Study abroad changed my life. I know, I know. Everyone who has ever studied abroad claims that the experience changed their life. Here is how it changed mine:
I’ve always been the kind of person who prefers to be busy. I like to feel that I’m doing something or being productive. But, I’ll admit that sometimes I make myself too busy. I’ve struggled with slowing down, until I came to Scotland.
I studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, through the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler University (IFSA-Butler). The program handled our housing, transportation, etc. I was matched with an apartment for 12 students and these people became my best friends. For many reasons, I chose to stay in Edinburgh with them instead of jetting off to a different city every weekend. Because my friends were from Britain, I was able to truly learn what it meant to live like a local instead of feeling like a tourist, which allowed me to tour and get to know the city like a local too.
While I was abroad, my only commitments were go to class and explore. I knew that this experience was going to end, so I tried to absorb every moment by doing something I’ve never done... slow down. I walked everywhere! Instead of being a tourist in my host city, I embraced the culture like it was my own. I walked back alleys, found amazing views, ate at different cafes every week (although I do have my favorites), and was able to enjoy the present. I was in charge of my life. Not the clock, not my obligations, but me. I found joy in being by myself, in finding my own experiences and taking my time.
Scotland will forever hold a place in my heart, and I am so grateful for the lessons that I continue to learn a year after returning home. Study abroad has changed my life for the better; even though I need a reminder sometimes, slowing down is something I try to practice in my everyday life.
Restaurants & Cafes:
*Hover over each picture to reveal the restaurant's name
The blog posts featured in this section are written by friends we've made around the globe that want to share their experiences, lessons they've learned, and tips and tricks.