This couple’s love blossomed on a 2001 exchange to Stirling

Former UofS exchange student Eric Vaughan got in touch to share the Stirling love story of Eric and Tara. 

The University of Stirling is a very special place to my wife Tara and I, and a big part of our story together.

My wife Tara and I started dating in Spring of 2000 in college. In January of 2001, we studied abroad together at the University of Stirling for the semester. This was the first big trip abroad for both of us. When deciding where to study abroad we were open to anything, and someone through the program had suggested the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Students outside a chalet

We honestly could not have found a better place to study. We loved Stirling from the moment we got there, and we fell madly in love with the country of Scotland as we fell more in love together.

I stayed in the Spittal Hill chalets at the bottom of the hill, near the track and down the road from the base of the Wallace Monument. My wife stayed in the flats at Pendreich Way.

Chalets on campus

In early February, there were a bunch of booths and tables set up in the student centre, and we came across a restaurant called Bouzy Rouge at the Sheriffmuir Inn. I made surprise reservations for Valentine’s Day at the restaurant, along with surprising her with balloons and flowers in her room (as you saw in the Instagram post). The dinner there was amazing and that Inn quickly became a favourite place that we visited many times after.

Anyway, we had lots of amazing memories at the Uni, from our studies to the walks around campus to the karaoke nights at Studio. In the years after that semester, we visited Scotland 4 or 5 times for week long trips where we stayed with friends. We even stayed at the University at a friend’s dorm on one trip!


When our friends at home were heading to the beaches for Spring Break, we went to Scotland. We decided we wanted to live in Scotland for longer, so a week after we were married, in 2006, we moved to Glasgow where I attended the University of Glasgow to study for my Masters degree in Bioinformatics. We stayed in a lovely flat right next to the Botanical Gardens and had one of the most amazing years of our lives.

I remember leaving Scotland in 2007 being almost heartbroken to leave. We actually haven’t been back since 2007! It’s amazing how time flies, but it became time to settle down and have a family. We now have 3 daughters, Rosslyn, Bronwyn and Eilis. We are aching to make it back to Scotland and Stirling, and can’t wait to introduce our daughters to our favourite country.

Three children

Theme by the University of Stirling