Victoria Paulino '16

Hi everyone!

With only three months left in my study abroad experience it is finally dawning on me that I soon will be leaving the beautiful coastal town of St Andrews, Scotland that I have called home for so long. It is crazy to think that next year I won’t be able to walk by the beach on my way to class! This year has truly been a life changing experience. To think that I was so reluctant to take the plunge and study abroad for the full year. Last spring at the end of my sophomore year I reluctantly handed in my study abroad application. In the weeks that followed I was consumed with an overwhelming uncertainty as to whether or not study abroad was for me. I met with the St Andrews study abroad advisor.I met with my parents. I met with my sister. I even met with my home parish priest. With each meeting I hoped that someone would make the decision for me and tell me whether or not I should study abroad. After all these endless meetings I realized that this was a decision only I could make. So, even though I was scared of leaving my home for the full year I decided to do it anyways. I realized that being scared was probably a good thing, because it meant that I was pushing myself way outside my comfort zone. I knew I would eventually have to get out of my comfort zone if I ever wanted to grow. As I sit here writing this post six months into my study abroad experience I can honestly say that I could not be happier with my decision. St Andrews truly does feel like home.

Until Next Time!




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Above is a picture of the view from my International Relations Lecture.




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Above is the view of the beach on my way to class. I’m really going to miss this!


Hi Everyone!

So a lot has happened since my last post. I spent my first Christmas away from home. While it was hard to spend the Holidays away from my family I had a great time making new traditions with some friends I had made. After spending a relaxing Christmas with friends my parents came to Scotland to visit me. Soon after they left my cousins came to visit to travel around Europe with me. With so much having happening during this Holiday break I figure the best way for you all to see it is through pictures. So here goes another picture collage!


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Post-Christmas Dinner walk with some of my friends

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Having some home-cooked food for the first time in four months during my parents visit..yummm

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My cousins getting ready for our travels on the first day of the trip

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View from the hotel in Paris, France!

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On top of the Eiffel Tower with my cousins!

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Tower Bridge in London

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Last Lunch with my cousins before they head off to the states!

To say the least it has been a jam packed few weeks. Although this Holiday vacation was nothing like I had ever experienced it has been amazing. While I missed all the Christmas traditions at home I got to make new ones in a brand new place! This experience so far is defiantly not what I expected…and I think thats a good thing. Going abroad is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and experiencing things you wouldn’t have even imagined. To say the least I have been greatly pushed out of my comfort zone. While these new changes have been scary at first they have allowed me to grow so much as a person. I have learned how to navigate through different countries by myself, cook for myself (anyone who knows me understands why this is one is especially hard for me), and start over in a completely new place. These past few months have been so transformative, and I cannot wait to see what the next five have in store for me.

Until next time!


Hi Everyone!

So sorry it has been so long since my last post. So much has happened in the last months that I thought I’d catch you guys all up with a photo montage. Here goes!

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On my way to the foam fight on Raisin Monday. This is a day where your ‘academic’ parents (two upper class-men that adopt you as their ‘child’) dress you up in crazy outfits and send you to a shaving cream foam fight. Sounds ridiculous but it was so FUN!

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My Academic mom went with the Crayola look. You like?


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Here I am with my Academic mom and siblings having cake and coffee! Family Bonding SESH


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Here I am on the 18 mile Coastal walk which took us eight hours of walking to complete!


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Some of the views I saw as I walked. Isn’t Scotland so beautiful!


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Hanging out on the beach for a bonfire on Guy Fawkes day


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Visiting the Cathedral in Edinburgh!

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Taking a classic tourist photo booth picture. I’m in the UK I had to!


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Catching up with some other Holy Cross study abroad students!


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Hanging out on West Sands Beach in St Andrews! Cant believe I can just go to the beach whenever I want here!


More to come soon!

Much Love,

Victoria Paulino (VP)

Hello Everyone!

So I have been in Scotland for almost a full month! Can you believe it! I am happy to say that I am absolutely loving it here at St Andrews. We have had surprisingly good weather these past few weeks with almost no rain! I have gotten adjusted to the town pretty well. Thats probably more due to the fact that there are only three main roads here at St Andrews, not my amazing sense of direction (which by the way I don’t have).  Its interesting how I even find walking through the town a new adventure because everything just seems so new. You can defiantly say that the awe of being in Europe for the first time has not worn off. The only thing I will say I have yet to adjust to about living in Scotland is the fact that they do not sell regular lemonade! Can you believe it! Here the only lemonade people ever drink is carbonated lemonade. Some of my  hall mates have never even tasted non-carbonated lemonade. I’m actually considered weird for preferring non-carbonated lemonade. Out of all the things I thought I was going to find different between living in the US and living in Scotland I definitely was not expecting lemonade to be one of them. Despite this unexpected lemonade deficiency I have become obssessed with another drink here sold at a small cafe I discovered. It’s called ‘the ultimate hot chocolate.’ I know what you may be thinking ‘so what its just hot chocolate, what’s the big deal?’ What must be understood is that it is no regular hot chocolate. It is this beautiful combination of whip cream, chocolate pieces, marshmallows, and happiness. I am almost too weary to admit that I have gone back for this amazing concoction five times since I’ve been here…yikes. Defiantly isn’t helping with the budgeting but is so worth it. Well that’s all for now!






Hi Everyone!

So I have been in Scotland for about four days and I have already fallen in love with St Andrews. Getting here, however, defiantly wasn’t a smooth journey with almost missing my connecting flight to Edinburgh to getting in the wrong line at customs. Yet, despite the bumps of the journey I finally made it to Scotland! My first few days at St Andrews have been a whirl wind. I’ve spent my time exploring the town, going to “freshers” events, and meeting tons of great people from all over the world. Some of my hall mates have also been helping me learn some British lingo. For example here in the UK sneakers are called “trainers” and the word “pants” here means underwear. Im sure by the end of the year Ill be a sure pro at British lingo.  I feel like there is so much to tell but Im off to do some shopping because now, for the first time ever, I have to cook for myself. For anyone who knows me they understand how much of a struggle this is for me. Defiantly more updates to come about my cooking chronicles! Below are just some pictures of what my journey has entailed so far!

Last Picture at home before heading off to the airport!

Last Picture at home with some of my family before heading to the airport!

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Here is the first meal i cooked for myself at St Andrews. Yeah I’m defiantly not a chef…and I have to buy utensils

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The view from the plane to Edinburgh

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Me on my walk at the pier this morning!

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Eating pizza with my friend Liz on the waters edge. Funny story about this was that some seagulls attacked us to get our food. Lesson most definitely learned: Do not eat food near  hungry seagulls…they will not hesitate to fight you for it lol

Bye for now!






Hi Everyone!

So I leave for Scotland in t-minus one day! At this point I can’t really say how I feel about leaving my home  here in the Woo for a whole nine months. This is probably due to the fact that all of my attention these past few weeks has been focused on figuring out how to fit every possession I hold most dear in a suitcase that can weigh no more than 50 lbs. I have packed, weighed, and unpacked my suitcase more than I can count. It seems that no matter how much I take out it still weighs 2 pounds too much!  Today I was finally able to put the packing behind me. Here is a picture of the finished product and my thumbs up of approval!