Study in Scotland

Hi everyone,

Fellow Abroad Alumni here. Have you wondered about where to go, when you study abroad?

Well, my first advice to you is go into the international center and talk to the lovely people here who are just as eager to get you off as you are. But, my other suggestion is, go to Scotland! I studied for 6 months at Strathclyde University in the brilliant city of Glasgow and, if you aren’t already convinced, here are some pics to get you intrigued in the land of the brave.


Here is the beautiful Glencoe. Definitely a highlighted spot.


This is a snapshot of the iconic, wee city of Portree Harbour. On the way to the Isle of Skye, actually, which is an amazing place to visit, too.


This shot was taken on the first try and I know that it is also a famous Pinterest shot. Taken at Loch Lomond on a lucky, sunny day.


And finally, we have a shot of George Square, one of Glasgow’s most famous spots. Really close to Strathclyde, too!

Of course, we can’t forget about the featured image – a shot of the Duke of Wellington who stands guard outside the GoMA (Glasgow Museum of Modern Art). There is actually a whole news report on the fact that he gets to keep his traffic cone. Look it up on Youtube!

So – convinced yet? Don’t wait around! Come get information about applying for the spring semester in the fall or come early for information for next fall submissions.



Vancouver Highlights

Spring break has come and gone and our Vancouver group is back from their trip. Let’s see what they have to say about the experience.


“Traveling to Canada during Spring Break 2016 was simply an amazing experience that has inspired me to continue to be a global citizen who is passionate about volunteerism. Ultimately this trip has challenged and opened up a multitude of opportunities for me to continue to seek a global understanding of the world in helps of making me a better student and citizen.” –Teaira Martin, Gender, Ethnicity, & Multicultural Studies Major


“This trip was an amazing experience that has opened my eyes in so many different aspects of life. Traveling with Dr. Reese has inspired me to not limit myself and to actually get in the trenches and be the change I want to see. I definitely have the travel bug and am ready to travel the world and explore different cultures.” -Adrienne Markham, Business Administration Major 


“Studying abroad in Vancouver and Victoria was an amazing experience because I met incredible people and was introduced to the most beautiful scenic landscapes I have ever seen. I come back to Cal Poly Pomona a motivated student seeking opportunities to get involved and looking forward to the next adventure.” -Jennifer Bermudez, Political Science Major          


“My Vancouver experience was by far one of the best experiences of my life. This was my first time going on a plane and leaving the country. This trip was so much more than I expected and I most definitely now have the travel bug!” -Jolie Savage, Sociology Major


“The trip to Vancouver gave me wonderful insight on the type of non-profit work being done by people all over the world. While only meeting with a small number of Canada-based non-governmental organizations, the work they do is monumental because of the lives of the people and communities they have touched. Also, I am grateful to the city and people of Vancouver, BC, Canada for allowing our humble group to take in the city and all the wonderful sites, foods, people, and culture it has to offer.”  -Amalia Macias, Architecture Major


“I had the most amazing time in Vancouver! It was truly an extraordinary experience to tour a foreign city, meet locals, and study international non-profit organizations. I highly recommend future students to go on this incredible trip!” -Emily Croucher, Agribusiness & Food Industry Management Major


“This trip was an extraordinary experience. I was able to grow as a student and as an individual by being exposed to different international NGOs in a different country. We tend to overlook our neighboring countries, but there is so much we can learn from them at an academic and cultural level.” -Edgar Herrera, Master’s in Public Administration Student


“This trip has made me realize how unique the United States and Canada really are. On the surface things seem very similar but there are differences that set us apart. These similarities and differences have helped put things in perspective for me.” -David Escobar, Political Science Major


“The Study Abroad trip to Vancouver/Victoria was such an inspiring and necessary trip. During the trip, I was able to absorb information not only from the special guests and those who presented, but I was able to develop relationships and connections with the other students on campus that I feel will stand the tests of time…until we all go back.”      -Terry Monday, International Business Major


“Canada is beautiful, clean and very green. My expectation was delivered with equal parts of education and adventure. I’m even more excited for my next trip.” -Philicia Jenkins, Apparel Merchandizing & Management Major


“It was my first time studying abroad and I was able to get a hands-on experience with my peer’s and my professor. Studying non-profit organizations in class and being able to take the knowledge outside of the classroom and apply it in the real world allowed me to get practical experience. Dr. Reese was very thorough, he took the time to explain and expose us to nonprofits and even the Canadian culture during our trip. I would highly recommend this trip to everyone and specifically students who don’t have time to study abroad for a whole quarter.” -Christine Ghanimian, Political Science Major


“Vancouver was one of the most beautiful cities I have experienced and it was my first time visiting another country. It provided an rewarding experience that I could never forget. The journey empowered you to want change the world.” -Joseph Giles-Sullivan, Liberal Studies Major


“The Vancouver trip was beneficial for me as I was able to learn more about non-governmental organizations while learning about the culture of Canada. Being able to participate in this trip made me more interested in the works of NGOs as I was able to experience these organizations and how they shape the world first-hand. The positives of these NGOs gave me hope for a better world.” -Rafi Jahangiri, Political Science Major


“The study abroad was truly an exceptional program learning of the similarities and differences in Canada compared to the United States. Learning about the struggles that Non Profit organizations go through to improve their cause. Through my experience on this trip I recommend others to be part of study abroad programs and traveling to learn about other cultures and grow as individuals.” – Jasmin Correa, Political Science Major


“The Vancouver/Victoria trip was a phenomenal and dynamic experience, which certainly exceeded my expectations. It is not an everyday experience to meet founders of international non-governmental organizations and learn about their organizations and humanitarian work that they do on the front lines such as developing communities and providing resources that may not be attainable to them. Also, by attending this trip as a consumer of knowledge and with an open mind, I was able to learn how our neighboring country just north of the border has been able to implement policies to issues that are controversial in the U.S. This trip contributed to my self-growth and made me realize that “it’s not expensive to change somebody’s life, all it takes is the heart and willingness to wanting to change.” -Sergio Maldonado, Psychology Major

People Make Glasgow Part 3



Above and below are pictures that were taken within the same weekend. During my last month in Scotland, I sought to visit as many of my friends’ hometowns as I could. So I made it to all of the ones who mattered most. Here, I’m with my good friend still who lived in Inverurie, Aberdeen. We were house sitting for one of her neighbors and got to spend some time with this lovely guy, Indie.


As I said, this picture was also taken around the same time as the one above, perhaps only a day later. The cows are kind of far away – they wouldn’t come up to the fence to greet me, unfortunately – but if you look closely, you’ll notice that they look a wee different than “normal” cows. These orange, extra-hairy, horned cows are specific to Scotland, known as Highland cows, or Highland coos, if you’d like to say it in the right ol’ Scottish way, and are typically found up in sparse areas of the Highlands.


Toward the end of my stay, my good friend and I stumbled upon The Lighthouse. Though not a real lighthouse, the building allows for a great view of the skyline of Glasgow. One can even go outside, if you so choose, and take pictures from a secure balcony. I was just glad I was able to make it here before I had to leave. In fact, it was today that I had to leave this good friend behind.


So as you’re guessing the theme of this last post, I also took this photo while off visiting another close friend of mine. Though he had meant a little more than just that – so I’d found the picturesque landscape of the Prestwick beach at sunset a great place to take a snap. He’d apparently thought so too and took one of me when I wasn’t looking. See – the sun does sometimes shine here in Scotland. Just got to know where to look for it.


By this time, it was late June and I had to kiss my travels goodbye. This is a photo I took with my flatmates – the three other girls in front, though we’re missing one – and the rest were our “international boys”. Friends from Macedonia, France, Singapore and Ukraine. This photo was taken a few days before most of them left, in the heart of George Square.

If you get anything out of this, it’s that traveling is not just about the opportunity to study in another country, but the opportunity to immerse. Cal Poly Pomona’s exchange program really allowed me to blossom into the person I’d been trying to be before. So – don’t hesitate to come in and learn about your opportunity to flourish in another country. Though I would highly recommend Scotland myself, any of them will do the trick.

Cheers xx


Tips to Traveling Abroad

If you have already decided you’re going abroad, don’t worry! The infamous Buzzfeed has some great tips for you to encourage you in your upcoming journey and also equip you with some great advice!

And if you haven’t decided you’re going abroad, do! It’s an amazing experience that you won’t regret – no matter where you go.

Check out the useful tips Here. 

Remember, don’t hesitate to come into the International Center for more information, advice or to ask about a specific program!

– You can have the world in your hands – if you’re brave enough to take hold of it –

Cheers xx

People Make Glasgow Part 2

So, as promised, here is the second part of my Glaswegian experience.


At the end of week 2, some of my flatmates and I went to discover the Glasgow Necropolis, which is conveniently located right behind Strathclyde. You hardly have to exert yourself at all. It was a cold day, and as you can see, a tad snowy. But it was beautiful. Refreshing. Peaceful.


This is the lovely George Square. I was here for an international center pub crawl event week 4, walked through it with mountaineering club around the 2nd month, and explored it by myself on particularly rainy days. This day, I was out by myself. George Square is iconic to Glasgow and a very central spot. It is, as you can also see, very beautiful.


At the end of week 4, my flatmates and I took a weekend trip with the Strathclyde international center. They were taking us to the Isle of Skye, a supposed beautiful spot of Highlands. Once again, it was cold and snowy – we actually ran into a blizzard of sorts halfway up – but they did not lie about the supposed beauty one bit. If I could post all of the pictures of it, I would, but I’m choosing to focus on this because of the significance it holds. I, after all, am an honorary Scot. You may also recognize this spot, known as Glencoe, as a flyover shot seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie.


Last one – I went out with these girls often. The one on my right is still one of my best friends to this day, 7 months after I’ve flown home. Whenever her Scottish friends had a birthday, she would bring me along as a sort of plus one. This night was one of the latter evenings, one of my last ones out with her and them. We always had a great time.

Part 3 to come later next week, but that will be the final one.

Cheers xx

People Make Glasgow Part 1

So last year, around this time, I spent 6 months in Glasgow, Scotland studying at Strathclyde University under an exchange program offered here at my home university, Cal Poly Pomona. I don’t want to be clique and say that it was the best experience of my life, but it really was. Instead of babbling about it with just words, I thought I would describe it using pictures.

10947246_10203315212062769_803392445823600475_n I wanted to start with this one, which is, as you guessed, a selfie, because I took it my first day in Glasgow. I was on my own, staying in a hotel, and I saw that they had complimentary Irn Bru and tea cakes. I am a large advocate of Irn Bru – it is Scottish soda you can only find in Scotland, certain stores from England and on Amazon if you’re really desperate – that is extra fizzy, sweet and, clearly, orange. You can even collect the bottle tartans!

10906170_10203320762761533_2253854042903993242_n On my second day in Glasgow, I walked down to the infamous Buchanan Street, where malls are prevalent and cars nonexistent. Bands, singers and single pipers come out here to entertain the Scots as they walk amongst the shops, battling the cold. Ironically, the last time I had been in Glasgow had been 4 years ago for the 2012 London Olympics. I had just been passing through, but this same drummer and bagpipe band had been playing on this same street then, too. As if welcoming me back once again.

IMG_2384 I found him during my first week as well. The Duke of Wellington, complete with traffic cone, standing guard to the GOMA, or Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. He, of course, did not start out with the cone on his head. One of the more iconic statues in Glasgow, it is famous purely for its mystery. One morning, the cone was there, and no matter how many times it is taken down, it always comes back. No one knows who does it or why. But now, the Duke of Wellington is incomplete without his cone.

10488391_10203393672544232_8139375925926411899_n Week two into my studies, some of my newer-made Scottish friends decided to invite me out on a “Pub Golf” outing. Themed accordingly, the goal was to hit nine pubs, like a small game of golf, and live to tell the tale. These sorts of adventures are very common in Scotland and end up being memorable experiences, to say the least. I didn’t win this pub crawl contest, unfortunately, but I did grow closer to the people I was with and gain new friendships as more Scots joined us throughout the night.


Part two to come later next week.

Cheers xx