Hey everyone, last time we talked I was getting ready to begin my study abroad journey, and now I’m here! I’ve been in Scotland for almost 2 weeks now and it has been very fun but also very hectic.
I am definitely enjoying the 2 courses I chose to take at the University of Stirling and I find it so interesting when I see and hear about those topics outside of class. My witchcraft and belief class has come up quite a bit during tours and excursions. I hadn’t realized how big of a role the witch trials played in Scotland and the UK’s history. My class was taken on a tour of Edinburgh that focused on how the city played a role in the trials, including St. Giles Cathedral where many witches were put to death. My other course, Crime and Justice in Scotland, has provided a different perspective on policing and justice then what I have learned in the states that I will take back to my studies at my home university.
I have also had the chance to spend a day in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile and see many historic buildings and sites, including the castle that King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla were actually staying in at the time for the coronation. After that I had time to explore my host city and its sites. One of the things Stirling is known for is the Battle of Stirling Bridge where the Scots defended their country from the English invasion in 1297. The small Scottish army was commanded by Sir William Wallace, of Braveheart fame, who led them to victory. In his honor the city of Stirling has the National Wallace Monument. I was able to tour the 220 feet tall monument and admire the artifacts inside as well as the incredible view from the Crown Spire at the top.
I am learning so much about Scottish history and culture while also trying to navigate living in a new country and taking 2 classes. It has been stressful and tiring at times but it has also been fun and liberating and beautiful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Check back in at the end of next week to hear about my tour of the Highlands, Glasgow, and St. Andrews.