My journey began as a childhood dream to one day live in Scotland. As I grew, so did my dreams but I worried about making such a drastic change and moving across the Atlantic to a new country miles away from family and friends. I would set goals and then watch their deadlines pass as my hesitation created unnecessary roadblocks.
Then one day last summer, thirteen years after completing my undergrad degrees, I came across a course I had not seen in previous searches: MLitt in Celtic Studies at the University of Glasgow. Intrigued, I researched it further and found that it covered all the areas of study I was interested in art and literature, archaeology and history, even the opportunity to learn Scottish Gaelic!
A visit to the University of Glasgow, for their annual Post Graduate Open Day last November, allowed me a chance to see the campus and meet some of the students, staff and lecturers. Impressed by the enthusiasm and kindness of everyone I met, I made the decision to apply and was accepted into the program. The Celtic & Gaelic staff, as well as the admissions staff members, were very helpful throughout the process of applying for university based scholarships and willing to answer any questions I had along the way.
Upon arriving in Glasgow Airport, I received a warm welcome to the city, both from the university’s Welcome Team and the weather. I was taken directly to my accommodation to settle in and prepare for international orientation week. Over the course of the next two weeks, I met each of my flat mates and made new friends from many different countries and cultures. I was also amazed at how many people would return a smile when I was out walking or would be willing to give me directions and advice if I was uncertain of how to get to where I wanted to go.
I am now in my second semester and I am enjoying my courses. All of my lecturers are friendly and passionate about their fields of study, and genuinely committed to seeing me and my classmates succeed. In addition, there are a number of places where I can go to practice Gaelic conversation, find books on (and written in) Gaelic, or listen to Gaelic music and songs, such as Coffee & Craic (a Gaelic Café where you can place your order in Gaelic), the Gaelic Book Council, Friday evenings at Sutherland’s, and monthly at the Partick Brewing Co. to name just a few. There is also a Gaelic conversation group that meets twice a week in the Celtic & Gaelic building on campus where I can drop in to have a chat in Gaelic.
My year here in Glasgow is flying by quickly, and I do not want it to end. I hope to either continue on with a PhD or find a job that will allow me to extend my time here in Glasgow, a city in which I feel at home and is helping me to achieve my lifelong dream.
To find out more about studying in Glasgow, click here.