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USAC SCOTLAND: Stirling - Full Curriculum

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    10

Living the Dream: Scottish Style

If it wasn't for studying abroad with USAC at the University of Stirling, I never would've made it to where I'm at today. As simple as that.

Both the staff on site at USAC and those on campus at Stirling Uni made the experience of studying abroad for a year in Scotland one of the best years of my life. I was able to meet a variety of international students, engage with activities on campus, interact with professors in lectures & seminars, and generally discover why Scotland is such an amazing study abroad destination.

They call Stirling the 'Heart of Scotland,' and I believe that to be true, now more than ever. There is so much to love about Stirling, whether it's hiking the steps of the William Wallace Monument or enjoying a pint and live music at Nicky Tams Pub.

For a student in Scotland, the University of Stirling has courses available for a wide range of academic majors. As a journalism student, I was able to participate in a variety of seminars: creative writing, Scottish history, sociology, and even a Jane Austen course (which was beyond amazing for someone as obsessed as myself!). And the learning doesn't stop there. The UK education system places heavy emphasis on independent/outside-the-classroom learning, which turns the library on campus into your new best friend. I was thrilled that I was able to find textbooks there, rather than having to purchase them all, and it was a great meeting place to connect with peers and study for exams together.

Another thing to keep in mind: you're living in Scotland! The amount of history to be gleaned from this country will take your breath away - at least it did for me. No longer do you just have to learn about things from the pages of a book. Jump on a bus, a plane, or a ferry and you can be on your way to a nearby historical destination to absorb the history firsthand. Taking advantage of this helped make my experience in Scotland more well-rounded and unforgettable.

It's been about four years since my year abroad in Scotland, but I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday. This may have a lot to do with the fact that I now work in international education, providing resources to students who also dream of taking their education abroad. I can think of no better way to relive my Scottish experience, and have so many people to thank for that. It's not everyday one gets to live out their dream, so if you're thinking about taking your own studies to the University of Stirling, don't hesitate - make it happen! You'll be glad that you did.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Scottish Love Affair - Culture, Cuisine and Country-Hopping

Above all, I loved attending and completing undergraduate courses at The University of Stirling. As a study abroad student, I was able to work on my upper division general education requirements and my minor, which allowed for a diverse number of classes.

Whether I was learning about Scottish history and literature or taking a stab at sociology, the professors at Stirling all had something to offer. As an American student, the amount of time spent OUTSIDE the classroom doing work/studying/etc took some getting used to, but it was a challenge I met head-on. Unlike many American higher education institutions, the university system in the UK is quite a bit different. It's a much more independent program, with an emphasis on outside the classroom reading and study--this is what allowed for me to connect with many of my peers though, and as a student in a foreign county, I appreciated that concept.

Stirling in particular is a wonderful city that is situated in an ideal location of Scotland. It's known as the "Heart of Scotland" because as history tells, "he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland." When you get to Stirling, you'll see what I mean. Take a hike up Dumyat and spread out before you to the south will be the lowlands and greater cities of Scotland, while northwards the infamous Highlands are markedly familiar by all the rolling hills as far as the eye can see. It's also a great place to call home for time, as you set off to explore other countries nearby!

If you're anything like me, you'll fall in love with Scotland and never want to leave. It's a place where history is still deeply felt and where modern advancements are tempered by a healthy respect for the land. My experiences in Stirling changed my perspective about everything and gave me a deeper appreciation for education and study abroad opportunities. I always reminded myself to keep an open mind and repeat the mantra my study abroad advisers back at home were known for saying: It's not wrong, it's not right, it's just different. These were words to live by and opened the door to a wide array of adventures.

Every student owes it to themselves to broaden his/her education by stepping outside their comfort zone and leaving the "familiar" behind--and even if you don't realize it yet, you will be thankful that you did. The USAC program in Stirling, Scotland is a great choice and will give you the chance to make your international travel dreams a reality!