Scottish student welcomed with Southern hospitality

By April Avison

Students may notice something different about their classmate Tara Adamson when she starts classes at Clayton College & State University next week. Instead of speaking with a southern drawl, Adamson has the unmistakable accent of someone who hails from Scotland.

Adamson spoke to the Rotary Club of Henry County on Monday. The club is hosting her for one year while she studies art at CCSU.

"I've always wanted to come to America, to live and work here," she said. "When you walk down the street here, someone will say hello to you even if you don't know them. They don't do that in Scotland unless they've been out and had a few drinks. They'll talk to you then."

The Rotary Clubs of Henry and Clayton County host an international student each year as part of the Georgia Rotary Student Program. Frank and Pam Bone of McDonough are the Henry County host parents.

"She's a sweet, wonderful person to have and share with," said Frank Bone.

The Clayton County host parents, Paul and Mary Kraack, moved away from the county recently, but Adamson has been spending time with Clayton County Rotary member Ron Corbin's family.

"Thank you for giving me this great opportunity," Adamson told Rotary members. "I find myself very lucky and privileged that you chose me."

The Rotary clubs will pay Adamson's tuition and boarding expenses for one year.

Adamson appeared excited about her stay in America.

"These are leaflets from where I'm from, which is the middle of nowhere," she said as she passed out brochures from her hometown village in southwest Scotland, where only about 200 people live.

"In my back garden I have cattle and sheep. That's what I'm not used to here – there's no animals," Adamson said. "In Scotland it rains all the time. We only have a few days of summer a year. It's windy, it rains, it snows and it hails."

Adamson compiled a "wish list" of things she'd like to do during her stay in Georgia. They include motorcycle riding, swimming with dolphins, riding roller coasters, parachuting and seeing a Broadway show. She has already been hiking and tubing with the Corbin family, and attended a baseball game with Frank Bone.

"I want to travel," she said. "I want to make the most of this year, and I definitely want to visit Las Vegas and New York. I like trying different things all the time."