Fulbright students return to US with new insights into Scotland


Trip showcased the ‘complexities of Scottish identity’.

A group of American undergraduates have returned home having undertaken a five-week exchange trip to Scotland as part of the prestigious Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute. The annual event was hosted by the Universities of Dundee and Strathclyde and offered the ten visiting students the opportunity to learn about and examine Scottish culture, identity and innovation.

From 5th July – 8th August the group took part in an intensive programme of lectures, seminars and cultural study visits exploring Scotland’s contribution to shaping the world and its place in today’s global society.

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The packed programme included a presentation on the University of Strathclyde’s new Technology and Innovation Centre, as well as a roundtable discussions with the British Council Scotland on the role of UK and Scottish education and cultural relations overseas, and with the Scottish Government on Europe and international development

Speaking at the RSE event, Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning with the Scottish Government, said, “Scotland may be small in geographic terms compared to the US but in terms of our global footprint across the world, we punch above our weight.

“This influence is demonstrated by our universities and the international reputation they have for research and academic excellence. Studying abroad lets a person experience different cultures and traditions. We welcome the role the Fulbright Commission plays to enhance the education links between our countries.”

Liam Hannan, who is studying history and studio art at St Olaf College, Minnesota, said, “Through this Institute, I have come to realise the complexity of Scottish identity. I have experienced the beauty of Scotland’s cities and landscapes, the innovative nature of its industry, and the friendliness of its people.

“However, like any country, Scotland experiences hardship, and to truly understand Scottish identity is to understand how Scots confront that hardship. I am indescribably grateful to the Fulbright Commission for giving me this glimpse into Scottish culture, and I am excited to return someday, continue my studies, and maybe stick around for a year or 30.”