Dundee Accommodates for my Nostalgia

  • 30 November 2016, 10:36
  • One Comment

Sorry if your field trips as a kid weren’t as life changing as mine. 

Okay, maybe not life changing, but they may have been what I looked forward to more than anything! Wait, actually I think it was birthday parties, but field trips were a close second…

As a kid I clearly remember field trips to be a highlight of my school years. I loved when my teacher would hand me a ‘permission slip’ and I would energetically take it home to my parents who would sign it agreeing I could take part in the upcoming field trip. It was so exciting, to feel like you get an excuse to skip school for the day, and if you’re lucky even get to be out of dress code!


I am happy to report, even though I am 23 and I no longer need my parents permission to attend, I still have not lost my love of field trips. Lucky for me, University of Dundee is also a fan of field trips. This past semester, I relived my childhood through three lovely trips, and since I don’t have a car here, they’re are also a double whammy for me to get out of the city and see more of Scotland. Woohoo!


Hawick, Scottish Borders



This trip was with my Principles of Sustainability class of 14 students and 3 professors. We spent one day and traveled to a town in the Scottish Borders called Hawick. The purpose of the trip was to meet with policy makers in the town who explained the current situation they are dealing with, flooding. As a class exercise, it was our job to learn about the town and propose a plan for dealing with the flooding problem between now and 2050.


Switzerland, Austria, and Germany

As you might expect, this trip was a bit longer than one day. For an architecture course called Context of a Sustainable Built Environment, we spent 7 days traveling around Switzerland, Austria, and Germany visiting architectural masterpieces and meeting with architects and designers of the work. We even made it to Liechtenstein and France too! 

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One of my favorite buildings we visited was in Austria; there is no heating, cooling, or ventilation. Instead, the windows automatically open via a sensor when the CO2 concentrations in the room exceed a particular level. The air exchanges with fresh mountain air and then the windows close. The inside walls are so well designed with brick that they are able to release the heat they were holding onto in order to heat the room back up after having open windows. It was such fascinating sustainable technology that I still cant stop thinking about.


My fellow MSc Sustainability colleagues (minus two) and me visiting a new housing development. It’s still under construction, so we were able to don these lovely hard hats!
Our whole group for the week 🙂 Two professors are nestled in there, too. Couldn’t have asked for a more fun group!!



Falkland, Scotland

A most recent field trip I took was with my MSc program director, Ioan, and three of my classmates. We traveled to Falkland and took a hike up West Lomond Hill where we snacked on leftovers from the potluck we had with Ioan the night before. The weather that morning was a little foggy but it cleared just in time for us to enjoy the view. We made our hike back down and stopped into The Pillars of Hercules cafe for a more filling lunch. Its an organic cafe and market with the loveliest atmosphere, I definitely recommend you make a trip there! After we left the cafe, we met with the Falkland Estate owner, Ninian Stuart, who happens to have transformed the estate into a beautiful community focused environment. There are even classes put on for the community in the renovated horse stables like pie making and festive wreath making!

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So thanks, Dundee, for accommodating for my nostalgia toward field trips! Much appreciated. 

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