The Darkside: Rivalry While Studying Abroad

Iowa State vs. Iowa. The rivalry was meant to be. Now take that amazing experience and take it to Scotland and rename the schools to….Edinburgh vs. Glasgow.

These UK universities couldn’t be more perfect rivals.

These cities and their respectable universities have a healthy rivalry in and outside the sports arenas. The talks about Glasgow between students here in Edinburgh reminded me much of the talks between me and my classmates when Ames and Iowa City are put in the same sentence. So naturally, I joined the dark side for a day and took a trip to Glasgow. My Scottish friends who have lived in or around Edinburgh their entire lives told me they would disown me, but their talk didn’t scare me. (No worries, they didn’t disown me.)

I bet you have a million questions about this whole situation from a study abroad point of view. “Traveling is expensive right?” “Did you go alone? That sounds dangerous.” “How could you get there?!” “So like, how much planning did you have to do?” Well, I am here to answer some of those questions!

So, first of. I have quickly learned one thing about studying abroad: join the international student organization on campus ASAP. You. Will. Not. Regret. This. At the University of Edinburgh I started to become involved with the International Student Centre and this place has started to feel like me home away from away from home. The office also happens to organize amazing trips across the UK at very low cost! I most recently traveled to Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and it has the SECOND largest shopping district in the UK. (It’s only behind London my friends.)

This entire trip, which included round-trip via charter buses, cost me only… 9 POUNDS, or about $15. The trip included transportation to both sides of the large city, a guide to the best restaurants, and a map to the key attractions in the city. I had to do ZERO planning and because I went with the International Student Centre I had the chance to go with over 100 other international students. It was a great experience! I also have made plans to go to London and other locations across Scotland, but you’ll have to come back her to find out where! (Pssst, I’ll give you a clue: A scar.)

If you are an International Student at Iowa State follow this link to our Office of International Students and Scholars! The office is a great place to start your adventure in Ames, Iowa.

In the video below you can see and hear the sounds of the bustling city of Glasgow! Enjoy!

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