Part I: That's A Wrap!

Olivia Mill University of Aberdeen, Scotland


May 10, 2016

The semester is drawing to a close over here, so I thought it was time to make a wrap-up post about my time abroad. Hopefully this can give anyone looking to study abroad here a good view of what it was like on the whole. To start, I’d like to reflect on the classes I took this semester.

The classes were different here, but not so much so that I felt uneasy. The first difference was that I was in class for a lot less time than I normally am. Because my English classes were worth double the credit that they are at home, I only took three classes this semester. Most classes also don’t meet on Wednesdays, so I had a lot more free time on my hands here. Another difference is that the classes are structured differently in terms of the teaching. There is a bigger lecture that meets once or twice a week with everyone in the class. The lectures are given by multiple professors, and not just one, which took some getting used to. Then there are also smaller seminar classes that meet once a week and are more like what I am used to for class. The professors were wonderful, and I enjoyed being in their classes. It was a challenge for me to try to adapt my writing for the expectations here. I would recommend going to the professor and talking in detail about the differences in expectations for writing wherever you are. I didn’t do this because I thought I could handle it, but I regret not doing it sooner. Much fewer assignments go into your grade over here, so each one counts for more. Although the grading scale is different, one still needs to be cognizant of the fact that each assignment weighs heavily on one’s grade.

I also enjoyed the people in my classes. They were all very nice people that I would have liked to get to know better. It was hard to make friends with people in my classes because I only saw them a few days a week in class and they already had their own friends. I felt very fortunate that I found other students studying abroad that I feel very close to. I met my friends on the day of the orientation here, and we have been inseparable since. I was worried at first because I had met so many cool people during orientation in Edinburgh, and then had to leave them. But rest assured if you go to Aberdeen, there are many students that study abroad here through Erasmus, their own school or the University’s study abroad program. One of my goals at the beginning of the semester was to make friends that I felt close enough to that I would want to visit them in the future. I feel that I have achieved that goal, but in a different way than I thought I would. I thought that the people I would meet and visit would be from the UK, but instead they are from Canada and the US. I am extremely happy to have met them, and I sincerely hope that we keep in touch for years to come.

In my next post, I will reflect on this semester in general, from changing my viewpoint on study abroad to excursions and trips I took in my free time.