Well as I write this, I’m on a plane to Chicago wedged up against a window with a sweet old British woman to my left. My study abroad adventure is over. And since I haven’t written a study abroad update since early April, I thought I’d write one last post to detail everything I got up to in the last month and a half.
Of course, I still have so many study abroad themed posts ideas and drafts floating around in my head, so don’t think that content will disappear from the blog (or the Insta feed) anytime soon my friends.
Way back in February I planned my trip to London. The only reason I planned it so early was because I had booked a ticket to go into the Harry Potter Warner Bros studios, and I knew from Amelie’s post that I would have to book it months in advance to find a time that would work for me.
I was blessed with amazingly warm weather for every day except one while I was there. I even got sunburnt a little on my second day there!! And I got to see the Queen’s 92 Birthday Concert!! Honestly, I don’t care one bit about the royal family, but when I found out Shawn Mendes was performing you can bet your booty I bought a ticket ASAP. And while I may not find the royal family all that fascinating, it’s still cool to be able to say I was within a couple hundred feet of the Queen of England.
Because I spent so long there, I won’t be writing up a travel diary, but I did write a post about how to navigate the Underground and vlogged every single day on the trip and you can find those here!
Just a couple days after I got back from London I was off again, and this time to Denmark!! And this time not alone either. I got to visit Copenhagen with both Kat and Kay and boy did we have a wonderful girls/blogger weekend out.
I do plan on writing up a post about my time in Copenhagen, it’s only taken me so long because I only JUST finished editing the photos. Y’all I kid you not I’m so backed up on photo editing. Like I still have at least 300 photos left to go through. It’s kind of a nightmare, but hey it’ll keep my Insta popping for another month or so right??
I also vlogged our weekend in Copenhagen.
Kay visited Glasgow
Literally a few days after we left each other in Denmark, Kay came to visit me up in Glasgow!! Kat was supposed to make it up as well, but she sadly missed her train because the conductor was awfully rude and didn’t hold the train for her.
Anyway, when Kay visited she had an essay that needed to get done so I took her to my favorite little cafe on the west side, and then we walked around the botanic gardens, and went out to dinner at Jamie’s Italian. We also went out on Friday night with my friends from uni.
The next day I took her down to Pollock House and Gardens because she wanted to see more of the “country” side of Glasgow and I happily obliged. The house had been on my bucket list anyway! And she even got to see highland cows!! After that, I took her to explore the University of Glasgow and then to the West side again to get dinner and drinks at Ashton lane. Which I just realized I never got a photo of and now I’m sad. It’s this tiny little street lined with white buildings, string lights, and cozy pubs.
On her last morning, I took her to get my favorite iced coffee in town from Tinderbox and got her some photos for the gram around the city center.
My exams were actually spread out over three weeks. I have no idea how long exam period was, but I think it might have been four weeks? All three of my exams were on a Tuesday, starting May 1st and the last being May 15th.
And y’all the final exam structure here is insanely different than it is from the States!! Like I felt more like I was taking the ACT or an AP test than a final for a uni class. We all had assigned seats, had to put our bags up at the front of the room, fill out cover sheets, and our ID’s had to be checked to ensure we were really the person we were supposed to be taking the exam.
One thing I did love about the exams was that you didn’t have to answer every question. For my exams, I was given four or five questions and had to answer three of them and that’s what your grade is based off. This was super helpful when studying because then I knew if there was something I really didn’t understand that I just wouldn’t answer that question on the exam and I wouldn’t waste my time trying to learn it. Especially not when I only gave myself a day or two to study for each exam. Don’t recommend that, but hey I got lots of travel in and felt confident about my exams so I’m not complaining. Guess I just have to wait for the results now.
The morning after my last exam, I boarded a plane with another friend from the states to go visit our friend we had made who lives in Madrid!! I kid you not I was a giddy little ball of sunshine on the way to the airport and when we landed in Spain. I was skipping and smiling uncontrollably and kept saying, “I’m in Spain!!”
It was soooo nice to be somewhere that had real heat like I’d grown so accustomed to while living in Kentucky. Luckily, without the humidity.
Visiting Madrid and having a local to show us around was literally the best thing ever. We got to experience real Spanish culture, like eating dinner at 11 pm, tapas, and kisses on the cheeks to say hello. I found that a little off-putting at first (I don’t even like hugs) but I found it acceptable after I got kissed on the cheek my a really cute Spanish guy.
I also find it hilarious that I even went to Spain at all. You see I took Spanish for four years, and my last profe had told us about how she was robbed while in Spain once and in that moment I told myself I would never go. But I think it was because I had grown up learning the language that I also felt at home in the country.
My Spanish slowly came back as well, and while I was mostly too scared to ever speak to the locals, I could read all the signs, and understand most of what was being said and read menus. It kind of makes me wish I had been brave enough to study abroad in Spain because now I really want to get fluent. Maybe I’ll start an online Spanish course in my downtime this summer?
I’ll be doing a short little post about Spain and I have a short vlog for that as well.
Coastal Road Trip
After returning from Spain, I got to go on a mini road trip down the west coast of Scotland to see some small coastal towns and the gorgeous countryside. I hadn’t explored much of Scotland in the last month, so it was nice to be able to end with something there. Especially since I went to Europe with the intention of being in Scotland.
Sadly, I didn’t get to drive at all since almost all cars in the UK (maybe even Europe?) are manual and I have no idea how to drive stick. My friend did try to explain it to me, and it really doesn’t sound that hard. It would take some getting used to yeah, but not impossible. Maybe one day? I’ll add it to my bucket list.
I took some of my favorite photos of my whole study abroad experience on this trip!! Some of them I even took from the car when we were going like 80 mph!
My last day trip was to the uni town of Durham in northern England. Honestly, the only reason I wanted to go is that one of my biggest blogger crushed is Imii Mace and she currently goes to uni there. I even reached out to her for places to visit and boy did she deliver on the brunch recommendation. I could have sat at the Riverview Kitchen all day. But alas, I knew I didn’t travel three hours by train just to sit in a cafe and read Angels and Demons and watch the river flow past.
I spent my day walking around the river and popping into random coffee shops to read and work on blog stuff. The dream honestly.
So, that’s a wrap of my study abroad adventures. Of course, I’m still backlogged on my travel posts and other study abroad tips posts, but there will be no more live updates.
I hope you enjoyed following along these past four and a half months! And I want to say thank you to all you wonderful readers who left me comments supporting me when I was having hard times abroad. You guys are the literal best and I can’t believe I get to share my life with such amazing people.
Until next time! x