Brynn W. Exchang Ambasador

What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:

Empowering - University of Aberdeen

"You see new cultures become comfortable in the unknown, and experience things you didn't know you could experience."

Brynn W.. on exchange



Exchange student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Fall semester
Studying Anthropology and Biology

  1. What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad? 

The people I met, I made many life long friends that I will stay in contact with. I also learned how to be self-sufficient through solo travelling and planning.

  1. What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make? 

Aberdeen has a huge international population so there were not many changes I had to make as its very international-friendly. The biggest difference was getting used to saying "crisps" instead of potato chips.

  1. Where was the coolest place you travelled to during your study abroad experience? 

Glasgow is my favourite place of all the cities I travelled to. It's a city that has life and character but also quiet and peaceful. It's both ancient and new. It's elegant and rustic at the same time. It felt like home and is a place I'd seriously consider moving to in the future.

  1. What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you studied abroad? 

It won't be the fairy tale you expect. It won't go how you plan or be as easy as you think. But it will be amazing in its' own way. No matter what it'll be the best experience of your life, even if you have bad days or worry you aren't doing enough. It will be what it will be, and that will be amazing.

  1. What was your best learning moment? 

Travelling to Edinburgh as a solo traveller. I made it a mission to make friends at my hostel and I did. Its very difficult to put yourself out there, but I learned that people are often more friendly and willing to talk than you'd expect.

  1. Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that? 

My sister. She had been abroad before and I often wished she was there when I was struggling. We made sure to speak almost every 2 weeks, and text regularly. Communication is the best way to deal with missing someone from home.

  1. Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that? ​

I made really close friends with 3 girls who live in Germany. We got very close, shared everything, and supported each other. We kept in touch and regularly talk. Keeping each other updated on your life and planning to see each other in the future, was really helpful to ensure that our friendship would sustain the test of time.

  1. If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?​ ​

It builds so much character. You learn how to be the best version of you and get to take from the experience what you want. You see new cultures become comfortable in the unknown, and experience things you didn't know you could experience. You get to study your field from the perspective of another country, and there's a noticeable difference. You make friends from all across the world who you can later travel to in the future. It may be the most life-changing experience of your university life and is worth every second.

  1. Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange? 

No, Scotland is English speaking. They have Gaelic language courses but its not at all something you need to learn to function in the country.

  1. Did you live on-campus or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why? 

Campus accommodation about 20 minutes from campus. Living off-campus would have been cheaper and nicer but much harder to arrange and possibly less safe as you couldn't visit them prior to committing to it. The accommodation was great for its price and was a good way to meet people.

  1. How did you finance your study abroad experience? 

I saved money while working 2 jobs through the school year and summer. I also received OSAP and a scholarship. My parents provided me with some support, but it was mostly self-funded.

  1. Are you including exchange on your resume?  

I will add it under my education section, referencing Aberdeen and the time I spent there.

  1. What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)? 

I took a Gaelic Folklore course (GH2006). It was a great way to understand Scotland's past and how they see the world. It goes from traditions and ideas that are hundreds of years old to their place in present day. I also took an Anthropological Theory class (AT3027) and a Philosophy Controversial Questions course (PH1027).

  1. Is there any other helpful information you would like to share with future study abroad participants? ​

Put your self out there. You will get out of the experience what you put into it. Don't worry about not doing enough and just do what you can. It'll be amazing.

Scotland pictures

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