Center for International Programs

The Loch Ness monster is a creature of Scottish folklore. According to legend, the large, long-necked sea creature makes its home in Loch Ness, a large freshwater lake in the Scottish Highlands. Nessie is rarely spotted in the wild, but Lindsay Blair '23 has him hiding up her sleeve. 

Lindsay chose to study abroad in Scotland because of the myriad class options available to complete her gender studies minor. And because she's in Scotland, the subject is taught and analyzed through a different lens.

"My classes are very different over here. I'm learning about dukes and duchesses and courting, which doesn't seem real sometimes." 

The royal courtships were very real, but many of the other stories Lindsay has been introduced to come from legend. For example, the story she heard from a tattoo artist.

"I decided to get a tattoo to commemorate my time in Scotland. I wanted something Scottish-themed, but more original. The tattoo artist told me the story of the Loch Ness monster. When I heard the legend of Nessie, that's what I decided to go with."

Lindsay was told Bigfoot is also rumored to live in the Highland mountains, but she's sticking with Nessie for now. Each day, though, she learns something new about the culture or Scottish history, and she seeks out every story she can. She's also learning something about herself.

"At first, I was super nervous about studying abroad this year, and missing out on part of my senior year back at Siena. But I realized I'm learning to be way more independent, and that's how life is going to be when I graduate."