Just as Dorothy told herself at the end of “The Wizard of Oz”, there really isn’t any better place than home. But when you are thousands of miles away from home, someone else’s home can be pretty great too. The eight of us attending the University of Aberdeen were all fortunate enough to be able to participate in homestays in Stirling before moving into our accommodations. I was very unsure about what to expect beforehand, but just as everyone assured me before I left, the family was wonderful. One other student, Meredith, and I stayed with a lovely couple named Ross and Sheryl, and their three dogs Buddy, Bailey, and Bria. Having some home cooked food and a homey place to stay for a few days was really great. Ross and Sheryl were very nice, easy to talk to, and helpful when it came to advising us on where to shop for the things we needed once we got to Aberdeen. Ross also taught Meredith and I about cricket, which was a nice cultural lesson.
Interestingly, Stirling was the last place that we know my grandfather lived before his family moved to the United States. So it was fun to see a place that he was directly connected to, even if it was quite different from when he lived there at the beginning of the 20th century. While the other Arcadia students and I were in Stirling, we saw the William Wallace monument, the Sterling Smith Museum, and Stirling Castle. I recommend seeing all three if you take a trip to Stirling. My favorite, however, was the castle. We stayed at it for about three hours, and it still felt like we could have seen more! Although the town is not very large, Stirling was a very beautiful place to visit, and a nice detour on our way to Aberdeen.