Life After Erasmus #002: Life in Glasgow

Robin Graham is back with some thoughts on living in Glasgow

It's been a while since Robin wrote a blog for us, so here he is with a new one.

In the past couple of years, I have made so many friends who have come to study their ERASMUS exchange in Glasgow. I did this because I spent time abroad and I just wanted to be with people who could just understand exactly what it was like. I didn’t expect there to be many differences between my exchange and theirs, but there were.

I lived in France, one of the most culturally enriched places on Earth, whereas they came to Scotland, where I believed to be culturally redundant in terms of interesting places to be. However, I knew their game, as Glasgow has one of the best night life and music scenes this side of the Channel.

What I did notice though, was the exchange students hunger for learning about our culture, something which perplexed me! In my time abroad, I travelled a lot and spent no time learning about France, and solely about countries from where I had friends. Everyone seemed to share a similar distaste to the French people and to some extent their culture, but in Glasgow… The exchange students love it!
“Dae ye want some Irn Bru?” is a phrase which I will never tire of hearing in an accent mixed between Scottish, Spanish and Indian when my friend Victor asks. Hearing a Dutch guy say “aye” in a somewhat South African sounding accent when I ask him if he wants a beer, will always makes me smile. All these things; somehow make me a little bit more proud to say that I’m Scottish, and it’s the foreigners teaching me.

There is a typically grey view of Glasgow which people who don’t know the city tend to see. But it is within our mundane culture that there is comfort and warmth. Leaving our doors unlocked because we trust our neighbours, acknowledging those old people who walk past us, asking a stranger how their day is going when they serve you at Sainsbury’s. These are all things which make Glasgow truly amazing and welcoming as a city to study your ERASMUS in.

However, don’t come here and not go out, sitting skyping with your amazing friends at home who will still be there when you return. Go out and get to know this vibrant city, with the amazing people who you’re here with.