Samantha, University of California Irvine, USA
Samantha has written a fantstic blog about her time at St Andrews.
Evan, Columbia University, USA
‘My year at St Andrews was one of the most positive experiences of my life. Living in halls was a chance to integrate seamlessly into the community. I took all my modules in the School of Classics, and a turreted stone building overlooking the North Sea was an ideal place to read about the ancient world. The balls were certainly the social highlight of the year, but so was simply spending time with friends at a pub or wandering on Lade Braes.
Looking back on my experience, I have become nostalgic. St Andrews is truly the perfect place to go to university. The students are both talented and unpretentious, the faculty are qualified yet accessible, and the institution itself is very prestigious. I am writing this in my home university’s library while wearing my St Andrews jumper. I spend a fair bit of time wishing I could return to Fife, but at the least Fife has not yet left me.’
Elizabeth, Emory University, USA
‘On a walk at 15:45, the winter sun was already setting and the most breathtaking sunset I’ve ever seen provided fabulous backlighting on the Old Course (hotel and golf course). I thought that it appropriately marked the end of a single day on this historic course.’
Laura, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy
‘Bonfires on the beach, people gathered around them, waiting for the dawn and for running into the North Sea. Students from around the world have been ready to say: “I was there”. A breath-taking setting!’
Jessi, Smith College, USA
’The green manicured grass outside of St Andrews Castle contrasts with the wild sky and ocean surrounding it, a striking reminder of the staying power of St Andrews. The castle seems to stand tall and blue sky peaks out from the clouds, hinting at a sunny afternoon to come.’
Ivy, Bryn Mawr College, USA
‘The infamous trek back to David Russell Apartments from class has its rewards, including spectacular sunsets!’
Rebecca, Queen’s University, Canada
‘The sunset on the West Sands will be one of the things I carry home with me from this place. It is an unbelievable experience to walk where so many of our forebears have gone before. Moreover, it is truly a communal space, where the students, residents and tourists of St Andrews can all intermingle freely. I know I can claim it today, and tomorrow the letters will sink back into the sand to give someone else the same opportunity. It belongs to all of us and that is why it is my favourite 600th Anniversary experience.’
Dan, Cornell University, USA
“The Faster You Run The Warmer It Gets!” This photograph won the ‘My St Andrews Experience’ Photo Competition, May 2012.
‘My study abroad experience was nothing short of incredible. I made new friends from all across the world, experienced an excitingly different academic model, and travelled throughout Scotland, the UK, and Europe. St Andrews is truly a special place, and I’m jealous of all the incoming JSA’s who have a full semester to look forward to. This photo is of my friends taking the first plunge during sunrise at the May Dip. It also defines the essence of my abroad experience. St Andrews is a place steeped in natural beauty and tradition, both of which come together during the Dip. The photo shows the chaos, excitement, and community of not only that icy morning, but also of the University as a whole. And this is what I’ve come to love about the school.’
Michael, Kenyon College, USA
“Humbled Ants”. This photograph won the Visiting Students Photo Competition (Outside St Andrews), May 2012
‘This photo was taken at the foothills of the ‘Old Man of Storr’ on the Isle of Skye. This was one of the most breath-taking sites I have visited in Scotland.
Stephanie, James Cook University, Australia
‘Living only a five minute walk from the beach, every study break could be used for a nice, relaxing walk along the edge of the North Sea, really perfect! This made the sometimes scary experience of studying abroad a lot easier.’
Bryant, Baylor University, USA
‘The School of Philosophy at St Andrews holds a weekend reading party away from St Andrews several times a year. This photo is of Philosophy Honours students walking up Mount Keen during the Reading Party.’
Lindsey, Ripon College, USA
‘Often when I needed a break from homework and classes, I would head to the East Sands for a stroll along the beach. One midday, as I passed the harbour, I came across this little Robin.’
Bizu, College of William & Mary, USA
‘I took this photo of St Andrews while on a walk with other study abroad students. It was a beautiful day and I felt like I was finally at home in St Andrews. It was nice to see the town from far away and look at it like home.’
Heather, High Point University, USA
‘St Andrews has shaped me into an independent, pursuer of dreams. My study abroad experience is one I will never forget where I met many friends, delved into the rich academic experience with an open mind and explored on many excursions. The professors are knowledgeable and open-minded; allowing each student to go beyond the ideas presented in readings and lectures. As a study abroad student, I remind myself each day, how blessed I am to be at the University of St Andrews, where I can simply finish lectures and take the scenic route to the library, a small coffee shop, or head back to the David Russell Apartments. As I walk, I hear the bird’s song, as one may know after taking the Honours Melanesian Anthropology course. Birds, the clashing waves from the North Sea, and the sound of golf balls hit once the golfer takes his or her swing and makes contact with the ball, are just some of the very pleasing sounds when walking around St Andrews. I am walking over the famous Swilken Bridge on the Old Course, St Andrews, in this photo.’
Bianca, Bard College, USA
‘I came to St Andrews excited about all the endless possibilities I could make out of my study abroad experience. I wanted to try out all that I could. I set a list of goals for myself ranging from attending my first ball to trying haggis. Petting a highland cow though was my greatest wish. I had passed a number of them before but they were always far out in the fields. My days left in Scotland were disappearing quickly and I began to think of it as a dream. But then I finally had the opportunity to meet my first highland cow at Glamis Castle! Like all things this year, the moral of this story is that everything is achievable at St Andrews if you let yourself dream!’
Caitlin, Saint Joseph’s University, USA
‘Coming to St Andrews has been an enlightening, hilarious, fun, difficult and almost unreal experience. For my entire life I have lived in the city and gone to city schools, so coming to St Andrews was a good shock! When I arrived at my hall of residence I only knew one person there. With so many friendly faces and open arms, that soon changed. It is impossible to walk through town without knowing at least one familiar face. In this picturesque town your imagination runs wild and opportunities are endless. I have never been more challenged or more rewarded. This photograph was taken on Raisen Weekend after the foam fight in Sallies Quad.’
Marie, Science Po, France
‘This photo was taken on the Sunday at the end of Freshers’ Week; many students first attended the church service and many more came to the Pier Walk, which – thanks to the particularly sunny weather – was the best way to end this first intense week but also to begin the new academic year.’
Marina, Arizona State University, USA
‘Coming from a university of 75,000 students to a university with three streets, St Andrews was a complete 180° change. I was instantly welcomed into my hall of residence and became instant friends with the mix of Freshers and fellow study abroad students. I transitioned easily into the new life and enjoyed all the traditions of St Andrews. I would not take this year back for anything; it has been full of memories of a lifetime and hopefully friendships as well. This photo is of some of my crazy new friends who decided to try the North Sea in November!’
Amanda, Washington College, USA
‘I captured this moment during one of my first weeks in St Andrews while exploring the town and the campus. I love the lighting that the setting sun provides and the beauty it casts on St Mary’s Quad and the School of Psychology. This photograph is a perfect example of the beauty and charm of St Andrews. I have never studied or lived in a place as beautiful as it is here.’
Andrew, Western University, Canada
‘On a day trip walking along the Fife Coastal Trail, I turned back at dusk and witnessed the town of St Andrews faintly glowing as the sun set in the west. Above, a plane soared into the gloaming. Between light and darkness, medieval and modern, movement and stillness, I had the momentary vista of a sublimely individual locale.’
Abbye, Whitman College, USA
‘On a geological field trip (I was studying Earth Sciences at St Andrews) our class took a ferry to the Island of Mull. This photograph shows an outlook over the ocean depicting our geological field mapping area. The Mull granite which characterizes the geology of the area can be seen streaked along the coast.’
Katharine, University of Vermont, USA
‘Almost every day this semester, I’ve gone to St Andrews harbour down by the East Sands beach. I’ve always loved the ocean and I live so far away from the ocean in the States, so it’s always a treat to get to spend more time by the ocean. My family and I go to Maine each summer and ‘creels’ like these always remind me of the lobster traps we see there.’
Emma, Smith College, USA
‘I cannot begin to explain what my time in St Andrews has meant. My life has been changed because of the life I have lived here and the people I have met. I am happy with the person I have become here. This photo was taken on St Patrick’s Day and depicts a day of perfect weather with my dearest friends. We are in the most beautiful part of the world.’
Sara, Sciences Po, France
‘This was taken on my first day in St Andrews, and I was really amazed by the red gowns. I was wearing a red coat too and I blended in with the St Andrews atmosphere. One of my best first memories in this town.’
Monica, Bucknell University, USA
‘My fondest memories of St Andrews are from the trips with the Mountaineering Club exploring Scotland. While I enjoyed my days in St Andrews getting lost on my way to the library, and ending up down near the pier procrastinating, my best experiences were out in the country. Instead of joining as many societies and clubs as possible I split my time between academics and the Mountaineering Club. With trips every weekend and socials every week, I never had a dull moment. The weekend trips allowed me to get out of St Andrews and really explore Scotland. One of the reasons I chose to study abroad in Scotland was to see more of the country. This semester I not only made it to the top of four ‘Munros’, but I also learned how to lead climb (not only with sport in a gym, but also leading my first single-pitch trad route, and seconding a 4-pitch route). For me, this semester was not so much about putting the study in study abroad, but taking full advantage of opportunities I would not have again any time soon.
This is the Lagangarbh Hut with Buachaille Etive Mor in the background (Glen Coe).’
Melissa, Washington College, USA
‘Coming to St Andrews, I did not know what to expect. I knew Scotland would be a beautiful place, but I was scared as I had never been to Europe or the United Kingdom prior to this journey. At the beginning, I was unsure, but after about a week here I fell in love. I have met amazing study abroad friends from different universities that will be friends for a lifetime. I have become best friends with my flatmates that are from London and other parts of England. I have never felt so cultured in my life and this is coming to a place where everyone said, “it’s just like America.” Scotland and specifically St Andrews have been unreal. I have walked on golf courses, went to the beach, and seen some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. I have also gained knowledge of local pubs and student life outside of the United States, something I thought I would never grow to understand. Overall, I have made a connection over here that I did not know I could. I have found a family, a home and a place that I definitely want to return to as soon as possible. This entire experience has made me feel like a new person and I would not trade it for the world.
This photograph is of Loch Ness with my new friends.’
Jasmin, James Cook University, Australia
Trying Scottish Treats! Deep Fried Mars Bar
‘Eating a fried ‘Mars’ bar for the first time in my life and being surprised about how delicious it tastes!’
Hannah, Wellesley College, USA
‘The most succinct way to describe my experience at St Andrews is “Magical”. This photo reflects my typical mood since I’ve been here! I just love going to the beach – regardless of the weather!’
Nhung, Mount Holyoke College, USA
‘My friends, fellow St Andrews students, were leisurely strolling in the sunshine, down the cobbled streets away from the hectic life of Market Street.’
Stephanie, Smith College, USA
‘Castle Cliff House, home to the School of English where I took most of my classes. It overlooks the old St Andrews Castle hence the name.’
Brian, Point Loma Nazarene University, USA
‘The traditional red gown of the University. This was taken while wondering around St Andrews with some friends.’
Horace, University of Virginia, USA
‘My time here at St Andrews has been incredible. Even though St Andrews is a small city every inch of it has some story to tell. And the ruins add a certain medieval charm to this town that is both eerie and cool. Socially this university is never boring. Whether it’s bopping in the Union on Fridays, getting squished in the Lizard, or taking trips to the Highlands there is always something to do here. But what really made my time here so much more rewarding were the numerous traditions that I had the chance to partake in this semester. As an Exchange student it is easy to see how these traditions foster a sense of community among everyone in the university, especially May Dip – this photograph is of the dawn on May 1st. (Crazy on so many levels.) This has definitely been one of the best semesters I’ve had. And I am blessed to have had this opportunity and to have met everyone that I did. I will miss you St Andrews.’
Mary, Belmont University, USA
I was on the rocks next to the West Sands beach watching the sunset, and I turned around and realized that the moon had an audience as well!
Sarah, University of Richmond, USA
This photo won the ‘My St Andrews Experience’ competition (first semester 2011-12)
Sarah was strolling in the grounds of St Andrews Cathedral and took this photograph of some student ambassadors.
Wenjia, University of Renmin, China
This photo was runner-up in the ‘My St Andrews Experience’ competition (first semester 2011-12)
Wenjia walked past the West Sands beach each day on her way to class.
I came to Scotland with curiosity and a little bit of fear. At first, I did not understand what people were saying and I felt gloomy. However, everyone around me was there to cheer me up and give me support – my Professor, the Collaborations & Study Abroad office, and the Warden of my residence. I participated in many events. I have Academic Parents and had a dramatic foam fight on Raisin Monday; I celebrated Halloween in the Sealife Aquarium; and I voted in the election for the new Rector. So many fantastic experiences that I would never have if I hadn’t been in St Andrews.
Rachel, Ohio University, USA
This photo is taken from the end of St Andrews pier during my first week in Scotland. I’ve spent afternoons since eating and meeting and strolling the East Sands. The St Andrews beaches occupied much of my time.
Tiziana, Università degli studi di Verona, Italy
A view from my window in Andrew Melville Hall. Every day there’s something different: a different light, different colours. This shows one day of autumn in St Andrews.
Chelsea, Mount Holyoke College, USA
This semester has been such a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. I had always wanted to study abroad somewhere in the UK and St Andrews has so many traditions that really attracted me. Also, who could resist this town? St Andrews has been a wonderful fit for me. I have made a few friends that I hope I will keep for years to come and had experiences that I will never forget. I have taken courses in biology and become involved in Dance Soc and the Celtic Society, since I am a double major in biology and dance back at my home institution, Mount Holyoke College. I got to travel around Scotland and even spent some time in Italy. I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to be here, even if just for a semester.
Ida, Copenhagen University, Denmark
Being an exchange student here has given me an insight into what it is like being a student in a little, beautiful, Scottish town with an ambitious academic profile, but also with great student solidarity. As the group of students in the picture symbolises, you do not walk the academic road alone. In St Andrews I have met a lot of like-minded students and made friends with students from so many different cultures.
Ashley, University of San Francisco, USA
This photo won the Visiting Students Photo Competition (Inside St Andrews) 2011.
Students running into the sea at dawn for the May Dip, a beautiful yet toe-numbing tradition that I am glad to have been a part of during my time in St Andrews.
Emily, Whitman College, USA
This photo won the Visiting Students Photo Competition (Outside St Andrews) 2011.
I came to St Andrews to study geosciences and enrolled in a field methods class that took me all over Scotland to look at the geology. Out of my 4 months abroad about a month of it was spent on field trips to various places, so my experience in St Andrews is really more of an experience in Scotland. Traipsing around mapping areas in fairly remote locations has exposed me to some of the most beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer. This photograph is of the view of Loch Broom from Ullapool Harbour after a long day of geologic mapping in the area.
Christine, Colgate University, USA
A Dundee-registered boat, piles of lobster cages (‘creels’), a view of a row of boats lining the street and fishermen in the background.
Manon, University of Strasbourg, France
Enjoying the Scottish landscape!
Michelle, College of the Holy Cross, USA
A friend from home made a joke and said “when you get stick of seeing cows and grass write to me”, which although fun, her comment could not be further from the truth. The grass and cows are the negligible things I will miss about St Andrews and this country. I will miss the friendships I have made and the great times I have spent here—experience that I never could have had in any town in the United States nor elsewhere. St Andrews is truly unique.
Averi, Wellesley College, USA
Over the course of the semester, I gathered the greatest group of friends. We became incredibly close, doing nearly everything together. And even though we’d only known each other for a few months, we were sure that we were making memories that would span a lifetime. When the “Highland Games” came around, we decided to put together a team to help our Residence, New Hall(renamed Agnes Blackadder Hall 2012), to victory—with myself and a couple others cheering the rest of the girls on. We had the best time making a complete riot of ourselves, cheering and competing together. It was incredibly good fun.
Andrew, College of William & Mary, USA
There are few opportunities as prized as a student of history to be able to study such a focused period as early Medieval Britain. Far rarer is the opportunity to visit some of the ancient places that one has studied about, and incorporate that visit into one’s coursework. I was able to do all of those over spring break, with my visit to the isle of Iona, one of the earliest sites of Christianity in Scotland. The isle was stunning and remarkably quiet, with the current Abbey, ruins and intricate rock formations. I knew much of the history of the early uses of the isle and knew which places on it I wanted to visit, including the later medieval abbey, the prehistoric fort (Dún Bhuirg), and the Bay of the Coracle. The picture here depicts the sunset over Iona.
Alisa, Wesleyan University, USA
As a Geoscience major, I took a Field Methods module this semester which consisted of joining most of the St Andrews geoscience field trips. I got to spend a week of Spring Break in Spain and I have also been able to explore the better part of Scotland with daytrips to several locations on the eastern coast, two days in the Southern Uplands, a week on the Isle of Mull in western Scotland and finally a week near Ullapool in the Northwest Highlands. In addition to this allowing me to see much of the different landscapes of Scotland, it has also meant that I have spent a lot of time with, and made good friends with, the fifteen Scottish and English third-year Geoscience students. I have also greatly enjoyed the town of St Andrews itself, often bringing a lunch in to town and picnicking on Castle Sands. It’s really the little things that have helped make my semester special: Arbroath Smokies from the farmer’s market, daffodils and other springtime treats on Lade Brae’s walk, Geology Society cheese and wines, and the weather that is somehow much better than the Northeast US. And of course, one can’t forget shaking Prince William’s hand!
Marjorie, University of Nice, France
This picture represents to me a whole day spent in a bus from St Andrews to Oban, five hours waiting in Glasgow’s bus station, a ferry missed and problems of finding where I could spend the night, 17km walking along a huge lake with no end, tiredness, feet-pain and discouragement. But, when I reached this beach on Calgary Bay (Isle of Mull), when I saw its white sand and turquoise water, I just forgot all the difficulties and thought, my eyes riveted on the horizon, “it’s been well worthwhile”! And this is the word of my year in St Andrews “worthwhile”. No matter what happens, the positive aspects are so numerous that when I think of my year abroad, I just smile and think I will never regret it.
Martin, Emory University, USA
This photo was taken at a Castle “Ceilidh”, one of the many great St. Andrew’s traditions. Ceilidhs provide an opportunity to meet up with all your friends for some quick-paced festivities. And who wouldn’t want the excuse to dress up in a kilt and dance around with a fresh breeze between the knees? The clapping hands convey the hustling, bustling, whirling, twirling sense of energy that is a ceilidh.
Jordan, Baylor University, USA
This street (North Street) has become so familiar to me that I know when I come back to visit years later that I will be able to walk it with my eyes closed, or perhaps in a fog even thicker than the one captured here. This occasional fog that blankets the city is absolutely mystical. The tops of buildings fade into the clouds and the ocean blends into the horizon of the sky. It’s quite beautiful when the sun begins to melt it away and the day turns sunny and bright again.
Savannah, Skidmore College, USA
This photo was taken as I was wandering around the coastal path and waiting for my English lecture in Castle House to begin. It was the first beautiful day in St Andrews, back in February when I arrived, and I found it to be the perfect opportunity to snap some photos before class.
Theis, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Pier jumping is one of those wonderful St Andrews traditions, and they should be performed year-round. This student is captured as he came out of the water in early May.
Katrina, Ripon College, USA
Across the country and ocean and into the land of tartan, haggis, and Highland Cows, I have been studying and adventuring for four months in the lovely coastal town of St Andrews. Although I haven’t learned to play golf or the bagpipes, this semester has been an absolutely marvellous learning experience. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has really broadened my views of both the USA and other countries. I’ve grown mentally and emotionally and have just been having a wonderful experience here. Some of my most memorable adventures so far:
- Canoeing, rappelling and rock climbing in Argyll Forest and finding my own “Enchanted Forest”
- Travelling around Germany and Switzerland for my spring break – my first time in mainland Europe
- Spending a weekend on beautiful Isle of Skye and visiting Loch Ness, Culloden, and Glencoe
- Enjoying Easter weekend in Germany at a retreat with other Christians
- Hiking different legs of the gorgeous Fife Coastal Path (St Andrews to Crail, and Crail to Anstruther)
- Adventuring out to Isle of Arran and hiking to Goatfell, the isle’s highest corbett
- Mountain climbing, hiking, and all around just enjoying St Andrews and meeting all kinds of wonderful people. I’m very blessed and thankful to have had this opportunity to study abroad.
Besides all these travelling adventures, I’ve learned a lot just talking with people. I had the opportunity to stay with families in Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland. I value those visits very deeply because I learned so much talking with everyone and having discussions about the various countries and cultures. Since this is my first time out of the United States, I have been amazed with everything I’ve learned and been able to experience in Scotland and other places in Europe. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this study-abroad program and would recommend any student to do whatever he or she can in order to also study abroad; it is truly a life-changing experience.
Michelle, Regis University, USA
It is hard to put into words how amazing my time here at St Andrews has been. I have made many close friends that I hope to retain for a lifetime. Each time I step out of my hall, I am equally amazed at the scenery that lies before my eyes, whether it is my first or 83rdtime. While St Andrews is a small town, I am never bored and am always finding new and breathtaking places to explore. This cute town, the warm people, the most memorable experiences ever, have changed my life in a very good way and have changed my outlook and my ambitions for the future. Studying for a beautiful spring semester here was the absolute best decision I have made in my life thus far.
Anna, Baylor University, USA
If you’re in the States and you’re having a rough day, you go to Sonic, or you take a nap. In St Andrews, you can walk less than five minutes to be confronted by majestic natural beauty. The West Sands beach takes my breath away.
Isabel, University of Michigan, USA
Just as St Andrews balances learning and fun, it is also a place of tradition. The Gaudie walk held by the Kate Kennedy Club is a testament to the heroic deeds of John Honey. The event allows current students to reflect on the other graduates of the University and encourages them to continue the legacy of St Andrews.
Joseph, High Point University, USA
The West Sands beach in failing light.
Ariana, College of the Holy Cross, USA
My study abroad experience at St Andrews allowed me to explore, interact, and learn about myself. The people I met became my friends; the experiences I had became a part of my personal growth. I tried things I had never tried before and reached out to a community that welcomed me.
I became the Sports Rep for my residence hall, St Regulus Hall (or better known as St Regs). This meant I had to organize different sports competitions which would take place every few weeks. Events ranged from basketball, volleyball, disk golf, badminton and hockey. St Regs is one of the smallest dorms and it is situated a mile or so away from the Sports Centre. So at first it took some persuasion to get people to come to these events. However, after each of these events, they would tell me how much fun they had and they were excited that they had participated. Occasionally we would dress up: playing badminton dressed in Santa and Elf costumes! The last competition of the year was the “Highland Games” featuring events such as: ‘Tossing the Welly’, ‘Tug o’ War’, and various relay races. We competed against other Halls, who arrived wearing kilts and face paint with bagpipes blaring. St Regs, despite its small size, had an energetic and lively team and we eventually carried home the trophy!
During my year in St Andrews, I decided that I was going to run a marathon as part of my college study abroad project. I trained pretty much every day, running up the beautiful Scoonie Hill, which overlooks St Andrews (see photo). The cause I chose to support was the CHAS foundation, which funds and supports terminally ill children. This is such an important cause, and it revealed to me that by setting a goal and putting it into motion, I could really help the lives of others. I raised money from family, friends, and students of St Andrews. I completed the Edinburgh Marathon in 3hours and 56 minutes. It was a mental battle the entire time, but I finished strong.
My study abroad year at St Andrews allowed me the space to transform and grow. It helped me to realize that I want to continue to help others in my future career.
Karen, University of Missouri, USA
The University of St Andrews is the perfect setting – small enough to get to know but within day-tripping distance to all kinds of places around Scotland. It’s a beautiful country and the people here are so welcoming. The social scene at this university is excellent, the students here are so involved and it really made a difference to my experience here. I would definitely recommend joining as many societies as you can; they go on great field trips and the balls and other events are loads of fun. There are lots of international students here and it is very easy to meet people.
Youssef, American University in Cairo, Egypt
I spent a year at the University of St Andrews and my immediate memories are: a charming town, interesting students coming from the four corners of the world, beautiful scenery, unforgettable friendships, lecturers devoted to the teaching of their students, my walk to Anstruther along the Fife Coastal Path. Choosing to go to St Andrews for my exchange year was one of the wisest choices I made and I feel I have gained a lot socially and academically, during my stay in this beautiful part of Scotland.
Nina, Wellesley College, USA
I was drawn to the Geology program at St Andrews because of the small friendly department, proximity to world famous geology, and week long fieldwork trips offered for undergraduates. This experience has put me far ahead of my colleagues back home and I can’t wait to share the incredible opportunities I have enjoyed during my time at St Andrews. I would strongly recommend a Junior Semester Abroad at St Andrews if you wish to gain hands on experience in the field of geology.