Bagpipes, haggis and ceilidhs, oh my!

By Olivia Snider, Kinesiology student, SFU-Douglas Degree Program

Summing up three of the best weeks of my life into a couple paragraphs is almost impossible. Going to Scotland was a dream come true for me, and an unforgettable experience. I learned so much and gained countless memories and amazing friends whom I never would’ve met otherwise.

So, what did Scotland mean to me? It meant learning about another culture and experiencing it for myself. It meant centuries of history on every street corner and spectacular architecture everywhere I looked. It meant haggis, pubs, bagpipes, castles, graveyards and some of the most breathtaking landscapes I have ever seen. It meant standing on Arthur’s Seat, the highest hill in Edinburgh, watching the sun set behind the city and thinking about how it was impossible not to fall in love with the city.

I learned so much about Scotland’s history and politics over the course of my stay, from both the tours and museums we went to, as well as the people I spoke to. I got to hike up an extinct volcano and learn about its origins. I went to a ceilidh, a traditional social gathering, which was quite fun despite my serious lack of dancing skills. I definitely didn’t go there expecting to be picked up by two large Scottish men and spun around until I was almost horizontal in midair, but life is full of surprises.

The excursions we went on were amazing, one of my favourites being Tantallon Castle. Exploring castle ruins is amazing in itself, but when they’re in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the natural Scottish scenery around them, it’s so much better. The natural scenery was actually one of my favourite things about the whole trip: It can be appreciated by the geographer, the Instagram addict, and the general landscape enthusiast alike.

This is just a very small snatch of my field school experience, an experience that opened up a world of travel and adventures. I made a lot of new friends and was introduced to a new way of learning outside of the classroom. This trip made a lasting impact on me and enriched my post-secondary experience, and for this opportunity I am eternally grateful.

Views of Edinburgh
Edinburgh by Olivia Snider
View of Tantallon Castle
Tantallon Castle by Olivia Snider

Interested in attending a field school? This summer we’re going to China (for Nursing students), Greece, Italy and Scotland. The application deadline is Jan. 31. For more information and application details, visit the field school webpage.

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