By Benjamin K. ’21
Photos by Señora Brubaker
Ten eighth graders left on a Friday in March to see life in a new country. We would return with new friends and new experiences, as the United Kingdom felt familiar but also very different. Our immersion in the British culture provided a first opportunity for many of the travelers to see a foreign way of life.
LCDS students and their hosts met up at Kelvinside Academy on Saturday to have a traditional Scottish breakfast. This included eggs, sausage, black pudding, potato scones, bread, and tea cakes (a favorite treat among the young people on Scotland). The adults chatted while the children ate and discussed what to do next.
Several of the kids went outside, and that was where we noticed one of the principal differences: the sports that were popular there rather than in the States. In the U.K., rugby is commonly played instead of American football. And in Scotland, soccer is not as widely played as rugby but people watch and follow it more closely, similar to they way Americans follow football or basketball.
Kelvinside is much like Country Day, with similar class sizes and curriculum. The biggest difference between the two schools is the uniform. At Kelvinside the uniform consists of a white button down shirt, a necktie, black pants, and a blue blazer or a school sweater.
On Tuesday, we journeyed to Loch Lomond, where we enjoyed a tiring hike and had lunch with a view of the loch. On Wednesday we set out early by train for York. Once there we explored the spectacular York Minster and the winding Shambles shopping district. The next day we went to the Fountains Abbey, built in 1132, and learned some of the history of the region.
We spent our final day in Edinburgh. While there, we went to Edinburgh Castle where we took in the prison, Scottish Crown Jewels, and more. We explored Old Town and New Town by foot, walking many streets including the Royal Mile and Princes Street. That night we said our goodbyes to our new friends. In one week, we had created memories and friends to last a lifetime.
These experiences in the United Kingdom allow for students to think in new ways and foster a deeper understanding of their own life through the exposure to some one else’s. These differences show what makes the each of these cultures special and unique, despite their similarities.
The United Kingdom was similar to the United States in how people behaved and spoke, but in other ways it was very different. The people there had a greater understanding and appreciation of the history of the region around them. This varied from knowledge of ancient battles, such as William Wallace’s defense of Scotland, to why and when certain types of houses were built in different places.
If our Scottish hosts were to come to the States, I would be very excited for them to learn a bit more about our country, they way they taught us about theirs.
LCDS Global Programs include a robust, curricular, experiential learning travel program and a diverse international student community. For more information on our travel opportunities or learning about the rewards of hosting an international student, please contact Heather Woodbridge, Director of Global Programs.