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The Carletonian

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The Carletonian

Notes from Abroad: Sam Keller ’12


Physics Major (eventually a Religion major too)

Studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland

Living situation: Dorm

Favorite food: Deep-fried Mars bar.

Favorite class: Church and Society in Late Medieval Scotland.

Advice: Before you choosing where to go, know what you’re looking to get out of the experience.

“Lost in translation”: Have a story about miscommunication? When someone just didn’t understand what you were saying or vice versa? What did you learn from it?

A friend and I spent a weekend hiking around the Isle of Skye, a famously beautiful island off the northwestern coast of Scotland. After a full day of hiking, we returned to the bar, above which our room for the night was, and we got ourselves a drink. We ended up talking with a Scottish guy, about 55 years old, who was there with three friends of his. He loved to talk and so he talked at us for about an hour and a half. Problem was… we didn’t understand a word he said. He was speaking English, but his accent was so thick that we only caught approximately one word every couple minutes. So we read the nonverbal cues and nodded and laughed at the appropriate times. We know he talked about Cuba, Bacardi rum, some tour guide, lawyers, and a gazebo. Beyond that, we were clueless. He was buying us drinks, though, so we couldn’t complain! At one point he said something in a slightly serious tone and stuck out his hand in front of me… so I shook his hand. I still have no clue what I agreed to.

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