When a student goes abroad, they experience a whole new culture and lifestyle which stays with them for the rest of their lives. Those months learning and experiencing never leaves us, nor do the memories or the friends from around the world that we’ve made along the way. Unfortunately, once we come back from being abroad, all we want to do is share our experience because we can’t let it go.
Why should we let it go? It was a life-changing experience for us. Unfortunately, our friends and family are tired of our stories and we don’t have anyone to share our amazing experiences with. So here’s Amanda Brooks’s favorite memory from her time abroad in Scotland.
“The early February skies were a clouded blue and the air was crisp, but light as a coach full of international students descended upon the wee town of Dunure, Scotland. Clear visibility over the sea allowed for miles of scenic views from the Ayrshire shoreline. Islands crept into view, adding to the mystical look of the ruined Dunure Castle, overlooking the Irish Sea.
The Ayrshire Coast Tour was only my second coach tour with Student Tours Scotland and its ginger owner, Gary, but I was already hooked on the beauty that could be found just a few hours from Glasgow city limits. Not the only ones to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and clear skies, an indie band from Glasgow was shooting their music on the cliffs near the castle.
While climbing around on the cliff side trails leading up to the castle, I stopped to have my picture taken with the ruins in the background. Having handed my camera to a fellow student, I hoisted myself up near a wall that had collapsed on to the hillside, or at least tried to pull myself up. Having barely grasped the fallen stone structure I immediately felt it give way in my hands. In order to maintain my footing, I dropped to bowling ball sized piece of Dunure Castle, and watched it tumble and gain speed as it neared the band filming below. Horrified and shocked, I watched as band members scattered in order to miss getting tripped by the debris. To add to my embarrassment, I had been so shocked at what was unfolding before my eyes, that I didn’t even yell to warn the people below, Gary and several other students had to shout the warning for me.
For the three months following, Gary, good-naturedly, gave me a warning code for each trip that I took with him afterwards; Code Ruby, red being dangerous.
Well, look out Glasgow, ‘cause Ruby is returning this fall for her master’s program!”
Amanda Brooks is a graduating senior English major who studied abroad in England during the Fall 2012 semester and in Scotland during the Spring 2013 semester.
Are you a returned study abroad student? Do you want to tell us your story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to show off your crazy adventures!