KyungSun in Scotland: The Departure Countdown

Hello everyone! My name is KyungSun and I will be studying abroad this semester at the University of Edinburgh. I’m currently a junior studying Social Entrepreneurship as part of an Interdisciplinary Studies major. Social Entrepreneurship is the idea of finding innovative solutions to solve some of our world’s pressing social problems such as poverty or lack of access to healthcare. I decided to create my own major after going to the Dominican Republic with my Global Health living and learning community. I realized that poverty is not just a political issue, but an interdisciplinary issue that requires locals and people across all disciplines to work together.

At the University of Edinburgh, I received an amazing opportunity to work with these social issues as an intern at the Scottish Parliament. I’m really excited to get out of the classroom and see how the Parliament tackles its toughest issues. But first, I’ll be taking three political science classes which end in – believe it or not – mid-February. I can’t believe I’ll be diving right into final exams once classes end – wish me luck!

As far as the city of Edinburgh itself, I know three things:

1. It’s a beautiful, diverse, and photogenic city.

2. It’s going to be crazy windy! One student told me he broke three umbrellas while he was there!

3. It’s a place with endless stories. I’m not just talking about J.K. Rowling writing her first draft of Harry Potter in Edinburgh. Everyone I’ve talked to from former abroad students to professors have had a story to tell about the city.

Some of the differences do make me nervous. The University of Edinburgh will be very unlike UR. I’ll be going from a class size of 20 to lectures with over 100 students. I’ll also be living at the heart of a bustling city which is a big change to our isolated campus. I definitely love visiting cities, but I haven’t lived in one since I was five. However, I came across this video that showed me what living in Edinburgh will be like, which I discovered is going to be pretty cool. Check it out:

The main thing my friends and family keep telling me is that I’ll have a great time abroad. Subconsciously, this makes me feel pressured to make every day momentous and fun. However, I know that in reality I’ll have days where I won’t have anything exciting planned. That’s why my number one goal is to go out and explore every day. I may not end up doing anything memorable or significant. But if I find myself with two hours of free time, I’m going to spend that time getting to know Scotland better. I’ll try a new cafe. Hang out in the castle. Maybe take a bus to the outskirts. I’m open to wherever the road may take me.

The countdown for my departure has already begun and in less than a week I’ll be in Edinburgh. If there was a word for being nervous and excited simultaneously, then that’s how I’m feeling right now. I can’t wait to be in the city that I’ve heard so much about and I’m excited to have you all following me on my adventures. Stay tuned and I’ll talk to you all next week!

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