I was very nervous about moving to Scotland for a year to study in Edinburgh. I have only visited a few states here and had never been out of the country. I had only flown once, and that was just to another state only a few hours away by car. Now I was getting a passport and student visa and having to locate quality student flats in Edinburgh to rent. I could barely understand some of the people I spoke to on the phone, and I kept saying apartments instead of flats. It took about a dozen calls to get used to thick Scottish brogue I had encountered with some landlords. They were used to speaking to “foreigners” like me, and were more than friendly and accommodating.

The website for one of the landlords renting student flats in Edinburgh had places that I could afford. I was on a very limited budget, and my parents were afraid that I was going to starve or end up on the streets of Scotland unable to pay for everything. I was insistent about paying my own way, and my parents were insistent I take a credit card they got for me on their account in my name in case I got into trouble. My dad wanted me to take cash he had saved up. Mom wanted me to convert it into Traveler’s Checks. I had read everything I could about spending abroad, and I had all of my finances in order.

I was there for 12 months. The lease I had was monthly, but by the third month I was okay in paying the rest of it off. I had saved the money before I even went to Scotland to study. I had stayed in a dorm in the States so was used to shared spaces. I had my own room here. In a dorm I had to share it with a roommate, or flatmate as they say here. In the year I was here I practiced my Scottish accent with friends I had made. We made a game of it to the point I had to pass as a native to a stranger. I won the challenge. I enjoyed my stay, my year of learning and the student flats in Edinburgh where I stayed.