May 20, 2024

CEU welcomes students around the world

The College of Eastern Utah is home to many different students from all over the world, including Bethany Gilmour, a Scottish-exchange student who is eager to learn, study and meet new people.


The College of Eastern Utah is home to many different students from all over the world, including Bethany Gilmour, a Scottish-exchange student who is eager to learn, study and meet new people.
It is interesting to learn the different ways that foreign exchange students end up at CEU. Brandt Peacock, a former student and staff member, introduced Gilmour to the idea of going to school here. He served an LDS mission in the area where Gilmour lived for 15 months and they became acquainted. Later, when he went back to Scotland for a wedding, they bumped into each other and he told her about CEU and how it would be great for Gilmour to look into it. She did and decided that it would be a great opportunity. A couple of months later she got her visa and is here enjoying her first semester at the college.
CEU is not what Gilmour expected, but does take pleasure in a new culture and learning about the different ways things happen. It is much smaller than she first anticipated, but is happy to have a more personalized type of schooling with the smaller class sizes and being able to know the teachers and have them know you. Going to school here is much different than in Scotland, especially in regards to school activities. Rather than there being an emphasis on sports such as football, basketball and baseball, in Scotland they are more concerned about soccer and rugby. There is no such thing as a cheer leading squad and drill team. It is a completely different culture.
Gilmour experienced a strong sense of culture shock on arriving at CEU and is still adapting to the atmosphere. One thing that has been difficult is the food. She finds it difficult to eat healthy because there are fast food businesses all over, however she does enjoy eating at Subway as she used to eat there at home.
Gilmour misses having her mom cook for her and it is harder to shop here since you can only buy many items in bulk. She relates that in Scotland, you can buy food and groceries in much smaller quantities, such as for only one person, so it makes buying food here more challenging. However, everything is much cheaper here in the states.
Theatre and music are two of Gilmour’s great loves. She is majoring in musical theatre and at home she was involved in many amateur productions, dancing in both tap and ballet, and singing. Gilmour would love to eventually transfer to Brigham Young University and join its programs. She plans on staying for one more semester and having a chance to experience the hustle and bustle of college life in the fall.
Leaving home was difficult for Gilmour, who is one of five children with an older sister and brother and a younger sister and brother. She is close to her sisters, who are her best friends. She gets home-sick being away from them and really struggled at first, but is getting used to being here more and more. At the end of this semester she plans on visiting some friends before going home for three months, which she is excited.
Gilmour comes from Aberdeen, which is the third biggest city in Scotland, about the size of Salt Lake City, if not a bit larger. She loves the country and the beauty of it, but also loves Utah. She thinks that it is beautiful and is enjoying the change of scenery. She wants to fulfill her education here and eventually live here to raise a family. She sees the different opportunities that are here academically and wants her children to have those same chances in school. The American educational system and activities have always appealed to Gilmour and she has grown up seeing the American way of life on television, since America dominates the media in Scotland.
As far as music and media goes, she enjoys much of the same that students here at the college do. However, Gilmour says that country music isn’t a big deal in Scotland and it is here so she doesn’t really like that.
Gilmour has been to America once before and stayed with her uncle in North Carolina and visited some other places such as Virginia and then attended an EFY program at BYU. She recently visited Colorado Springs and really wants to go to California in the summer and visit friends who live in San Francisco.
Everything here is more extreme, says Gilmour. The food portions are bigger, the roads are bigger, the shops and stores are bigger and everything is just different. She is also starting to get used to seeing cars drive on the opposite side of the road.
She is enjoying her time here and hopes to get more used to the different way of life as well as keep involved in theatre and activities. She loves being around and meeting new people and the way everyone accepted her in and befriended her has really helped Gilmour feel at home. “I feel like I was meant to come here for a reason. Either it is going to be a stepping stone to other things or just my first taste of life here. I couldn’t have asked for better people.”