Alexandra O'Day

Overall Experience

Psychology, Classical and Ancient Studies, Poetry

Singing, Music, Swing Dancing, Hiking


Where did you study?
Stirling, Scotland

Name of program

Why did you choose to study there?
I've always wanted to go to Scotland! I love the rich culture and firery spirits as well as the beautiful green landscape. It was a dream come true!

What courses did you choose to enroll in?
Psychology of Evil Classics of World Cinema Into to Modern Poetry Photography of the Urban

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
Savings and Scholarships

Did you use some sort of financial aid, scholarship or fellowship?

What was your living situation?
I lived in a flat with five other students. We each had our own room and shared a bathroom, common area and kitchen.

What did you do for fun?
I went hiking any spare minute I could! The campus was surrounded by hills and trails just begging to be explored. In the evenings I enjoyed the nightlife with friends at a local pub from the 1700s and listened to live music. During long weekends I took trips all over the UK and saw everything from London to Stonehenge!

Favorite aspect of your trip?
My favorite aspect of the trip was by far exploring and enjoying the local culture. It was so priceless to see a world outside my own. Scotland has so much to offer and was quite an inspiration in my own life.

Challenges you faced?
The biggest problem I ran into was finances. Since the exchange rate is nearly double what it is in the states I didn't have near enough as I though I did.

Advice or helpful tips for future students?
If you plan on taking trips, PLAN AHEAD! You can save a lot of money on travel expenses if you book in advance... this includes hostles, busses, trains, etc. Take the time to do the research, it'll save you tons!
Take the time to get out and explore! You're in a new country and its a world of excitement so have and adventure! Don't just sit in your room when you get homesick, grab a friend and go somewhere!

What is one thing (if anything) that you would change about your experience if you could do it over?
I wish I would have managed my plans a bit better. I could have seen much more!

Funny or memorable story, one you feel is appropriate to share with others
On one of my hiking escapades, I had quite an adventure. I packed a lunch and took off for the top of Dumyat HIll (more like mountain) next to campus. Two hours later and completely out of breath I enjoyed a picnic with the most amazing view I could imagine. When it started getting dark I decided to head back but rather than use the trail I decided to have an adventure off the beaten path... literally.
I made a straight shot for campus and planned on following what I assumed was a sheep trail all the way home. Well, I didn't plan on hiking along a rock face cliff or sliding down a muddy bank that was too steep to walk.... clearly sheep don't get enough credit for being absolutely insane. After tromping through thistles and weeds, hopping fences, crossing rivers and dodging sheep crap I finally found a nice grassy area close to campus.
Almost home and glad to finally reach civilization I was quite grateful for an easy last stretch. I did find it somewhat odd that this field was so well kept. It wasn't until I ran into some golfers who looked quite astonished that things made sense. Apparently I had stumbled onto a golf green in the middle of their game. I'm sure I was quite the site, sweaty and covered in mud with twigs in my hair... but I quickly made my way as discretely as possible off the green. *Quite* embarrassed I headed back to campus as fast as possible and told my flatmates all about it. It was the object of fun for a while afterwards.

Something interesting you learned about the town you lived in?
Anyone ever seen Braveheart? This town is where William Wallace made his stand against Edward Longshanks.