I wanted to go the United Kingdom. It just makes sense: English major + United Kingdom = RAPTURE.
It was just a matter of where. London was out — too expensive! I preferred to have extra money to travel around the British Isles as well as, hopefully, the Continent.
Then, I found the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and something clicked.
What was appealing about Scotland was:
1.) Glasgow is the third-largest city in the United Kingdom (Population: 1, 750, 000). As an urban
girl, I need my shops, restaurants, museums, and concerts, and with the Scottish Opera, the Scottish Ballet, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Lighthouse Museum of Architecture, pubs and stores galore, and a music scene said to rival Motown in its heyday, Glasgow fit the bill.
2.) I’m interested in the British Empire and its effects. Scotland was one of the first to be absorbed into the United Kingdom, first through the ascension of James VI of the Stuarts and then through the (hotly protested) Acts of Union. In general, I’m curious to see, especially since Scottish independence is a current issue right now, how Scots view themselves in context of the United Kingdom.
3.) I want to travel! Glasgow, as a transportation hub with an international airport, makes it all the more convenient to jet around the United Kingdom and hopefully, to the Continent.
4.) Scottish culture is fascinating to me. Not just kilts and bagpipes (even though the Celtic gaitas in Asturias definitely piqued my interest), but to see what type of place produces Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Minerva McGonagall, the Loch Ness Monster, Robert Burns, Alexander Graham Bell, Alexander Fleming, my Doctor Who crew, and highland cows.