Have you ever considered what Millersville University looks like from an international perspective? Ewan McCall, from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, has been an exchange student at Millersville for the 2012-2013 academic school year. During his time at Millersville, Ewan has studied as a Music major, discovered tasty Philly cheesesteaks, and has even seen the Macy’s Day Parade in New York. He will soon be returning home to the University of Strathclyde , one of Millersville’s partner universities, and we will miss him dearly! Before he leaves, however, Ewan has graciously taken time to share his experience and impressions of Millersville with us—read on to see his answers!
Fast Facts –
Instruments you play: Vocal (Baritone) and Alto/ Soprano Saxophone
Favorite American food: Philly Cheesesteak, Cheesecake Factory, Wawa etc.
Favorite extracurricular activity at Millersville: Keystone Singers/ Jazz Ensemble/ (my own funk band) Chaos Thompson!
Why did you decide to study abroad in the United States, specifically at Millersville University?
I decided to study at Millersville for several reasons. I knew that the Music department had just undergone a multi-million redevelopment and that several of the music lecturers at Millersville were highly regarded. Millersville was also well positioned geographically. It is so easy to get to and from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York – and from the moment I arrived and was greeted by such friendly people, I knew I had chosen the right university!
What totally freaked you out prior to arriving at Millersville, but turned out to be no big deal?
I thought I was the only Scottish person coming to Millersville, but on arrival I found out that not only was everyone really warm and welcoming, but there were also 3 other Scottish students who had come over to MU from Strathclyde. This put me completely at ease about staying in such a beautiful, relaxed, and friendly environment.
What is something you tried for the first time while you were studying abroad in the States? Did you enjoy it?
Ranch dressing, frozen yogurt, Whoopee pies, Shoo-fly pie, authentic Philly Cheesesteak the Cheesecake Factory, Wawa, studying Solfege (intensive music theory) and wearing a tuxedo. I enjoy ANY food so these all of these went down a treat! I also loved looking very dapper in a Tux. However, with studying Solfege, funnily enough I wasn’t so keen… however, being educated in Solfege will be invaluable to me as a well-rounded musician.
What is the coolest place you visited while studying abroad?
Visiting California and New York (specifically the Macy Day Parade!). It seemed like everything was a new experience for me!
What did you experience in Millersville that would never have happened at home in Scotland?
MU homecoming, an American football game, seeing squirrels daily, singing in my first opera, and learning the American slang y’all!
The social aspect of being regularly and openly invited to other people’s houses, rather than going out on the town each time you wanted to meet up with someone.
What is the biggest cultural difference between Strathclyde and Millersville?
I think the way that MU students show that they are very proud of both their national and social heritage is the biggest cultural difference. Daily lives seem to revolve much more proudly and freely around university here at Millersville than back home. I think the British attitude to university is that it is a stepping stone in our lives, helping us get to where we want to end up, rather than an epoch. Everyone also drives on the wrong side of the road here at MU!
What are you most looking forward to when you return home?
Being able to socially drink again!
What did you gain academically and/or professionally?
I gained a tremendous amount of musical experience and new-found knowledge. I believe I managed to accomplish as much as I possibly could in the short year that I had. I tried to be as versatile as possible during my time here at MU, learning how to perform as a sound engineer, an entrepreneur, a musician, and an educator.
What did you learn about yourself personally over the past year?
I learned that I can be a more motivated, positive individual and become much more independent when I put my mind to it.