When I first arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, I was overwhelmed and experienced major jet lag. I was excited to be in Scotland but also nervous at the same time. The first interesting thing I noticed when I arrived was that people drive on the left side of the road in the UK. It took me a few days to adjust to being in a new environment but I eventually did.

Downtown Edinburgh

My favorite things about Edinburgh are the people, the food, and the history. The people are so friendly and approachable in Scotland. The food here is delicious and relatively cheap too. My favorite Scottish dish is haggis! Scotland has a lot more history than America. This is noticeably visible in the architecture of the city. It’s beautiful, and I have never seen anything like it until now.

I have been taking the unit operations lab for chemical engineering majors in Scotland with 23 other Alabama students. We have become a little family during this trip because we are always spending time together whether it be working on lab reports, going on excursions, or just hanging out. The class consists of taking seven different chemical engineering lab and crafting lengthy technical reports for each one. It has really helped to improve my technical writing skills.

My favorite excursion that we have been on so far was a weekend trip to The Highlands, which is the northern part of Scotland. It was the best landscape I have ever seen with lots of mountains and greenery. We stayed in a log cabin for a few nights. We did a lot of hiking and sightseeing. We also visited Loch Ness, the home of Nessie. It was a great group bonding experience.

Me in The Highlands

The main language spoken in Scotland is English. I did not realize how tough it would be for me to understand the Scottish accent at times. I have to put more effort into listening to people talk here to understand them. I have noticed that there are a lot more languages that are spoken in Europe though so it is common to be sitting next to others in a restaurant speaking another language.

I am here for one more week. I am sad that my journey is coming to an end but also excited to start my last year at Alabama. I have collected a few souvenirs such as a stuffed Highlands cow and a tartan scarf. I had a lot of expectations for myself at the beginning of the trip, but now I just take everything day by day. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to study in Scotland.