Name: Hugh Berglind
Hometown: Riverside, IL
Varsity sport participated in: Baseball
Study abroad semester and location: Fall 2012, Glasgow, Scotland
What was the most unexpected thing you encountered during your off-campus study experience?
I was able to play on the university American football team, which was a really great experience and a good way to stay involved with athletics in some way.
What was your favorite place in your host city/country?
My favorite place in Glasgow was probably the botanical gardens- I walked past them every day going to the university, and since they were heated I enjoyed them even more in November and December.
What was the biggest difference between Beloit and your host city/university? Similarity?
The biggest difference was just how compact and urban Glasgow was- I’m definitely not used to being able to simply walk 20 minutes to a major urban center. The biggest similarity was that, unlike a lot of major universities, University of Glasgow has a fairly small and well-defined campus. Instead of having to walk 20 minutes between classes or take a bus between them, it was 5-10 minutes of walking at most.
How were you able to stay in shape or stay prepared for your sport while you were gone?
Besides playing on the university football team, I also had access to the gym, which was of similar quality to Beloit’s but much larger.
Has the time you spent abroad changed the way you think about your athletic experience or your sport in general?
The UK seems to take athletics in general much less seriously- very few people I met had played organized sports of any kind as children, and the only major sport most of them followed was soccer. It was interesting coming back and realizing how many more people I meet here have those shared experiences to talk about.
Some words of advice for other athletes who want to study abroad:
Remember that there is always balance to be found- study abroad is about the experience, but you still have a responsibility to not completely let yourself go and be ready for your season. Try to find some activity or way to keep yourself in shape while still experiencing the unique aspects of wherever you go.