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CGE Storyteller: Kate Henry | The Insider Scoop on Study Abroad in Scotland

Hi! If you are looking for an honest insider scoop on what it’s like to study abroad, you have come to the right place. My name is Kate Henry, and I’m a first-semester senior currently studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland. I was also lucky enough to study abroad in Alicante, Spain for six weeks during the summer of 2022, and my main goal for these blog posts is to compare my two experiences for people (maybe like you!) who are just starting the process and aren’t sure which program will be the best fit.

Another goal for me is to document my experience as it is, meaning that I will not just be including the highlights of the trip; I will also be talking about the difficult parts of it as well. Culture shock, homesickness, and loneliness are a few of the discomforts of studying abroad that I am currently undergoing for the second time. In my opinion, it is impossible to remain unchanged through living in a different country because you are forced to push your own boundaries. That said, I’ll go ahead and tell you the bottom line, which is that it is all worth it: all of the stress, all of the chaos, all of the culture shock and homesickness and loneliness. It may very well be the biggest challenge in your life, but I promise you are more than capable.

You are about to enter a whirlwind of decision-making, uncertainty, excitement, nerves, and planning. My first piece of advice is that if you are ever in doubt, research. There is a wealth of information online about studying abroad anywhere in the world; additionally, the VolsAbroad Lounge is a fantastic resource for any question you could possibly have, and there you can talk to Peer Advisors – other students who have gone abroad and understand the full process, from starting the application to returning home. I hope you find these posts over the next few months illuminating, so that you might enter your host country more confidently and ready to take on your adventure.

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