Published March 30, 2017
This past semester I had the privilege of studying at University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland. University at Buffalo School of Law has an exchange program with University of Glasgow School of Law.
Through this program I paid UB Law tuition directly to UB so all my financial aid was applicable to my study abroad. I used my savings and a grad plus loan to cover housing, food, and travel expenses. Surprisingly, those additional expenses were not much more than what I would have spent living off campus here in Buffalo.
I took the opportunity to explore my interests in international law while I was abroad and took courses in advanced international law, international criminal law, and European Union law as well as audited a Scottish culture course that explored Scottish literature, history, and architecture. I also had such a unique experience being in the U.K. while this last U.S. presidential election and Brexit were taking place. My classes had students from all around the world offering different perspectives and experiences to our discussions. My professors were distinguished experts in their fields. In one of my classes we had distinguished guest lecturers discuss their academic research and first hand experience working at The Hague. U of G also had several guest speakers during the semester geared toward law and political science students.
The university (or “uni” as they call it in Scotland) helped organize affordable and fun tours around Scotland where I met so many unexpected friends and had adventures all over bonnie Scotland! Among my adventures I explored the gorgeous and breathtaking Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye, the capital, Edinburgh, Loch Ness, and even got up close and personal with a field of friendly hairy Highland coos (the cute, hairy Ginger cows of Scotland)! U of G also organized Scottish cultural events complete with Scottish food, music, dancing, and drink!
U of G helped me find housing and my flat (or apartment) was only a 20-minute stroll from campus. My flat mates were from the U.S., Australia, Lithuania, and China. One of my favorite memories was our flat’s international Thanksgiving Dinner where I learned how to make a few international dishes.
I would definitely recommend a study abroad experience to any student brave enough to be uncomfortable. Living in Glasgow was my second study abroad experience. During my undergraduate career at Daemen College I had the opportunity to study at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Studying abroad can be a little uncomfortable with a whole new language (trust me, Scottish is a language), history, culture, and lifestyle to adjust to, however, when we don’t challenge ourselves we are lulled to sleep in our bubbles of familiarity. My flexibility, patience, awareness of self and others has all changed as a result of my experience abroad. Being uncomfortable is where change and growth happens. A great way to “rock your world” is to burst your own bubble. Study abroad is a fantastic “burst your own bubble” opportunity. Bonnie Scotland will forever have a wee pee of this lass’ heart.