UMO Student Shares Insights about Travel Abroad Experience to London and Scotland

UMO Student Shares Insights about Travel Abroad Experience to London and Scotland

June 3, 2024

Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Affairs

By Lucy Hammock

MOUNT OLIVE – As a sophomore English language and literature major, I have a natural interest in the United Kingdom, which is the provenance of the English language.  I was therefore excited to travel with UMO to London and Scotland.  From Myrtle Beach, SC I am no stranger to the aggravations of tourism. A large concern of mine was frankly sticking out like a sore thumb. However, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dan Sullivan provided great insights and guidance for our group.

Our first stop was Westminster Abbey, an extraordinary historical church in the heart of London. The detailing and magnificence of the structure was indescribable. Afterwards, we freely explored the city at our own pace.  My friends, Kate, Maddie, and I hit the ground running. We walked past Big Ben and London Tower Bridge to experience a boat tour down the Thames River.

The next three days in London included a tour through Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio, a walk to Camden and Primrose Hill, The Tower of London, The British Museum, Notting Hill, and Windsor Castle. Each place was unique, offering various aspects of historical and modern London. One of my favorite aspects of the trip was dressing up every day. Locals appeared to wear jeans with intricate coats and high-quality shoes, definitely a culture shock coming from a society of leggings and sweatshirts for every occasion. I confidently wore a red leather jacket without appearing like an eccentric.

The journey from London to Edinburgh, Scotland was by a four-hour train ride. I particularly enjoyed watching our journey from the big city to the secluded Scottish countryside. Upon arrival, we all checked into the hotel and immediately rushed to a local pizza restaurant called Pizza Geek. The interior was filled with comic books and Star Wars memorabilia. Aside from the atmosphere, the pizza was unbelievable. We each ate a large pizza of our own.

Throughout our three-day visit to Edinburgh, we visited St. Andrews Golf Course, Edinburgh Castle, and my overall favorite spot, Arthurs Seat. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. We hiked 2.6 miles to reach the top of the hill to see an extraordinary panoramic view of Edinburgh. The hill was blanketed in bright, beautiful, yellow flowers.

Leaving was more difficult than I had anticipated. I found myself growing accustomed to the way time worked, walking everywhere we went, and dressing up each day. The lifestyle difference between the U.K. and the U.S. was dramatic. I find myself now wishing I could walk down a scenic cobblestone path to shop.  My outlook on the world has vastly expanded following my return from this trip. As an average American, I have traveled to many states, seeing minute cultural differences in each while still falling under the classification of American culture. London and Edinburgh gave me an entirely new perspective of what life can look like. After this amazing journey, I have developed an interest in world-travel. UMO did an exceptional job creating this structured experience that helped many students, including myself, take their first step out of the United States. This trip with fellow classmates and friends will forever hold a dear place in my heart and I could not be more grateful.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit