As the Spring Semester in Scotland comes to a close, there are plenty of things to do. Finishing up papers, reviewing our flight information, and packing are just a few. There have already been many goodbyes and final adventures with the friends we have made here. Kara and I are both sad to go but excited to be home and see our friends and family who have been praying for us during our time away. This final blog contains some of my personal reflections on the Semester in Scotland programme, what I have learned, the adventures I have had during my semester here, and my thought on returning home.

Upon arriving in Scotland in January I had this surreal feeling, almost as if I was in a dream. I mean, I was in Scotland and just a few months before I had no idea if I would even have the option of coming here. That surreal feeling is now how I feel towards going home. I keep thinking to myself “Really? I’m going to be home in two days?” Part of me is anxious about going home. I keep thinking about how different things might be. My little sisters are growing up so fast and many of my friends at school have graduated. I have no clue when I will next see some of them. This semester has really made me consider how time marches on; there is no way of slowing its pace or prolonging its inevitable effects. Initially this was a thought that stressed me out midway through the semester. Fortunately, through my classes and the sermons at Airdrie RP, the Lord has given me peace by reminding me that He is coming soon: as time marches on the day of His return is ever closer.

My classes this semester have helped me attain a better grasp on the finer parts of reformed theology, the foundations of the Presbyterian church, the line of Scottish and English kings and queens, my own family’s history, and much more. I am very thankful for the time that our professors took to answer any questions that Kara and I might have had. The fact that the only two students in the program were Kara and I and that our classes mostly took place in the church made me feel a bit like I was back in homeschool. Of course, it is a quite different as I never had the opportunity to travel Europe while in homeschool!

Traveling around Germany and Austria was particularly fantastic. Remarkably exhausting, but fantastic. Seeing places like Castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, the Reichstag Building, the Von Trapp Villa, Castle Church, Nymphenburg Palace, and many others was amazing and surprisingly inexpensive. The total cost of the trip was less than half of the cost of a plane ticket from Pennsylvania to Germany.

I am still wrapping my head around the fact that in two days time I will be three thousand miles away from castles, lochs, haggis, and all the friends I have made in Scotland. I know that I will miss all these things. So much so that one day, when the Lord allows, I know I will come back. I am sure that when I do, I will be anxious again about how much will have changed and how time will have marched on. I pray the Lord will give me peace again and remind me that no matter how much things change here on Earth, He is eternal and unchangeable and He is coming soon.

So long, Scotland.

Ethan Masters