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Summer Public Office Hours: May 20 – August 9

During the summer months, the Office of International Affairs will observe revised hours during with the office will be open to the public:

Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

These hours do not reflect any changes in availability for drop-ins, appointments, or other business. If you have specific needs, you may reach out or utilize the Connect page. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Kilts & Bagpipes

Life in the Highlands
Fatima in the Scottish Highlands
Fatima Maldonado
Political Science
Term Abroad: 
Spring 2023

Q: Initially, what made you decide to study abroad? Why did you choose your program?

A: I wanted to study aboard because as a first generation student I want to take advantage of every opportunity UC Merced can provide. I choose the program in Scotland because of the beautiful scenery and of its location. It was a small city which reminded me of home but still a short train ride or flight to any where in Europe.

Q: What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

A: The highlights of my study aboard program were meeting highland cows, exploring Barcelona, France, and Portugal and the work I did with my internship.

Q: What was your greatest challenge abroad and how did you overcome it?

A: The greatest challenge I had aboard was loneliness. This was the very first time I was completely alone and away from my family. It was a really hard challenge the whole time I was there. I overcame this feeling by giving myself a routine and trying everyday to explore a new place in Edinburgh. As well as trying to make new friends so that we could keep each other company.

Q: How did your coursework abroad compare to your courses at UC Merced?

A: My coursework abroad was similar to the coursework at UC Merced. I would go to lectures and take notes, as well as go to discussion and participate in conservations about the topic. And as a midterm I would have to write an essay. The one thing that was different was the final. The format similar to taking the SATs.

Q: What did you gain from your study abroad experience?

A: I gained a lot of knowledge on how to take care of myself and become independent, I had to cook and look after myself which was a bit of a change but it was easy to get the hang of. And of course I gained a new found appreciation for foreign cultures.

Q: What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?

A: The advice I would give students who go aboard is to make sure to appreciate the time you have aboard and to make sure to take every opportunity you are offered. Explore, Enjoy, and Eat!!

Q: Describe a typical day abroad.

A: A typical day was waking up getting ready for school. Taking the bus and enjoying the view of the lovely town. Go to class
and the go to my internship and work for a bit. Then take an evening stroll around the city and pick up some food.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go and why?

A: I would go back to Europe, maybe somewhere in Spain because my short time there was lovely and I loved the architecture, the food and the language. And of course it's so close to everywhere else in Europe.