On Leaving Scotland

By senior Matthew MacPhail

We’d be lying if we said we were ready to leave Scotland. These two weeks have been an amazing experience, and it is a little hard to understand that this is the last time we will see many of the great friends we have made here. Going on an exchange and living with a host family is an experience unique to high school, and it is sad to think that our experience may never be recaptured.

I think we will all leave this trip with the knowledge that no matter where people live, we all have something that connects us. It has been fascinating to meet Scottish people that are so like us, and it has been awesome to create relationships with people half way around the world.

It has also been interesting to experience the Scottish education system, which is very different from our system. Instead of being graded throughout the year, they only receive one grade at the end of the year for their exams. I have enjoyed thinking about the positives and negatives of this versus the American system.

Above all, the biggest thing I learned on this exchange is the importance of seeing different cultures and traveling around the world. There are so many benefits to be had from just experiencing a place that is different from your home country. Although at times it has been uncomfortable, and there are definitely hard aspects to it, I think it has been an invaluable experience. The things we will miss the most are all of our mates. The people really do make Glasgow.