Another Awesome Summer With Kaplan Edinburgh

Kaplan International College Edinburgh

For the second summer in a row now, Student Tours Scotland has worked alongside Kaplan Edinburgh. I've travelled through on a rush hour train each Wednesday in June, July and August 2013 from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Edinburgh Waverley fighting my way past manic peak hour crazy folk. Believe me, it's insane.

I've taken students to the dizzy heights of Calton Hill and told stories and legends of ancient kings and queens of old; we've delved deep into the Royal Mile and it's hidden secrets with a few tales along the way. We've got lost in the Grassmarket and Old Town discussing ghosts and scary yarns from the past and we've even chatted about Nessie and her tea habits while strolling along the Water of Leith Walkway to Dean Village.

Edinburgh tears me apart. A huge part of me hates it, since I'm from Glasgow, but another part of me has fallen in love with it. It's got a great history. The students who study at Kaplan Edinburgh are very lucky. Kaplan International College and it's awesome team (especially Mike, Ezgi, Marni and Jeremy) are fantastic. We had students from all over the world on the tours this year. I hope you all remember the tales I told! 

Anyway, here's to the summer of 2013! Long may it last into September!

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #06: Timotheo

Glasgow is full of students from Brazil studying on a Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK scholarship. This week we track down one who has been at Glasgow Caledonian University since September 2012 and see how his year has gone.

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Hello, so, who are we talking to today? Name, age, where you come from in Brazil, your home place of study?

Timotheo (T): Hey ya! You`re talking to me, Timotheo, 23, and I come from Recife, and i study in the UFRPE.

STS: Why choose Glasgow, Timotheo?  What made you decide it was the place to go with Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK?

T: Well, i didnt really knew much about Glasgow, but i had to come here, and i was also curious about Scotland, no place better than Glasgow to come!

STS: What was your FIRST experience in Glasgow after arriving?

T: My first experience here, was walking around the city centre, seeing George Square and the statue in front of GOMA museum. The statue has a cone above its head, and well I think that explains it, I was fascinated with that unusual scene, and of course feeling like I didnt know English, because Glaswegian is something else!

STS: Are you enjoying your time in Glasgow? What aspects of life in the city are you most enjoying?

T: I'm having a great time here, the city is amazing everything seems to work well. People are nice, and the fact that you can walk to almost everywhere in the city centre is really nice, also the city has many parks, and you never run out of choices of things to do or see (except after 3am, after that Glasgow goes to bed)!

STS: Have you managed to do any touring around Scotland while here with Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK?

T: Yeah, most of them with Student Tours Scotland. I went to Edinburgh, Loch Ness, Fort William, Isle of skye (which is great), Inverness, St. Andrews.

STS: Would you encourage other students from Brazil, who are thinking of going abroad with Science Without Borders (UK) to study in Glasgow? If yes, why?

T: Yes, Glasgow is an amazing city, very modern, full of culture and history, and academically challenging in many ways, besides that you can go to almost everywhere in Scotland easily by coach or with Student Tours Scotland!

STS: What will you miss the most from Glasgow when you return to Brazil?

T: I will miss the amount of foreign people that you can meet here, and the possibility of visiting many great places around Scotland, being able to bungee jump etc. Well I'll miss the city in many ways. I'll miss living here!

STS: Cheers!

 

Where Are They Now? #013: John (United States)

Student Tours Scotland likes to track down former students who studied in Glasgow and see what they are up to now. We tracked down John from the USA a long time back so things might have changed. Here's what he had to say though.

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

John (J): My name is John Gilbert Carroll, I studied at Glasgow Caledonian University from January 2009 to June 2009. I was born in Cincinnati, OH, USA and studied Music Business at Middle Tennessee State University and now reside in Nashville, TN. At the age of 8, I caught a greased pig in a county fair contest. After that, I knew I was destined for big things. Part of my coming to Glasgow, was contingent on writing an independent study on the music scene in Scotland. I spent a lot of nights out at pubs, clubs, concerts, and open mic nights.

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

J: What I miss most about Glasgow and Scotland is living in the heart of the city. I could walk everywhere and plus Glasgow is perfect for college students. The city centre is not overwhelmingly large, cost of living is relatively cheap, and the pubs and clubs are fantastic!

STS: What one place in Scotland was your favourite?

J: The Arches was my favorite nightclub, it had lots of people, and had separate DJ’s spinning so you could always find your own vibe. The architectural design (it’s under the train station) makes it even more unique. The other place I really enjoyed was King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut where the band, Oasis, was discovered. I convinced some of my newly found fellow exchange students to go see Ra Ra Riot with me. The venue is very intimate and the show was superb!

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

J: Of course! I took advantage of the cheap flights to other countries and traveled all over Europe. When my family came to visit me, we went all around Scotland. I’ve been a golfer my entire life, so getting to walk St. Andrews Links is something I will never forget.

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

J: I am working on Music Row in Nashville, TN for an independent music publisher. My focus is on getting songwriters published (i.e. recorded by major artists).

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

J: No, sadly I have not.

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

J: Stick in groups when going out at night, but don’t be afraid to step out and introduce yourself to strangers.

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

J: Thanks Gary, you’re the one true ginja ninja.

Lena Points #17: Abandoned Shopping Cart

It's that time of the week again when Lena comes a-pointing. Student Tours Scotland presents a tour of Glasgow with a difference. A tour, of pointing around Glasgow!

There is a legend in Glasgow that all the rivers are home to a strange creature. It's not your average aquatic animal. It is in fact very different. It's composed of mostly metal and is found generally lying in a position that would suggest it has died. The shopping cart is one of the weirdest sights you will see in our city but is a Glasgow highlight nonetheless. Student Tours Scotland took Lena out to Househillwood and to Househill Park for this particular cart. As you can see it plays dead awaiting the prey to appear. This cart is also not in the water. To make things more confusing it is waiting just a few metres from the banks of the Levern Water. Thankfully both Lena and I survived this particular shopping cart experience. 

Dear Green Glasgow: Cardonald Park and Football Pitches

Each week, Student Tours Scotland looks into a different park or Green Space around the City of Glasgow. This week we look at one of the weirdest Glasgow City Council parks in the boundaries. 

Cardonald Park is a strange entity in Glasgow. It was acquired by the Glasgow Corporation in 1928 and originally consisted of no less than eighteen large football pitches and an old men's shelter. These days it's a shadow of it's former self. Like most things in Glasgow in the 1960's it suffered from so-called 'progress' when the M8 motorway ripped through the heart of Glasgow. These days it's actually separated from Cardonald itself by the highway. It still contains some football pitches though and is throughly used by the folk around this part of Glasgow. It's also a welcome green space in a part of the city which sorely needs one.

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #05 - Taline

Student Tours Scotland tracks down another of our Brazilian students (studying on a Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK scholarship) in Glasgow for a wee review of how they've been enjoying the city. This week we seek out Taline, who has been on many events with us at Student Tours Scotland across Glasgow and the country at large.

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Hello, so, who are we talking to today? Name, age, where you come from in Brazil, your home place of study?

Taline (T): Hi! My name is Taline. I’m 22 and I come  from Bebedouro, a small city in the state of São Paulo. In Brazil, I study at University of São Paulo (USP).

STS: Why choose Glasgow, Taline? What made you decide it was the place to go with Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders (UK)?

T: Actually, I didn’t choose Glasgow, Glasgow chose me! I applied for three different cities in the UK, but none of them was Glasgow. Now I am so glad I’m here, and if I knew the city before, for sure I would have chosen it. Besides being a really pretty and big city, where you can find everything you need, Glaswegians are really nice, cheerful and welcoming people.

STS: What was your FIRST experience in Glasgow after arriving?

T: My first experience here was sitting in a Starbucks at Buchanan Street to drink a hot chocolate. I was a bit shocked because of the accent of people talking around me, but I loved the movement of the city.

STS: Are you enjoying your time in Glasgow? What aspects of life in the city are you most enjoying?

T: Sure I am enjoying it! Walking or just resting in a park during a sunny day is amazing, or hanging out in a pub or cafe is also great. Glasgow has many parks, restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes that always make the city interesting for your taste and mood.

STS: Have you managed to do any touring around Scotland while here with Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders (UK)?

T: Yes. Scotland is amazing, the landscape is really pretty. I had the opportunity to travel a lot with Students Tours Scotland and visit really peculiar places. It is amazing how the country can be beautiful not even in a sunny day, but also at rainy weather, and how this can change fast, creating a beauty that is unique. There is also some magic in the air that is indescribable, and it makes you want to travel more to see more lochs and mountains.

STS: Would you encourage other students from Brazil, who are thinking of going abroad with Science Without Borders (UK) to study in Glasgow? If yes, why?

T: Sure! In Glasgow, a student has everything they need and can live in a cheap way. The city and people are welcoming and you can explore the whole Scotland, what doesn’t have a price!

STS: What will you miss the most from Glasgow when you return to Brazil?

T: Everything! But if I need to say one thing, would be… really, everything!

STS: What one thing would you tell an incoming student that they HAD to do in Glasgow?

T: Walk in Kelvingrove Park and have a beer and a burger at The Counting House.

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Taline!

T: Cheers, Gary!

Glasgow’s Got History #003: The Saints Come Marching In

Glasgow is a city with a lot of history. Student Tours Scotland recently came across three volumes on the complete past of Glasgow. As we work through them we're sharing some of the tales and legends as well as the facts and figures. 

Everyone in Glasgow knows the name Saint Mungo. Whether you know the tale or not, you know the name. Saint Columba and Saint Patrick are very closely linked with the city of Glasgow. As is Saint Ninian. All three have places and schools named after them around the city. After the Romans took over the south of Scotland and then left, Christianity started to take root. There were those here with the purpose of spreading the religion as best they could.

There is a cool story associated with Saint Patrick that says he was fleeing near Glasgow from the Devil himself! He escaped onto the River Clyde in a vessel and set sail. Unable to follow, Satan unleashed three witches to capture St. Patrick. After he avoided them for long enough, Satan was furious and threw a massive rock at the saint. He missed.

The rock is said to be the massive hillside rock that now stands under Dumbarton Castle ruin on the River Clyde in Dumbarton town. So next time you pass by, take some time to realise just how big the rock is and just how MASSIVE Satan must really be! Scary thought!

Where Are They Now? #012: Fran├žois (France)

Student Tours Scotland caught up with François who studied in Glasgow almost six years ago now. In the latest edition of 'Where Are They Now?' we travel back to France (not quite where he is these days though).

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Thanks for taking the time to do a 'Where Are They Now' interview. It's been around six years since you started studying in Glasgow, Scotland. Introduce yourself for us: name, where you are from and one random fact about yourself.

François (F): François Lombart from France, known as Franek in Glasgow. People were considering me as a party machine at this time (6 years ago...wow), now i'm retired from parties, i've done enough there!

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

F: The awesome weather, and the IRN BRU.

STS: What one place in Scotland was your favourite?

F: The bar called 'Common' bar in Glasgow *NOTE - this bar is now closed as of 2013*

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

F: That's part of the job, discover the culture, food and drink habits of the Scottish people. It helps to understand them (the accent is another problem though)

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

F: I'm stuck in Germany, which is quite bad for a french guy. But i'm becoming soon a happy father.

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

F: I've been back quite a lot, but not for a year or two.

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

F: Beware the Scottish drunken women, they are doing a lot by themself, and they can quickly jump on you on a night out ahahaha.

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

Lena Points #16: Old Calderpark/ Glasgow Zoo, East Glasgow

Student Tours Scotland teams up each week with Lena, our resident French living in Glasgow. We travel around the city and find interesting, weird and wonderful things to point at. This week we point at the abandoned entrance to the old Glasgow (formerly Calderpark) Zoo near the Mount Vernon area of East Glasgow.

There are few places in the city that tear apart Glaswegians so much as Glasgow Zoo. It was a great place and then a very sad place. Everyone loves a zoo park but Glasgow's had become a farce by the time it closed in 2003. I remember going near the end when I was quite ill and thought it was a sad way for the zoo to end after all this time. It's closure left a gaping hole in the East End of the city and sadly, it's part taken over by housing. It would make a fantastic addition to the park set in the city if only Glasgow City Council would actually plan. 

The North Calder Water runs through it and there is a lot of cool lanscaping all around. There are even rumours of a puma or large cat still roaming around. I certainly wouldn't like to go in after dark. The entrance block where Lena is standing, is sadly all that remains of this once awesome place. The time when you could walk around the enclosures is gone, them all having been knocked down to prevent undesirables lingering in them for too long.

The good news is that Student Tours Scotland recenly read that Glasgow and Rutherglen will be getting a new zoo. If the planning permission is granted then a section of park land on the Cuningar Loop in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen in Glasgow's South East will be home to a new animal park with a futuristic twist. The enclosures of old will be replaced with themed pods. Fingers crossed that Glasgow gives the go-ahead to this wonderful idea. A new tourist draw like this would really put Glasgow on the map after the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #04 - Rafaela

Glasgow attracts a lot of students from Brazil who are studying on the Ciência Sem Fronteiras (Science Without Borders - UK) scholarship. At present there are over one hundred students from Brazil at the places of study in the city. This week, Student Tours Scotland has got in touch with Rafaela who is doing her Ciência Sem Fronteiras (Science Without Border - UK) at Glasgow Caledonian University. She arrived in January and is so far loving life in Glasgow.

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Hello, so, who are we talking to today? Name, age, where you come from in Brazil, your home place of study?

Rafaela (R): Hi! I'm Rafaela and I'm 21. I'm from Assis, a city in the countryside of Sao Paulo state, 450 km from the city of Sao Paulo. I have lived there since 2009, when I started my studies. Before, I lived in Sao Paulo.

STS: Why choose Glasgow, Rafaela? What made you decide it was the place to go with Science Without Borders (UK)?

R: Actually, I didn't choose Glasgow, but I did choose the country. I wanted to go to Europe and a country where people speak English, then I chose the United Kingdom. I was accepted at Glasgow Caledonian University. So that's why I'm in Glasgow - this lovely city!

STS: What was your FIRST experience in Glasgow after arriving?

R: My very first experience was talking to people at the airport, because my luggage didn't arrive at the same time as me. So, I needed to register my address to receive my things at home. That was quiet freaky, because I couldn't understand a word that the guy was saying. Fortunately, there was another women there which I could understand better. In the end, everything was alright, my luggage arrived in my place on the same day.

STS: Are you enjoying your time in Glasgow? What aspects of life in the city are you most enjoying?

R: I'm really enjoying my time in Glasgow. There are so many options of things to do! I'm love with all the parks. Glasgow Green is one of my favorites. I'm living in the city centre, so every place is easy to go to as well. The best thing is the Scottish humor, I find the people friendly and at the same time quiet angry, and that's funny! It's easy to feel the culture around the city, in some of the pubs or even on the streets. It's nice the way people here love their country. Glasgow is not a predictable city, you can see every kind of people, food, weather, music, etc.  That's what I most enjoy here.

STS: Have you managed to do any touring around Scotland while here with Ciência Sem Fronteiras (Science Without Borders - UK)?

R: Yes. I've visited Loch Lomond and the lovely Luss. I went to Glen Coe to see the Harry Potter bridge, and also to Fort William. I've been to theIsle of Skye, the most beautiful place until now. I visited the University of Stirling, that has an awesome and huge campus. Also, I went to Edinburgh and Loch Ness. I travelled also to T in the Park music festival recently too. I want to visit much more places in Scotland, because I find the landscape fantastic!

STS: Would you encourage other students from Brazil, who are thinking of going abroad with Ciência Sem Fronteiras (Science Without Borders - UK) to study in Glasgow? If yes, why?

R: Yes, of course! The city is amazing for a student that wants to have contact with many different cultures and people. There are so many options to hang out, which includes walks during the day, places to eat, pubs, clubs, parks. And if you understand a Glaswegian, you can understand every one else in English.

STS: What will you miss the most from Glasgow when you return to Brazil?

R: I'll miss the walks around the city, the giant cinema, all the parks, and the sun that just makea me warm and not sweating like hell (when the sun appears, of course).

STS: What one thing would you tell an incoming student that they HAD to do in Glasgow?

R: It's hard choose just one thing, there's so many! I would say visit the parks, and go to Avant Garde to see people dancing Ceilidh!

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Rafaela!

R: Thank you, Gary, for inviting me to participate. All the best.

Where Are They Now? #011: Katie (United States)

Each week, Student Tours Scotland tries to track down a former student from six years ago (or so) to feature in 'Where Are They Now?' - a blog doing just what it says in the title. This week we head over to the United States of America for Katie. Here she is with her neice in the picture.

Student Tours Scotland (STS): What do you miss the most about Glasgow and Scotland?

Katie (K): The thing I miss most about Glasgow is walking down the cobblestone streets of Sauchiehall and taking in the vibe and culture of the city. I loved the fact that I could just walk across the street from my flat and be in the city to grab a pint or a sandwich of some kind. Even though it was cold and rainy most of my time there, there's an air about Glasgow that creeps into your heart and once you've been, you can't shake it. The thing I miss most about Scotland as a country is its charming (and often blunt!) people and gorgeous scenery. I hopped on a bus a few times to Edinburgh and Loch Lomond and to be able to have the countryside at my fingertips was the best because it cured my craving for the outdoors!

STS: What one place in Scotland was your favourite?

K: There are too many to pick just one! Edinburgh captivated me because it was like stepping back in time with the Castle on the hill but then incorporated the modern vibe of the city. I loved the narrow streets and climbing a large, mountainous hill (though I don't remember the name of it!).

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

K: I do think it's important to get out of Glasgow and see other Scottish cities because it gives you more of an accurate picture of what other cities are like. You should never base your opinion of a country based on visiting one city.

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

K: Right now I am working for a Study Abroad Provider called ISA which is based out of Austin, TX. We offer 37 cities in 21 countries (just adopted programs in August for 2 universities in Scotland!) and I get to talk to students about the benefits of studying abroad and how it will broaden your horizons, like it did for me.

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

K: Nope, I'd love to go back and visit the Highlands, since I didn't get there the first time.

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

K: Don't walk down the streets alone at night, beware of riding the bus during football games (you'll get some crazy riders on there), see the sights around Scotland!

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