OIP Peer: Ethan

Meet Ethan 

Hometown: Melrose, MA
Studied Abroad: Edinburgh, UK - Fall 2013
Concentration: History
Graduation: Spring 2014

Ethan's Experience Abroad

Q: What do you miss most about your time abroad?
I miss throwing my camera in my backpack in the morning when I went off to class, and then if the weather was nice, heading out to wherever the streets took me in the afternoon. Edinburgh is an extremely walkable city, and I enjoyed being able to explore on my own without any sort of plan. Every time I went off for a couple of hours, I could count on stumbling upon something remarkable, whether it a hidden garden, a remnant of the city’s medieval past, or a new vantage point from which to photograph Edinburgh Castle or Arthur’s Seat (a literal mountain in the middle of the city). 

Q: Why did you decide to study abroad?
I wanted to experience living in and exploring another country on my own, and Scotland had always stood out to me as a country whose history and traditions I wanted to know more about. I also knew that the British university system was strong and that I would be challenged academically while abroad. 

Q: Highlight from abroad?
Being abroad during the fall of the presidential election was a fun and challenging experience. Every British student I met wanted to talk about it with me, so it forced me to be read-up and on top of my game on American politics. Then election night itself was a blast—I watched on a big screen in the packed student union until around 5 a.m. when the results became official. I found it to be a unique yet exciting way to experience the first presidential election that I voted in. 

Q: Favorite food abroad?
Scotland gets a bad rap for its food, but I'll take a steak pie and a pint from a pub any day of the week.

Q: Favorite cultural trip while abroad?
My trips within Scotland up into the Highlands and to the Isle of Skye were some of my favorite times abroad. I originally thought I would do the whole Euro-backpacking thing and go to a dozen different countries in three months, but I fell in love with Scotland right off the bat and decided I wanted to see as much of it as possible. The natural backdrop of rural Scotland is absolutely breathtaking with its mountains and glens (and sheep!), and scattered all throughout are quaint villages, castles and churches that each carry a unique story about Scotland’s past.