Alumni Spotlight: Morghan Lemmenes


Why did you choose this program?

When I was 16, I traveled to England and Scotland for the first time. I fell in love with Edinburgh. I went back to the city when I was 18 and realized that is where I would like to live for a little while. The culture and architecture take your breath away. There is a mountain right in the center of the city, which is a great hike, and it is not too far away from the beach. The city is also not too big which allows you to walk everywhere. And it is filled with things to do.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The university provided housing for us, and the program provider had an on-site coordinator there. During the first week there, the on-site coordinator took us around the city and helped us get to know it and how to live there. The program provider also brought us on a trip to the highlands for the weekend. Otherwise, we were on our own the rest of the time. After the first week, you got comfortable with the city and know how to survive there.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Pack less. It's scary to think that you have to pack enough stuff for three months because you don't want to buy new clothes over there. When I left, my suitcase weighed 50lbs exactly. When I came back home, I have two suitcases full of clothes and other stuff. I didn't think that I would be buying a lot of things there, but I did.

I plan on going to London soon, and now I know not to pack a lot because I will be gaining so much when I am there. Also, pack the things that mean something to you or remind you of home. It makes the homesickness a lot easier.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You would only go to class three days of the week which means the rest of the time is used to explore. I would have a set day where I would go exploring in Edinburgh. I would look at new bookshops or cafes or go to the botanical gardens. There was not a lot of homework, which allowed for more time to explore the city. At night, everyone would go out to the pub for a drink and to play pool or trivia. The weekends were spent traveling to different countries and to try to explore the rest of Europe.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear would definitely be leaving my family behind and not being able to see them for three months. The first week was really hard but then I became more comfortable with my flat and the people there. That helped with me missing my family. I also had a scheduled time when I would call my parents to talk to them. My friends and family came to visit once a month so I would always have someone from home visiting. Even though it was scary at first, it really helped me become more independent and comfortable being away from my parents for so long.