Lewis, Fall 2015 Participant
I learned that finding a balance between academic work and personal interests is critical, especially when working within a new system and being in a place where travel is very available. It's very important to figure out what you need to do and what is expected of you in your coursework first, then make time for travelling, being social, and other personal interests.

 

Harrison Dean Baker, Fall 2016 Participant
The buses are expensive (your student ID gets you a discount not free fare) and I would suggest investing in the monthly pass. Also, if you plan on traveling by train a lot get a 16-25 railcard, its 30 pounds, but you get 1/3 off almost all rail tickets.

 

Maria Helena Ernst, Fall 2016 Participant
I learned that the University of Stirling is very accommodating to international students and offers many opportunities to be involved with the University. Outside of the classroom, any international student can join a club or organization, there is even an international society, and there is a huge sports facility for club sports or working out to stay active.

 

Belen Maluenda, Fall 2016 Participant
When studying abroad, I experienced the beautiful fear of being completely on my own, on a different continent from everyone I've ever known. It's easier than you'd think. The lessons in managing your travel time, being open to novel experiences, and meeting people with perspectives developed in a completely different culture and environment from your own stay with you forever. Once the travel bug bites you, it never stops itching.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
The Scottish people are so kind, I would highly recommend studying here simply for the people.

 

Ashley Anne Southall, Fall 2016 Participant
The clubs and busses have additional fees that are unexpected. Even after you pay for membership there are additional fees. The bus pass for example is only good during the day.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
I learned that it was really helpful to study in a country where english is their first language. It made day to day life easy and it made me feel comfortable. it was amazing visiting other countries where no one speaks english but on a day to day basis I was really grateful for it.

 

Stephen A Tafoya, Spring 2016 Participant
Simply put it opened my eyes. I was able to see a much bigger world, to see how different cultures view America and themselves, and how education and policy, and in my case, media, influenced and worked within this different cultural context.

 

Gabrielle C Marmon, Summer - One Month 2016 Participant
In this program I met a lot of other American students, really make an effort to integrate yourself with the local people to get the full experience. It's comfortable to only talk to other Americans, but that's not what this trip is all about.

 

Kacy Alyse Nienstedt, Summer - One Month 2016 Participant
I learned a lot about Scottish history that I did not know about that I was able to apply to my experiences back home.

 

Summer - One Month 2017 Participant
I learned how to be an independent traveler.

 

Spring 2020 Participant
Studying abroad is the best thing you can do as a college student. IF you are on the fence about it, just jump on the opportunity and explore the world. I struggled with this decision initially, and I had the time of my life.