Marissa in Britain

Marissa is a junior University and Mustang Scholar from Dallas majoring in international studies and anthropology in Dedman College. Through the SMU-in-Britain program, she is spending the academic year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, studying international relations and modern history.

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Journey to St. Andrews

100_2192.JPG wait for fall term was extra long this year – not that anyone’s complaining about having an extra four weeks of summer. It is common in the UK for a university fall term to begin in mid to late September. In my case, move-in day wasn’t until Sept. 20th.

Given the fact that all my friends had already begun classes or had already left abroad, I was pretty anxious to get to Scotland. I couldn’t say the same for my family. I have to admit on the day I left we all became very emotional. This was not only a first for me, but for anyone in my family. No one has ever gone abroad for such a length of time (the program calls for an academic year overseas). At the airport I was eager to get to the gate, because I couldn’t stand my parents watching me as I went through airport security. It was a relief when they were no longer in sight. I do not know how much longer I could have kept it together.

The journey to St. Andrews was like an adventure in itself. It started off with an eight-hour flight from Dallas to London’s Heathrow airport. The only good thing about such a long haul was that the airline provided complimentary drinks of all sorts.

Once I reached London I had to take an hour coach service to London’s Gatwick airport to catch my flight to Edinburgh. By the time I boarded this flight my ears had still not “unpopped” from the previous flight and I could barely hear a thing except an echo in my head as I spoke to people.

A Scottish lady on the plane was describing St. Andrews to me and told me that it was a “quabe” town. I explained to her that I didn’t know what “quabe” meant and that I wasn’t that much familiar with Scottish lingo. She looked at me a little curiously. What she actually had said was that St. Andrews was a “quaint” town. Needless to say, my ears still hadn’t cleared up when I arrived in Edinburgh an hour-and-a-half later.

IMG_0194.JPGThe journey didn’t end there. At baggage claim I met up with hordes of students, primarily American, all waiting for the coach to St. Andrews. So, after another hour-and-a-half trek through the Scottish countryside, we finally reached the coast and, at long last, our destination. Thank goodness.

Well, no sooner than half an hour after opening the door to my bedroom did Fresher’s Week get underway …

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