University of Minnesota Morris

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Initial Reaction

10th of September, 2013

This year I am studying abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. I have only been here roughly 3 days, but so far I have been having a great time. It is an experience in itself when people from all over the U.S. get together and talk about culture. I went out with about 5 people-all American study-abroad students- on my second night in the city, and after a while we ran out of things to talk about. Somehow, we got on to the topic of what are appropriate reactions and sayings in Scotland. One kid even asked how are we to respond when someone says "cheers." Since we were all from different parts of the state we all had different answers, from saying nothing to giggling or giving a response. While none of us really know yet, in due time we will, an may possibly even be saying "cheers" ourselves. 

Some things I've noticed in my incredibly short time in Glasgow:

1. Sometimes, when conversing with the locals, it can be extremely hard to understand their English, the accent in Glasgow is very thick; however, almost everyone I've met have been extremely accommodating in slowing down when they talk. It's a very sociable city.

2. About half of the study abroad students are American, that's 250.  I am overwhelmed by the number of people I am meeting, but it's easy to make friends just walking down the street. As someone said during my orientation, "all of you have a stamp on your forehead that says you are a tourist/(American)." It's easy to spot the other study abroad kids, because they are just as lost as I am!

3. The nightlife/pub scene is unreal...even on Sundays.

The University of Glasgow, as confusing as registration was/is, I am so excited to start my  psychology classes and actually begin classes; but first, I have two weeks of orientation, this week is international student orientation and next is Fresher's week. 
I am excited to learn about Scottish culture, and even though I haven't met any Scottish students, I am overjoyed that I have been able to find comfort in fellow Americans and other study abroad students who just want to meet people and make friends.

Cheers!
-Rachael Blais

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