Written by: Devon Ainslie
It’s only been two months since my return to Canada and everyday I miss Glasgow more and more. Even though I had only spent a month studying abroad it felt like much longer, and it still doesn’t feel real to be back here at Brock. I scroll through photos and reminisce about my days in the highlands or the endless rows of shops on Buchanan and West Nile Street in Glasgow.
Being a badger abroad allowed me to assert my Canadian presence to where I was and where I came from. Numerous times on the street I would be stopped and talked to by local Glaswegians. I met a few who had been to Canada or had a family member living there, which made me feel right at home. Glasgow was one of the easiest cities to navigate, the city was like a gridlock and even the subway was in a loop so if you missed your stop you could loop back around. The only downside was that stores were only open till 5pm or 7pm (mostly on Thursdays), so the city centre became a ghost town at night.
However, the real reason I was there was to “study”. I was the first Brock student and Canadian to attend Glasgow Caledonian University Summer School for Digital Media in Society. Our program consisted of blogging/social media, television, business and video productions with each professor having worked in several news organizations such as The Scotsman, BBC, and working for shows such as The Voice UK. School was five days a week from 9am-3pm but included various days of doing fieldwork around the city, filming interviews and keeping a daily blog for the class. The classes were very hands-on and interactive; the size of our class was roughly 30-35 people, which included students from Beijing, China, two French students from Lyon, France and one American high school student from Boston, MA. While this made for a very unique experience it was also at times difficult with there being credit bearing and non-credit bearing students integrated into one class.
We were given a lot of free time to explore and at least one day off during the week to ourselves for exploring Glasgow’s museums, gardens or just to relax. On weekends we would take trips to nearby cities. The most memorable trip was to the Highlands and Fort Williams where we got to experience the beautiful Loch Lomond and the mountains that surround this beautiful loch. Another treasure was the Glenfinnan Viaduct that is more commonly known as the Harry Potter Viaduct. At 3:10pm everyday the classic steam whistle train goes by and it feels like a scene right out of Harry Potter. This exchange has allowed me to branch out from my comfort zone by not only having the courage to travel alone but also making the best out of every experience possible and to just have fun no matter where you are.
Devon Ainslie is one of the members on our Student Life Bloggers team. She is currently in her third-year studying Media & Communication Studies with a Concentration in Digital Culture. She loves to write in her spare time, travel the world and is an avid tea drinker.
Looking to have this kind of adventure? There are plenty of opportunities for you to do so! Check out the options that are available during October reading week and February reading week on experiencebu.brocku.ca