Back to reality

Classes have begun at Glasgow again and summer can be deemed officially over. Sad times. It’s been almost 4 months since I returned to Glasgow from my exchange in Boston and since then the summer has flown by. I can’t say that I really experienced any ‘reverse culture shocks’, or at least not yet anyway. June flew by, catching up with friends and enjoying the sunshine whilst July and August were mostly filled with my summer internship. I wrote in my last post that I was seriously considering a trip back to Boston at the end of summer, and that’s exactly what I did. In late August I flew out to Boston for a 3 week visit to see many of the friends I made out there on exchange. I had an absolutely fantastic time, and managed to get a bit more travelling in. As well as Boston, I did the obligatory NYC trip and then spent a week in Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee. The entire trip was incredible and getting to see people again so soon after leaving was great. I managed to spend all my money from the internship but I would do it again in a heartbeat. In some ways saying goodbye a second time was harder, as I don’t have any certain plans to visit again in the near future like I had when I left in May. I guess I always knew I was returning to Glasgow and that those 3 weeks were just a holiday, but sometimes you feel so comfortable in a place, or around people, that it begins to feel like home.

Since being back in Glasgow Freshers has finished and classes have begun. It’s strange coming back to lectures here as they are actually lectures, not highly interactive class discussions as they were at BC. I find myself wanting to speak up every time the lecturer asks a question and am mystified when I don’t see dozens of hands go up in the air. I suppose this counts as a small piece of reverse culture shock. The university system is changed somewhat now too, with colleges instead of departments and there have been refurbishments to the Hub and the Library which look really good! Otherwise I have managed to get back into the swing of things fairly easily and am ready to take on my final year at university. I have decided to take a gap year after I finish, hopefully to do some travelling and see people who I met at BC as well as picking up some more work experience before I start a full-time job the following August. I’m really looking forward to that year out as there are now just so many things I want to take on and achieve having studied abroad for a year. That’s one thing I’ve really taken away from the experience, apart from  a great group f close friends, is an increased desire and self-motivation to achieve and explore every experience and opportunity available to me.

I had an unbelievable year abroad and can’t recommend it enough to students considering a year abroad, and especially at BC. Main tips would be to research it early and speak to your advisers. Think carefully about where you want to go and why, what is it you want to get out of the experience? If you are clear in your mind over these questions then get your application up and running, you shouldn’t have too many problems. It really is a once in a lifetime so take the chance if you’re lucky enough to get it. It will be the best decision you ever make.

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