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Salisbury through the eyes of a Scotsman: Shields reflects on his semester at SU


Staff Writer

As my time in Salisbury comes to an end, I thought it would be fitting to take a light-hearted look back on my time here and reflect on how my experiences have impacted me and how I will remember my time at the university.

I will, without doubt, be asked “So how was Salisbury?” by friends and family when I go home to Scotland. With the end of the semester drawing ever closer it has given me a chance to think about how my time here has compared to my expectations before my adventure began.

The first thing I will reflect on when I get home is the friendly nature of almost all of the students and staff that I have met during my time as a foreign student at SU. From my very first days in the community I was greeted with great warmth from everyone I met. Starting with Agata Liszkowska and the International Exchange department all the way to the random people I met in class and at parties who were overjoyed to meet someone with a funny accent.

I love Scotland and I love being able to talk about it. I will definitely miss being asked questions out of the blue in classes or at parties. People were often wary of whether or not they were annoying or offending me by asking daft questions about my homeland, but it was very much the opposite. As a nation we are proud to tell people where we came from, but we are also the first to make jokes about ourselves and to pick holes in the storyline of Braveheart.

The occasional party goer who would not believe I was from Scotland did give me a laugh. “Are you from Scotland? Nah come on, are you really though?” I even had a few people who accused me of putting on the accent, if only they knew.

I knew that America was a country, which, like Scotland, loves their sports. As a big fan of sports I was keen to experience it in the American culture. My experiences at the Orioles game were brilliant. I had been unsure whether or not baseball would appeal to me as I had pre-conceived ideas of a game that was very start and stop, which lasted for hours.

It did last hours and it was very start and stop, but I had a great time at the game. The entertainment between innings and the fun, family atmosphere meant that the whole occasion was one that I really enjoyed and if truth be told I enjoyed it a lot more so than I had expected to.

My next memory has got to be the music. Rap or country seem to be the only options and as a fan of neither it has been a bit of a rough ride on that front. With the thanks to my roommate I am coming round to the country genre, although it would be untrue for me to say that I am a fan. I am certainly a long way from donning my guitar and cowboy hat but it has been a part of the culture that I have enjoyed getting to know.

I was a little unsure whether or not fraternities and sororities existed and I was surprised to learn the nature of them when I arrived. Learning a little more about the organizations has given me a greater understanding of the importance of them to campus life.

I was aware of ‘frat parties’, but this is seen as some sort of clichéd image of American college life. The on-campus events and charity work done by these organizations is something that I had no idea about before arriving in Salisbury.

At home I will also speak very highly of the lovely people at The Flyer who have allowed me to pen my ramblings every couple of weeks in the newspaper and online. As a student from Stirling with a monthly university paper I was very impressed to find that Salisbury students produce a top class weekly edition here at SU.

I think that the university community should have a way of expressing our views on matters affecting us and The Flyer is certainly doing a superb job of allowing the student voice to be heard loud and clear.

I am sad to only be at Salisbury for a semester and would love to be able to stay for the year. That being said, I do not fancy messing with Homeland Security who would probably try and deport me if I outstay my visa, so I guess I better go home.

My final thanks must go to everyone who has welcomed me in to this wonderful university in the incredible country that is the United States of America. It has been wonderful to meet many of you and to share my experiences from home whilst being treated like one of your own for the short time that I have been living in Salisbury.

It has been a pleasure.

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