Before setting off to Uppsala, Alice shared her fondness for Glasgow – her first study abroad destination which has become her second home.
I started missing Glasgow the moment I left.
At first glance, she might not be as quaint as Edinburgh, as medieval as York, as vibrant as London, nor is she as world-renowned as Oxbridge – yet she is the city which has watched me grow up.
It was the first time for me to be so attached to a place where I was meant to be a sojourner. How lucky I was to be blessed with a landlord who empathized with my situation in turbulent times and offered to postpone my lease. I shall always remain indebted to her hospitality.
During my brief stay in Glasgow, my warm-hearted flatmate, chef Ian, has enlightened me with his amazing cooking skills. Under his guidance, I can now make mouth-watering dishes from scratch (something which would be unthinkable had I stayed in Taiwan for ten more years!). Every day, I would study in the morning, prepare ingredients for dinner in the afternoon, and dine with Ian when he came home from work. Such manner of living, albeit insipid at times, had become my anchor and helped me find peace in a foreign land.
Admittedly, there were rough days when I was overwhelmed by readings and challenged with essay questions. I can still recall the way my nervousness crept in while I was practising my speeches for seminars – ‘I must speak up this time. I mustn’t let my fear of speaking English take over.’
Nonetheless, I feel that I have made great strides over the first semester. In the beginning of my study, barely could I comprehend the lectures. I was too afraid to speak up and became apprehensive when I studied the reading lists. But now, I can grasp most of the course content. Adding to that, I have collaborated with international students on group projects. To top it off, I have made genuine GLOCAL friends with whom I can share my joy and sorrow. Even though it takes time for me to articulate my thoughts in English, they remain very understanding.
In this city, I have spent all my savings and taken my first step to live the life I dream of. I might never come back again, yet dear Glasgow, for Auld Lang Syne, you shall stay forever close to my heart.