Featured Students

Katie Mulhausen

Personal Discovery

Cultural Discovery

Social Discovery

Academic Discovery

Katie discovered so much about Scotland during her summer abroad program.  She talks about her classes, trips, and how she financed her time abroad.
Term Abroad:
Summer 2010
Home University: Washington State University
Major: Accounting

What did you study while at the University of Stirling and what type of class-related excursions did you participate in? 

I took two classes during my 4 week stay: Marketing and Branding Scotland and Scottish History: The Covenanters. I am a business student, so the marketing class was an obvious choice and the Scottish history classes was a “must” in my opinion. For my marketing classes we visited a popular Indian restaurant and pub (Scots love Indian food apparently and beer, obviously). We also visited the country’s tourism headquarters Visit Scotland where we received a presentation on how Scotland is attracting tourists and plans for future development. For my history class we visited St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Museum, and St. Giles Kirkyard, all sites pertaining to Covenanters. As study abroad students, we were allowed to go on any of the other courses’ excursions as well, which included a trip to the Wallace Monument and the Whitelee Wind Farm among others. I thought that this was really nice option and all of these excursions were included in our program fees.

How did you finance your program abroad?

I was able to afford my study abroad trip by working while




attending college and attending college in my home town so I could save on rent. I was able to pay for on my own without aid or loans and the tuition costs were about the same as my home university, but all the extra spending money for food, trips and souvenirs was probably more than what I would have spent. The best advice I have is try not to let money get in the way - the experience is well worth any amount it costs!

How often were you able to travel and how did you go about planning the logistics?

We were able to travel every weekend. One weekend we took a trip up to Loch Ness. Another weekend we took a guided trip up to the Highlands. On our final weekend, a group of friends headed to London. The first two trips were offered by the University of Stirling. They were optional, so cost extra, but we went with a group of students from our program which was nice and very helpful to get to know everyone. As for our trip to London, the University of Stirling gave us information on how to book cheap flights and the rest (i.e. hostels, taxis, tours) we figured out on our own. I know many of the other students made trips to Ireland, Amsterdam, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Just because you’re not in the continental Europe doesn’t mean it’s always expensive to fly there.

What were some of your favorite places to travel?

My favorite trip was to the Highlands. Unfortunately our bus blew out two tires on our last day, so we didn’t get to see everything that was planned, but what we did get to see was amazing. There were so many serene lochs (lakes) and beautiful mountains, and quaint villages. I also got to see Stirling, Edinburgh, and Glasglow, along with some of the smaller towns such as Dunblane, Doune, and the Isle of Skye. Edinburgh by far was the coolest big city; it had amazing architecture and offered lots to do and see. If I had had more time I would have loved to travel to Ireland, Italy, and Greece. All of these places are easily accessible for a weekend trip, but I chose to see more of Scotland during my three weekends.

Describe any memorable cultural experiences in Scotland.

The food is interesting. Even though it looks like a hamburger, it doesn’t taste like a hamburger from home! They don’t use a lot of salt or condiments, but if you ask they will give it to you. A lot of stores close by 5 pm during the week and usually only open until 8 on the weekends, even grocery stores and restaurants. It surprised me that a lot more people smoke there and that it is very difficult to find public water fountains anywhere. 

Why do you think studying abroad is beneficial?

I think studying abroad is beneficial not only because you get some credit at your home university, but because the classes you take are interesting. You can choose classes that sound interesting. The teachers are fun to get to know and have great stories to tell. By studying abroad, I feel it’s easy to make more friends because you have people you live with and people in each of your classes. The more people you know, the better your experience will be. Also, it gives you a variety of experiences; by only traveling you are constantly dealing with tourists, taxis, and dealing with problems that inevitably come up. By studying abroad you get to travel, but you have a home base that you can come back to. I also feel that if you are just traveling, you more likely to be set on where you want to go and when, but if you study abroad you can go to different places based on where your friends want to go and see things you might not have chosen to see.
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