During the spring semester, two computer science majors studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland where they took courses in their field while exploring new passions for travel, photography and adventure.
When selecting an abroad program through the HWS Center for Global Education, both Emily Bak ’19 and Allison Doherty ’19 prioritized their studies in computer science as well as opportunities for cross cultural exchange. Through the Edinburgh program, students enroll at Edinburgh Napier University, where they have access to a wide range of course offerings. And with the historic and international capital of Scotland as home base, students travel through the countryside of the United Kingdom and other destinations across Europe.
“HWS has been extremely helpful with giving me opportunities, so when I brought up the idea of wanting to go abroad to my advisers, they said that despite my big course load they would help me make it work,” says Doherty, who in addition to her studies in computer science is also majoring in mathematics and minoring in music.
Doherty and Bak’s schedules included courses in mobile application development, web technologies, web design, software engineering technologies and a field-intensive class in Scottish culture including excursions to Glasgow, Edinburgh Castle, Linlithgow Palace and The Kelpies. The Center for Global Education provides students who enroll in Scottish culture with a stipend for field trip expenses.
In addition to her studies, Doherty developed confidence traveling independently. “I’m not much of an independent traveler and never thought I’d get on a flight by myself, so these trips really opened me up to traveling solo and how fun it can be,” she says. She credits her passion for videography for helping her process her experiences and document them for her classmates, family and friends.
“A lot of the videos I’ve taken show local people living in the city. Edinburgh is definitely the type of place with beautiful 360 degree views,” Doherty says. “Video allows me to capture my memories while exploring outside all day.”
While abroad, Bak traveled to Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Galway and London. “I have taken hundreds of photographs of the places I have been and plan on submitting them when I return back to campus.” Bak entered a submission into the HWS Study Abroad Photo Contest and intends to share her photos with The Aleph, the HWS study abroad magazine.