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A Semester(ish) at Hogwarts: Noah Henchen

Name: Noah Henchen

Major: Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis 

Year: Sophomore 

Program: University of Glasgow- Spring 2020


Why did you study abroad?

Growing up I was always looking forward to the day that I could study abroad. I love traveling and seeing things different to what I am accustomed to. Studying abroad allowed me to travel and see different cultures, while receiving credits for my major and minor. 


Why did you choose this location?

I chose Scotland because I love being outdoors and hiking and with ⅔ of Scotland being uninhabited and mountainous it was the ideal place to study. I was also fascinated with the history of Scotland and their fight for independence, as well as the abundance of castles in the country. I chose Glasgow in particular because it is the largest city in Scotland and there is plenty to do no matter what interests you may have. Glasgow was also a perfect springboard to travel to other countries with the abundance of airports in the area (two in Glasgow, one in neighboring Edinburgh). The University of Glasgow also has a reputation of being one of the world’s most prestigious universities. It is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and was founded in 1451. When I looked up pictures of the university before I left, I kept seeing pictures of the main building (pictured above). As soon as I saw that and with everything I read it seemed like the perfect place to study abroad (not to mention that I would be studying at Hogwarts). 


What was the best part of studying abroad? Favorite Experience?

Everything! However, if I had to pick the best part about studying abroad it would be the people that you meet. Studying abroad allows you to meet people all over the world and form friendships that will last a lifetime. Despite COVID-19 limiting my study abroad experience, my fondest memories are the memories that I made with the friends I did make. Before I left we all agreed that had we all known that we would be sent home early, we all would have still picked to study this semester because otherwise we would not have met each other. Many people say being able to travel all throughout Europe for so cheap is the best part of studying abroad (which is great), but it does not compare to the friendships you make while abroad. Making friends abroad gives you great connections and gives you a reason to keep traveling in the future.

Every experience during my time abroad was my favorite experience. If I had to narrow it down to one thing it would be experiencing living in a different country and having Glasgow to call my “home”. My fondest memories are experiencing the city of Glasgow with my friends and finding new cool places to go. The university is located in the vibrant west end of Glasgow and there is so much to do in that area. Glaswegians (name for people from Glasgow) are the friendliest people you will ever meet. You could sit down with a random stranger and have a two hour conversation with them. I miss the hospitality of the locals more and more each day. Glasgow is a really cool city with a great music and art scene and I highly recommend studying here.


What did you struggle with? How did you overcome it?

The way in which courses are run was a major difference compared to courses in the U.S. For most courses in the U.S. you are constantly assessed whether it is through essays, projects, or exams. However, for many classes at Glasgow you will have an essay and a final exam which make up your course mark. With that said there is a lot of pressure to do well on these assessments as they are the only way in which you are assessed. There is also a lot more stress on individual learning as you are not being constantly assessed on the material. A lot of classes have an assigned reading list for the specific section you are covering and you are responsible for reading these and making sure you obtain the information. I knew a lot of this information going in, but when you first get there it can be a little daunting. I overcame this by making sure that I was staying on track and finished all of the readings that were assigned. I also regularly tested myself to assure that I remembered the information that I learned. It can be difficult at first, but you will get adjusted quickly. 


Were you able to travel to other places?

Yes! I chose to go during the Spring semester at Glasgow because you get a three week break during the semester. I saw this as a perfect time to see a lot of Europe and Scotland. Unfortunately, given the circumstances of COVID-19 I was sent home before I had the opportunity to partake in the plans I made. However, I still was able to see a lot of both Scotland and Europe. Before arriving in Scotland I traveled to Iceland. While in Scotland I took weekend trips to Prague, Amsterdam, and Warsaw. In Scotland I traveled to Edinburgh, Isle of Arran, and Loch Lomond to name a few. Again, Glasgow is a great springboard to see the rest of Europe and is also the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. 


What advice do you have for those who want to study abroad?

Go for it! If you are on the fence about studying abroad, do it! You will not regret going, I promise you that. You often hear the saying “you will regret not going, but you will not regret going”, which is corny but accurate. Also, if you have the chance try to study abroad for a whole year. For some majors this may not be a possibility, but if you have the opportunity, take it. My biggest regret is not studying abroad for a whole year. It is truly a remarkable experience that you will not regret. 


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One Comment

  1. Kathleen Mathis

    great job Noah!!! Proud of you for making the decision to go abroad!!! Good for you! love Ms. Kathy 🙂 did you eat hot dogs! lol

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