HomeNewsIn search for unique college experiences, adventurous CHS students journey across the pond to pursue higher education

In search for unique college experiences, adventurous CHS students journey across the pond to pursue higher education

Published May 10, 2023


CHS alum Kieren Daste grew up enjoying In-N-Out burgers with friends on the weekends, but now as a rising senior at St. Andrews University in Scotland, he has switched his habits to eating the Scottish delicacy haggis at least three times a week for breakfast. This is just one example of the cultural impacts that attending university abroad can have on young adults. 

While most graduating CHS seniors plan to continue their education within the state, or at least within the country, some students yearn to go further and settle in Europe where they plan to grow their love of travel, reconvene with family and simply save on cost. 

For senior Lily Bunch, the appeal of attending a school more than a 10-hour plane ride from home is to be able to witness first-hand all of the history there. Growing up with an English family on her mother’s side, she has always been intrigued by the culture. As an English History major, she would be in her ideal learning environment. 

Last October Break, Lily Bunch and her family spent the week touring schools in the UK. One of her favorite aspects of possibly going to school abroad is the exposure to history and beautiful architecture such as in this hallway at University of Glasgow. (courtesy of LILY BUNCH)

Yet nothing is official until the summer. Due to her conditional offer, until Bunch takes her Advanced Placement tests, she is not officially in.

“If I am accepted once I send in my AP scores in July, then I would have to then get a visa very quickly and figure out housing and then get there in around eight weeks,” explains Bunch, who is also considering going to Monterey Peninsula College and then transferring to an English school next year once results are more clear. 

U.K. native Clare Cook is in the same boat. While the majority of CHS seniors are not especially worried about their upcoming AP scores, Cook and Bunch have been busy studying in preparation for their May exams. Cook, who has older siblings attending universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Leeds, grew up in England and always knew she would go back to the United Kingdom after graduating high school. Moving forward, she can see herself attending the University of Bristol where she plans to study biology.

A citizen of both the U.S. and Ireland, CHS junior Riley Mabry is considering applying to schools such as Trinity University Dublin and University of Galway next fall. Strong music programs and travel opportunities in the EU are tempting to this upcoming senior.

“Travel has always been something that my family really values and that is something that I really want to continue through college and my years after college,” says Mabry. “I want to see the world. Being able to work and live in the EU with my dual-citizenship is very fortunate.”

As an active member of the St. Andrews mountaineering club, Kieren Daste (far right) gets to explore all of Scotland. (courtesy of KIEREN DASTE)

Being in Scotland now for three years, Daste has taken advantage of his traveling opportunities and is considering continuing his foreign stay to attend graduate school either in Germany or in the Netherlands. 

“You go abroad and your horizons are broadened further and further until sooner or later you perceive the whole world as being in your backyard and so accessible,” says the International Relations major. 

While the ability to travel is a perk of attending university in Europe, an unavoidable downside is the sheer distance from home. While one can get back to California within 24 hours, this still entails flying across the entire Atlantic Ocean and the USA. This forces international college freshmen to learn an entirely new meaning of independence unlike their peers, the need to learn how to live not just in a new environment, but in a foreign land. 

“It’s a saying in my family, ‘Do the thing that scares you the most’ and I think I am definitely leaning into that here,” mentions Mabry when discussing foreseeable challenges. 

While being halfway across the world for university is daunting, these past and present CHS students see through the challenges and into the opportunities for career and personal growth that further schooling abroad offers them.


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