Follow the Ringleader

McLaine Beeman Edinburgh Internship Program, Scotland


January 1, 2018

If you’ve found yourself here, I’d first like to say- hi, mom!! If that doesn’t apply to you, you’re still welcome to stay and live vicariously. Or judge silently. I’ll never know.

I am a Music Therapy major from the Saint Louis area (before you ask what high school, let me interject: I’m really from the Southern IL side. Think cornfields, not Central West End). I go to school at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I love the community there, both at my school and in the city itself. Naturally, then, I decided to move 4000 miles away to a country I know absolutely nobody in. Maybe its the travel bug or a healthy dose of post-teen rebellion or an idealization. Whatever the reasoning, it’s departure day.

I rolled into the STL Airport with all of the gusto I imagine seasoned travelers maintain. That maintenance led me to pull my suitcase over immediately and shuffle my wallet pockets in order as casually as possible while my eyes darted between every sign in sight as I tried to figure out where I was supposed to go. So much for smoothness.

After some navigation, readjusting, and a painfully obvious show of my flight experience at security, I made it to my gate. And suddenly every moment of waiting, preparing, planning, emailing, every future tense description of the upcoming semester turned into a single moment. Beginning.

The road to this terminal was not an easy one. When I walked into Study Abroad asking about how Music Therapy majors can study a semester internationally, I was handed a brochure of summer short stay trips and kindly informed that it had never been possible. Fast forward a year: I will be doing a 14 hour a week internship with the Music Therapy charity here in Edinburgh, alongside music classes at the local university. I say that not to boast, but to encourage anyone who is nervous to jump through the hoops of making a specific major work abroad. Know that despite a handful of naysayers, there are so many helpful people holding up the ring and inspiring you to make the leap.

So, here we are. I’m curled up in an unforgiving airport chair watching families, couples, singles all roll past me headed off to all the corners of the earth. I’m mostly restless, kind of cold, and got this weird mottled purple skin / anxious sweat thing going on. It’s a good look.

This is all possibility period. Right now, Scotland could be anything. The people could be anything. And very soon, that’s going to change- an idea turning into a reality. However, I know that when I land I’ll be greeted with one of the most familiar processes that I have often gone through- a good-natured orientation program.

Stay tuned!