Inside 'Dores

Home » College Life » A Taste of “home” in England

A Taste of “home” in England

Luke Anapolis

As part of my study abroad program, we are required to spend a weekend with a family who lives in the United Kingdom. Myself and about twenty-five other students in my program had their home stays this weekend in Shap, a town right below the border of Scotland. So Friday evening we boarded the bus and said goodbye to Edinburgh for a few days and headed about 3 hours south. I had done a home stay my senior year of high school in France for a little over a week so I was ready to face whatever came my way this past weekend. Seven other students and I were placed with this one family (god bless them) who lived on a farm about twenty minutes away from Shap! From the first moment I met them they could not have been nicer! We headed straight home to their place when we arrived and they had a hot meal waiting for us on the table. I was especially greatful because they had to go out of their way to make a vegetarian alternative for me every time we ate (I’m such a fuss I know). By the time we finished dinner it was almost 11pm, so we just headed to bed.

Where we stayed used to be the barn of the farm that was converted into a mini-hostel (my family were professional hosts, I tell you). A few years ago, my family was given a grant by the English government to create this living arrangement so they could bring international students, children, and people with disabilities to their place to educate them about farm life. If you want to know a little bit more about the awesome work they do, here is the link to their website-The Learning Fields. So like I was saying, there were seven other students with me from my program staying at the barn with me. They were all girls. To prevent me from catching cooties, I had the pleasure of having a room all to myself with a nice big double bed, while they were all in a big room together with bunk beds. I won. Compared to other students in my program who had their home stays at different places in Shap, my group lucked out with the living arrangements!

The wonderful barn we stayed in

Anyway, on Saturday we woke up fairly early to take advantage of the day. The family drove us around to the city’s center where we walked around, window shopped, and stopped for tea and cakes in this great little cafe.

everything is better in europe

shameless photo self-promotion

After our tea break, we headed to the neighboring city town to grab subs [I had this amazing brie and cranberry sub that I am still craving] and had a [snow] picnic on the grounds of castle ruins. I can not remember the name of the castle at the moment, but it was home to King Arthur’s father way back when, which is pretty cool!

King Arthur's father's castle yo

After lunch we headed over to our families neighbors house so we could go watch cows being milked [I wish I could make this stuff up]. The farmer’s name was Bob and in the last 25 years he only missed one day of milking his cows, which was a Christmas a few years ago. A dedicated man if you ask me. He was a really interesting guy to say the least, and it was very nice of him to show us around cow paradise.

Me and all ma friendz

Literally Bob the dairy farmer

After cow milking we all helped our host family make dinner back at the barn. After dinner we all just hung out and got to know each other better. What was truly great about being here was that there was not cell phone service or wifi at the house. Sometimes “unplugging” yourself for a weekend is so refreshing. After hanging out we all headed to bed. A girl on my home-stay brought “The Perks of Being a Wall Flower” with her for the weekend and finished it the night before, so she let me borrow it for the rest of the weekend. I saw the movie on the plane over to Scotland actually and was itching to read the book. It was so good and also pretty short so I managed to finish it on Saturday night. I highly highly recommend it to anyone!

Sunday was our last day on the farm. We had breakfast and then got a tour of “The Learning Fields” once and for all. It was a really special place and the family we had stayed with was so proud to show it off to us [I don't blame them]. It was beautiful in the winter so I can not even imagine how nice it must be in the summer. The Learning Fields have a lot of sensory activities as well as some animals [SHEEEEEEEEEEP] that are used to educate all of the different visitors that come about farm life as well as the environment.

I am the happiest


My home stay could not have been better. I was so lucky to have been paired up with such a great family who was so accommodating and eager to show us their lives. It has been one of the many highlights I have had so far in Scotland.

I am going to keep posting [shamelessly] of my cooking adventures. Here is some “Chicken” Pad Thai [used in a loose sense] that I made for dinner. It was actually hella good.

Nom nom

Stay tuned for more crazy wild adventures,


  • Leia

    loving reading your blog, luke! also, your food looks delicious.

Back Home   

we're talking about

a cappella a-capella Abroad Academics activities admissions admissions office advice alpha chi omega Alternative Spring Break Alumni Alumni Lawn anchor down AOII ASB athenian sing Athletics AXLE Baking BCM bid day Big Brothers Big Sisters Bike biology biomedical engineering Blair Blair School of Music blog Blogging Bluebird Cafe BME Bolivia Books Branscomb break Breakfast brevard Bridgestone arena British Cafe Coco caitlyn's catch-ups California camping campus catch-up chronicles cello Centennial Park Central Library CFHI Chicago child development China choosing a major choosing Vanderbilt christian christmas Circuits class Class of 2016 Class of 2017 class of 2018 Classes Club Soccer Club Sports coffee Cognitive Studies College College Halls College Life college of arts and science college sports Commencement Commodore Cruise Commodore Quake commodores commons Commons Center Commons Cup Commons Dining community competition concert Concerts Cooking Country Music Culture dance dean wcislo decisions derby days Dessert Dining Dinner disney Diversity diwali dorms downtown downtown nashville Early Decision Economics ed sheeran Edinburgh education End of Semester end of the semester engineering English exam exams exercise exploring Extracurriculars fall Fall Break family family weekend fido finals finals week financial aid First Year five days of harry Florida food football founder's walk franklin fraternity free food french freshman Freshman Life Freshman Year Freshmen friends fun GEO goals graduation Greek Life Grins guatemala Halloween Harry Potter Health Care High school hiking hillsboro Hillsboro Village HOD holiday holidays home homecoming Housing houston Human and Organizational Development Ice Cream IFSA-Butler Inside Dores International International Student internship internships Interviews Intramurals james franklin Jeni's job Jobs Kappa Kappa Gamma Kentucky kissam Laundry leadership Libraries library list London major making friends managerial studies marketing Masala-SACE math Mayfield Maymester MCAT meal plan Mechanical Engineering Mechatronics medical school medicine Megabus mellow mushroom melodores Memorial House memories MHS MOSAIC Move Crew Move-In movies Music Music City Music on Campus Nashville Nashville Predators Nashville sports Nashville Symphony Nationals nature neuroscience new semester new york city NYC OACS off campus on campus events on-campus opportunities Orchestra original cast Outdoors Packing pancake pantry Pancakes parent's weekend Parking Peabody performance Performances philosophy physics poetry Poland pre-med procrastination professor professors questions rand Reading Rec Center recruitment redpepper Registration relaxing Religious Life research retreat Rites of Spring Rome roommate ROTC Running rush ryman Schedule School school spirit Scotland season sec Semester senior Senior Year Service shadow shopping sick sigma phi lambda sleep snow soccer social life sororities sorority South Africa speakers SPEAR sports Spring Spring Break Spring Semester Stambaugh stress Student Life student organizations Study Study Abroad Study Break studying Summer Summer Break Sustainability Sweet Cece's Switzerland Taste of Nashville Taylor Swift Tennessee Tests Textbooks thanksgiving Thanksgiving Break The Music Group The Pub The Vanderbilt Hustler theatre Time tour tour guide towers tpac training travel ultimate frisbee undergraduate research University College London University of Edinburgh vacation Valentine's Day Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Admissions vanderbilt athletics vanderbilt football vanderbilt medical center Vanderbilt Programming Board Vanderbilt University Theatre Vanderbilt Visions Vandy Vegetarian Victory Victory A cappella VIDA Visions visiting home volunteer Volunteering VPB vsg VSVS VUcept VUT Weather weekend Why Vanderbilt Wilderness Skills WilSkills win winning winter winter break work Writing YES Zanzibar


Recent Posts

  • 10948526 Joining the Baseball Bandwagon » 3.31.15
  • Commencement 2014 Three AMAZING alums » 3.29.15
  • writing studio The Write Way » 3.27.15
  • Dean Wcislo Thank you, Dean Wcislo! » 3.27.15
  • admissions-4 So I Heard You Got Into Vandy – A Brief FAQ » 3.26.15

Browse by Month