Alumni Services

Stasha Healy

US alumna Stasha Healy on tracing her Scottish roots, writing while travelling, and helping East Coast alumni to celebrate Burns Night.

Name Anastasia (Stasha) Mills Healy
Programme Junior year abroad
Year of leaving


Stasha Healy

At the moment

I'm thrilled that my family is vaccinated, safe, and well, and that some travel is possible again.

Your time at the University

I always enjoyed reading and writing so studying literature at university was a given. I am American with Scottish ancestry and I also always knew I wanted to do a junior year abroad so the Edinburgh JYA programme was a perfect fit. I loved taking Scottish Literature and Scottish Ethnology as well as English Literature, and I took advantage of the convenience of living in the Pleasance. I had wonderful flat mates and we fully enjoyed everything the city had to offer from art galleries to pub crawls, concerts, and plays.

I danced in the university’s staging of Leonard Bernstein’s The Mass and had a hilarious language disconnect when during a run through without props, the director gave a stage direction to “put on your berry.” I saw others motioning to put something on their heads so I did the same, wondering why at this point in the play were were supposed to have berries on our heads. When we had the dress rehearsal, I doubled over in laughter when I realized that the Scottish pronunciation of “beret” was “berry!”

I of course studied Robert Burns, and little did I know that many years later I would be hosting the largest Burns Supper in Connecticut! I helped organize the Burns Supper for the University of Edinburgh Alumni Club of New York for several years.  When I moved to the suburbs I couldn’t find a Burns Supper near me so I started one and it grew beautifully.  

Your experiences since leaving the University

I travelled in Europe a great deal while a student in Edinburgh, and after graduation when I had the opportunity to join a travel magazine, a whole world opened up to me. My first position was at Condé Nast Traveler ; I also was an editor at Fodor’s Travel Publications, which produces guidebooks, and Travel Agent, a national weekly magazine. In addition, I was responsible for New York City’s official tourism information for seven years. For the last decade I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for publications including Time Out and Frommer’s, and I also provide content for travel industry clients and other businesses. I am a curious person who is passionate about learning about the world. I’ve been to 64 countries and I am particularly proud of having visited all 50 U.S. states by my 30th birthday. My goal is to reach 100 countries.

Stasha Healy with a Sphinx in the background
Visiting the Sphinx


When I moved to the suburbs I couldn’t find a Burns Supper near me so I started one and it grew beautifully.  

Stasha HealyFreelance communications professional

Life during Covid-19

When there was no travel during the pandemic, I turned my lens to my own state and wrote a well-received book “Secret Connecticut: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,” which tells 84 stories that surprise even lifelong residents.

I am working towards finding more steady employment as the life of a freelancer can be unpredictable—especially that of a travel writer during a pandemic!

Alumni wisdom

I wish I had known that it would have been so challenging for me to re-enter the workforce after having children. I started working freelance and part time after having my two children. I began looking for full-time work again after three years and I could not find an opportunity that made financial sense since child care is very expensive. As a result, my resume is full of experience with many companies and styles of writing but I did not have the full-time employment consistency needed to continue along a path of financial health and independence.

Related links

Alumni community in North America

Stasha's travel blog (external ink)