Where Are They Now? #008 Matthieu (France)

Catching up with Matthieu after five years

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Thanks for being one of our Where Are They Now interviews. It's been around five years since you started studying in Glasgow, Scotland. Introduce yourself for us: name, where you are from.

Matthieu: Matthieu Vailhé, from Normandy in France.

STS: What do you miss the most about Glasgow and Scotland?

Matthieu: Scottish people, pubs and ERASMUS spirit.

STS: What one place in Scotland was your favourite?

Matthieu: The Arches bar in Glasgow City, Caledonian Court - our accommodation and the West End in Glasgow.

STS: Do you think it's important to get out and about in Glasgow and Scotland when you study here?

Matthieu: It's not important, that's crucial.

STS: But enough about Scotland. What are you doing with yourself now?

Matthieu: I've created a company in Normandy in France.

STS: Have you been back in Scotland since you first left?

Matthieu: Yes, I have.

STS: If you could offer any one piece of survival advice to someone about to study in Scotland what would it be?

Matthieu: Do not stay too much with only ERASMUS people. Go to meet scottish people!

STS: Cheers for taking the time to chat with us. All the best.

Matthieu: That was a pleasure.

Erasmus en Escocia #03: Strength to Strength

The party continues

So finally the strip club is closed (see previous BLOG for references), the zombies are gone, and ‘Narnia’ was saved.  That means that no more people have disappeared in these past few  weeks, (well only one has, but we didn’t even know his name) and a Japanese guy has finally settled into room number five in our accommodation.

The past few weeks have been very exciting even though uni is getting harder (if seven hours a week could be called ‘hard work’). After an incredible paintball game in which we skipped the golden rule of ‘Just Don’t Die’, we went partying all day, every day to prepare ourselves for the amazing ESN Sub Srawl (see ESN GCU HERE).

For those who missed it or don’t know what is it about, let’s put it in this way: ‘sco(tt)ish’ people love drinking and having fun, Glasgow city has an outstanding, riveting and ‘huge’ subway system (metro, underground, not the subway with sandwiches we are all thinking about), and the most important of our facts, the rate of pubs per per person in Glasgow is the same as the number of stickers you guys have in every entrance door (fire door, keep shut).  It’s seriously like each door here is fire, nuclear-bomb protected, and we wouldn’tknow that fact if the sticker wouldn't be there?!

So the ESN guys thought, if there's almost a club per person here, there should be a bar near each Subway Station, so what if we grab a drink at each stop ? Challenge accepted! One hundred people, two seperate groups, and so much fun made for an awesome event!

Meanwhile back in Eldon kitchen at our accommodation - seventy litres of sangria were being prepared.

So after the Sub Crawl hangover, the same people (around a hundred) came to our kitchen for a huge Spanish sangria party which not only wasn’t crushed by our security friends but also achieved a new world record: all the booze gone in under thirty minutes. None of us were surprised at the fact that i didn’t get into the nightclub afterwards.

The cold war of Victor VS the bouncers had another hilarious episode when they told me I was drunk (because my face was red – although I had gotten sunburnt twice in Scotland after only ten minutes of sun) and didn’t like my face. I told them,  "this is going to be on Facebook, it’s so unfair", and they answered, pointing at their faces: "take a photo and tag me if you dare boy". I didn’t remember his name.

Weekend time was booked for Student Tours Scotland day trips, and we went into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to see some waterfalls and river rapids. We made some stops at a town called Killin (the best part of the trip was walking by the ‘Killin' Time shop) and Callander. Some really nice views and photos!

This past weekend we visited Loch Ness and had the chance to get into a private property where we got some awesome pictures of the loch (Nessie is fed up of Spanish tourists and she had a terrible Sunday hangover so she didn’t show up this time. No one even considered the stupid, wrong and false theory that she never existed.

After some highland giant dog-cows photos and a Fort Augustus walk we went home wondering when we’ll visit Fort September or Fort October.

These weeks finished like the former ones, with a huge party at the accommodation which was crushed five times, a huge party at our kitchen which was crushed twice and the threat that our kitchen will be reported as the party building and will be closed to the public until 2014.

And on the 31st October, we’ll have a costume party. It’s always great fun in here in Scotland!

Victor

Lena Points #7: Ramshorn Theatre, Merchant City, Glasgow

Spooky Goings on in Glasgow

Lena is our French associate who is great at pointing at things. Student Tours Scotland takes her out and around Glasgow to find the coolest and most awesome parts of the city. It could be something you miss or something you have no idea about. Lena will find it and point at it.

Today she is pointing at the Ramshorn Theatre - a converted church - in Glasgow's Merchant City on Ingram Street. The building itself is now used as a cool theatre attached to the University of Strathclyde and puts on some nice little productions. The inside is beautiful and a little eerie too - wait til you have seen inside the crypt! Spooky stuff.

There were said to be miracles attached to St. Mungo performed near here and if you want to hear more then come on our City of the Dead walk. 

Lena is part of the Erasmus Student Network at Glasgow Caledonian University. Also know as ESN GCU you can find out more about them by liking their facebook page HERE.

Look out for more things we'll be pointing at soon!

Half Way Already?

Halfway Through the Semester Already

Student Tours Scotland cannot believe that we are already halfway through the semester already! It seems like only yesterday Irene was stepping off the plane and joining us on a Glasgow Walk. It feels like hardly any time has passed since I was introduced to the concept of Freddy being here for four years. Our pub night began in earnest in September with our Scotland night and has grown to something very unlike what it was. Our tours have gone from strength to strength. We've endured the Vengaboys getting stuck in everyones heads; grappled with breakdowns and traffic hold ups; we've been soaked and frozen to our bones; we've travelled all over the roads and even a few questionable roads. All in all it's been awesome. From ghost stories to legends about Nessie it just keeps getting better and better. Here's to another awesome two months.

Sunny Days on Glasgow’s Canal

Student Tours Scotland and Glasgow's Hidden Gem

It's not everyday that you get as pretty a day in Glasgow as today. The autumnal colours of the trees mixed with the dark brooding sky and the tiny sliver of sunlight made for a fantastic afternoon. Student Tours Scotland took sixteen very lucky souls on the Glasgow Branch route of the Forth and Clyde Canal. After meeting up at GoMA in the City Centre (and being disgusted by the lack of cone on the Duke's head), we travelled up to Cowcaddens and then to Spiers Wharf.

If you have never walked this awesome route then you really are missing out. it's Student Tours Scotland's favourite hidden gem in Glasgow. Passing through Hamiltonhill and into Firhill Basin you get some great views across the Claypits and of the grassland and reeds where the local swans hang out. The views of Ruchill Park and the old hospital tower are fantastic with the eerie sky as well! Passing through Maryhill and onto the Locks there is something special and the view over the River Kelvin Walkway is potentially the best on the route. 

The large looming Temple Gasworks near the end of the pathway (for us anyway) stand like sentinels, guarding West Glasgow and make a fitting end to a fantastic day. If you haven't been on a Student Tours Scotland walk then you are seriously missing out. See you next Wednesday guys!

Where Are They Now? #007 Amanda (Luxembourg)

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Welcome Amanda to our latest installment of Where Are They Now? Where we track down students who studied in Glasgow five years ago and see what they are doing now. So...what have you been doing lately? Let's find out. Firstly, introduce yourself.

Amanda: My name is Amanda Muller and I’m from Luxembourg - yup it’s country and a city. My random fact would be that I have a mild obsession with double glazed windows.

STS: Since you're still here, what has kept you in Scotland?

Amanda: Glasgow has really become home from home to me by now. I love that you get the full on city life experience and are yet so close to the outdoors. For example: you can easily cycle along the canal to Loch Lomond.
However, I think it’s the people that make it! I find folk here very outgoing, helpful and easy to chat to.

STS: What one place in Scotland do you consider your favourite?

Amanda: Tough decision. Edinburgh with it’s magnificent architecture is undebatably worth a visit , it’s not for no reason that it’s old and new town are listed as world heritage sites. However, I am most fond of the west coast; the scenery as you are heading to Fort William through Glen Coe is absolutely stunning – never fails to impress.

STS: Do you think it's important to get out and about in Glasgow and Scotland when you study here?

Amanda: Definitely! There is so much to see, not to mention all the great pubs and gigs.  It also gives you the opportunity to make some great friends. While you’re studying you often feel as though you don’t have the time to go venturing off, but it’s the best time to do it; it will lift your spirits and clear your head.

STS: But enough about Scotland. What are you doing with yourself now?

Amanda: In between aimlessly floating about; I got to work on a project for a local social enterprise, Eadha Enterprises, which had just kicked off with its mission statement: “unlocking potential through planting trees to regenerate land and communities” - a very rewarding experience. This encouraged me to pursue further studies and I have since enrolled on an MSc course at Edinburgh University.

STS: If you could offer any one piece of survival advice to someone about to study in Scotland what would it be?

Amanda: Don’t be shy, talk to people, the accent can be hard to grasp at times, but you’ll get the hang of it..if not; try some Buckfast. Embrace all the facilities your university has to offer such as the various societies, pop into the pub for an acoustic jam session or go walk a hill.

In short; remember to give yourself time to relax and embrace what the country has to *offer to make this time a special memory (* this offer includes the famous four seasons in a day- waterproofs highly recommended!).

STS: Cheers for taking the time to chat with us. All the best.

Amanda: All the best to you too Student Tours Scotland, I’ll see you around!

Erasmus en Escocia #02 - Zombies and Partying Hard

Victor from Zaragoza is back this week with another installment of his Erasmus en Escocia blog. This time we have everything from flesh eating zombies to cheap games of paintball. Sometimes I think he takes some of our Student Tours Scotland tours too seriously.

"Our second and third week started with paranormal and creepy stuff going on. Our beloved and so called, ‘love room’ (shared room with two beds so you can imagine why we call it that way) turned into our very own ‘Bermuda Triangle’ room. This week two more guys disappeared. It has now happened three times in a row. People come in but they never come out. And recently, we also got some cool stories from Gary (from Student Tours Scotland) at the graveyard. We are pretty sure that there’s huge evidence that the ‘love room’ is an entrance door to either Narnia or a Strip club.

At the beginning of the second week, we visited Edinburgh (which sounds like "a dim bra", the kind of bra you’ll find in ‘Poundland’), an incredible city with its own charm. We got into the castle for free and visited some hills, and we even heard two really interesting and true stories about dragons, monsters and princess that slept around (there seems to be a shortage of trustworthy girls in Gary's amazing tales), and finally we came back home without breaking the number one rule. Nobody died. Hopefully that’s because he didn’t count people anyway.

After some huge parties in Eldon (our home in our accommodation), such as the well-known ‘Eldon's Wednesdays’ or the amazing ‘drinking-beer-cause-its-healthy Sundays’, there 's also been time for some more trips. Crookston Castle and the jungle walk, or the soaking walk to the top peak of Loch Lomond's hill are two examples.

Full day trips are always special, and many of them include the sentence, “please guys, do not do what Declan and Freddy will be telling you to do" (two of our flatmates), but Loch Lomond was even more special, because five minutes later, half of the people were following our two friends up to the hill. Even though when we were going up, there was a river under our boots, and a waterfall above our heads.

In the end, we spent half an hour drying everything, buying new socks and putting plastic bags on them because the trainers were like ‘Sponge Bob’. Wrong clothes for an amazing trip that took us to a small beach and a nice path through the forest.

On Monday, we played football with the GCU Football team (really good players there) and with the guys from the ESN (Erasmus Students Network). It would have been our healthiest week since we arrived to Glasgow except for the almost every day of parties that we threw in Eldon. For some reason, people like drinking on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays as if the weekend was almost there. We are trying not to encourage people to do it, but we could never reject anyone that comes into the kitchen with a ‘Tennents’ in his/her hand asking for hard partying.

This upcoming weekend will also be amazing as we got a £600 paintball game for 20 people on sale, so it's only costing us £60. Hannes (a friend from Germany) booked a car on Saturday to go hiking to Ben Lomond, and on Sunday we’ll be going to Oban, for another crazy trip with Gary and Student Tours Scotland. But this time we are ready for everything: rain, snow, jungles, and policemen arresting us for breaking into graveyards at night (it never happened but as you all know – it could) or even the guys that disappeared two weeks ago in love room, trying to eat our brains. The theory of Eldon's Zombies is being taken into account at the moment.

More info about our life in Glasgow next week. Cheers!"