Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #11 - Isabella

Ciências sem Fronteiras

Student Tours Scotland tracks down another Brazilian Student in Glasgow who is on the Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship. This week we head back to the University of Strathclyde!

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?

Isabella (I): Hello! I'm Isabella, 21 years old. I'm from São Bernado do Campo - São Paulo and I study in a city called São Caetano do Sul.

STS: Why choose Glasgow, Isabella? What made you decide it was the place to go with Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship?

I: Actually first I chose to study in the UK and there were few universities in the program that had my course,. The University of Strathclyde is a great university and I like living in a big city, so Glasgow seemed to be a good option for me.

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

I: In my first day in Glasgow the other Brazilians that were already here took me to eat in a good Italian restaurant and then we went to Primark to buy things for the house. I remember that one of the boys didn't have a towel! The accent was hard to understand but the worst place to understand was the supermarket Aldi! It is crazy how people in there talk and work so fast! I couldn't understand the price I was paying!

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

I: I'm loving it here! Glasgow is a big city, so you can find anything you want, there are several places to go out and have fun! It's is awesome to walk back home late at night and know that you're safe.

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

I: Yes! I've been to some small tours to Loch Ness, Stirling, Perth, Edinburgh, and recently I did a road trip in UK in which I went to Loch Lomond, Fort William, Fort Augustus and Inverness. I visited some distilleries in Speyside, not counting all the stops we did in the middle of nowhere just to appreciate the landscape.

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?

I: Sure! The universities in here are really good, and the city is amazing! You always find something to do here, you only get bored if you want to! There are stores for all type of people, there are great parks, many places for a walk, and the clubs and the pubs are really nice! And if you want to travel there are nice cities around and two airports if you want to go further.

STS: What will you miss the most from Glasgow when you return to Brazil after your Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship is over?

I: Can I say everything? I can't say one specific thing that I will miss, but probably what I'll miss most is the life that I'm having here, the days at the park, the afternoons shopping, the tours around the city, and I'll certainly miss the clubs that I always say "this is the last time here for a long time" but I know I'll be there in the next week. Ah! I'll miss the cheap food from Aldi!

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

I: I can't say one place to go or one thing to do, the only thing I can think is go for walks with few friends and no route, discover the city! You can always find new interesting places, spend the afternoon in a different park, and in the end of the day go to some pub

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Isabella!

I: Cheers!

British Overseas Territories #01: British Indian Ocean Territory

The Plight of the Chagos Islands

Student Tours Scotland loves Scotland. The name says it all. This week we look at the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in all it's glory. It turns out that there is much more to the United Kingdom than initially meets the eye. The United Kingdom still has claim to fourteen territories around the world, three island groups around the mainland UK and Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. That's a lot of Britain so it is! In these days or potential Scottish Independence; Welsh Assemblies and Irish Nationalism it's often easy to forget the other possessions around the world that still hold dear to the British ideal. In the middle of the Indian Ocean is British Indian Ocean Territory. 

It's a peculiar group of islands made up of six main atolls and over 1000 islands. The largest island of Diego Garcia was the subject of some controversy in the 1960's when the UK government shamefully deported the population to nearby Seychelles and Mauritius which had just received independence from the UK. In recent months in 2013 there have been great strides to potentially repopulate the Chagos Islands (as British Indian Ocean Territory is mostly comprised of).

It's a magical place to read about, a fantastic place to watch online and browse the photos. The place holds a lot of charm. The abandoned church on Boddam Island in the Saloman Atoll looks awesome. It stands alone to a time long goneby. There are countless stories of sailors who have breached the imposed blockade by the UK and USA governments and reached the outer atolls of the territory. The islands are now home of a USA military base on the main island of Diego Garcia which is due for lease renewal in 2016. Whether this agreement with the UK continues will be key to the repopulation of the locals who are spread elsewhere across the Indian Ocean island nations. 

Regardless, the area is an unspoiled (mostly) landscape. It was home to the dodo (may it rest in peace) and is one of the those places that inspires you by merely thinking about it. Hopefully within my lifetime I will be able to go there and see the majesty of this place before it is spoiled and gone forever.

Around the World in Eighty Gingers #001: Sven (Germany)

Gotta Catch Em All. Gingers that is

Welcome to Student Tours Scotland's latest new blog idea. This time we are tracking down gingers around the world to see how many countries we can find a ginger in. This week we speak with Sven from Germany who is studying in Glasgow this year.

Student Tours Scotland (STS): Welcome to Student Tours Scotland's new "Around the World in Eighty Gingers" blog. Can you introduce yourself? Where do you come from? What's your name?

Sven (S): Hey, My name is Sven Tribull, I´m 23 years old and I come from a little town in Germany called Baden-Baden, which is located in the black forest and very close to the French border. I just finished up my bachelors degree in business administration a year ago, and after some travelling and an internship I decided to go to Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow in order to do my Masters degree in International Marketing.

STS: Tell us one random or interesting fact about yourself Sven?

S: Hmm, a random fact - I recently (last Friday), after 5 or 6 white russians, had the brilliant idea to jump off a wall and land on my heels, which resulted in my first trip to a Scottish hospital. Great place, the beds are way more comfy than the mattresses in Student Accomodation, and I even got a set of crutches as a souvenir. Unfortunately I have to give them back in a week or two.

STS: Does being ginger mean anything in particular to you? Do you feel it adds character to your personality?

S: I don´t think it means that much in particular to me, other than the fact that it helped me developing a pretty thick skin when I was younger, as kids tend to be cruel creatures and will pick on anything that is just slightly different from the rest in any way, shape or form. Never wanted to have a different haircolour though wink

STS: If we were all Pokémon, then gingers would be incredibly rare pokémon. Have you ever used your unique ginger-ness in a pickup line in a bar?

S: I actually have done that, but it that was just because I lost a bet, where the loser had to use a pick up line that was picked by the winner. It was horrible and something like this: "You´re hotter than a Bunsen burner set to full power! And technically, I am  too. We´re made for each other." Alcohol helped to strangle my embarrassment and fortunatley she was drunk enough to think it was funny, but it didn´t do the trick after all.

STS: Gingers are going to be extinct by 2060 according to National Geographic magazine. How does that make you feel?

S: I´m not really sure if the planet even survives that long the way things go right now, but I think that would be a sad thing to happen as less variety is always bad. However I read the article from National Geographic and it only states that news reports have claimed that redheads were going extinct and the article furthermore stated that "while redheads may decline, the potential for red isn't going away", so it seems we´re bound to stick around for a little longer wink

STS: Any funny or interesting stories involving being ginger? Has it helped you out in a weird way ever in life?

S: I can´t really think of anything in particular, other than the Kiosk which used to be on my way home from elementary school, where I always got free candy, because the old woman running it liked the colour of my hair so much. Seems a bit creepy though thinking of that in retrospect.

STS: Cheers for chatting Sven!

S: Anytime! I really enjoy my stay in Scotland so far and hope I can join on some more tours in the near future. Finding time for these is though doing a Masters, but they´re always more than worth the time!

Where Are They Now? #015: Frederico (Portugal)

Blast from the Past

Student Tours Scotland catches up with our Portuguese friend in another Where Are They Now?

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

Fred (F): Hey! My name is Frederico Godinho. I spent four years of my life (2006-2010) studying Forensic Investigation at Glasgow Caledonian University. Since then I went to live in Swindon (England) for a year to do my Masters degree and after that I came back to my home country, Portugal. One random fact about me... let me see.. Oh, there was a time during my stay in Glasgow when I was addicted to Starbucks' Peach and Raspberry Muffins.

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

Fred: If I have to single one thing out, I will surelly have to say the people who made my time in Glasgow so special, who I travelled Scotland with, who showed me or discovered Scotland with me. I also do miss the big city life in Glasgow, given my hometown is considerably smaller, the night life, the packed streets on any given day (particularly Buchanan and Sauchiehall), the amazing parks and one thing that I do not get in my hometown as well: the snow!

STS: What one place in Scotland was your favourite?

Fred: Again, it is hard to single one place out, but I would have to say the one place I would always go to when I was feeling a bit down, mainly because it always made me feel better and warm inside, Kelvingrove Park, in the west end of Glasgow.

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

Fred: Absolutely! Scotland is an amazing country and there is, in my mind, no point in staying in one place when there is so much to see, discover, feel. I can speak from my personal experience. For most of my first year I stayed in student halls just keeping to myself and sometimes it could be a bit depressing. From my second year on, point at which I met Gary from Student Tours Scotland (I must say this), my life in Glasgow was so much brighter, so much nicer and much more enjoyable.

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

Fred: Right now I am doing my PhD in Forensic Science in Porto, Portugal. I am also a university lecturer in the same city, but at a different University.

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

Fred: I have, twice. And I am currently planning a trip for early next year. I miss it badly. It grows on you and becomes part of your life. It was like that for me and I honeslty feel a little bit bad for not visiting for so long.

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

Fred: First of all, if you are looking for any kind of information, any kind of help you may need, don't hesitate to ask! Despite what you may hear about British people being cold and distant, you will certainly be surprised by how warm and affectionate Scottish people are! Also, don't be afraid to explore Scotland, to get to know it. It will always be a valuable and memorable experience, as there are plenty of adventures to be lived waiting for you.

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

Fred: It was and always will be a great pleasure for me to remember my time in Scotland and to share it with people going through the same. Thank you so much for the opportunity and all the best to you Gary, and to everyone experiencing Scotland!

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #10 - Pedro

Glasgow Without Borders

Student Tours Scotland chats with Pedro from Glasgow Caledonian University who is studying in Glasgow from Brazil on the Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK scholarship.

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?

Pedro (P): My name is Pedro Henrique de Oliveira Nogueira, I’m 22 years-old, I came from Distrito Federal in Brazil and study in University of Brasília.

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

P: I chose Glasgow as a city to study in the UK, by the Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders (SWB) UK scholarship Program, because it’s a big city with an international reputation in the quality of its scientific and industrial production. Since I signed up in the SWB with the purpose of improve my graduation in Engineering, I thought that Glasgow would be a perfect place to do my exchange. Besides that, I wished to learn about the culture of Scotland and improve my English as a second language.

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

P: My first experience was to admire the beauty of the city at night when I landed in Glasgow and to see snow for the first time in my life.

STS: Are you enjoying your time in Glasgow on Ciência Sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK scholarship? What aspects of life in the city are you most enjoying?

P: I’m really enjoying my time in Glasgow, it’s a big city with a lot of festivals, museums, history, art and architecture attractions, with people from a lot of different cultures and parts of the world. I’m really enjoying the quantity of attractions that the city has to offer, especially about Scotland’s culture and costumes. For example, I like to taste the Scottish foods and go to dance Ceilidh - a Scottish dance. I liked a lot about the Scottish accent and the Glaswegian slang and accent, despite it’s a 'wee bit' difficult to understand sometimes. But I think this is what makes the Scottish accent nice. I like a lot how the Scottish people care about their costumes and culture and have proud of it.

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

P: During my stay in Glasgow I managed to travel around some places in Scotland to know more about the culture. So far, I’ve been to Edinburgh, Stirling, Fort William, Balloch, Isle of Skye, Glencoe, Aviemore, Loch Ness and Perth. But I'll manage to visit many other places around Scotland before go back to Brazil. I also have been to some castles in Scotland, like the Edinburgh Castle, the Stirling Castle, Eilean Donan Castle and Urquhart Castle. And to many parks and museums around Scotland.

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?

P: I strongly encourage other Brazilian students to come to Glasgow. My stay in Glasgow is been the best experience in my life, not only in the academic sense, but also in the personal sense. The city has a lot to offer.

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

P: I’m going to miss the people from Glasgow, the festivals, the Glaswegian accent, the events that take places in the city and the beauty of the city.

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

P: Talk to as many Glaswegians as possible and try to understand their accent. Try to eat Haggis, go to Ceilidh and buy a kilt. Visit George Square, Kelvingrove Park and Museum, Merchant City, Glasgow Cathedral, the West End, People Palace Museum, Glasgow Green, Bellahouston Park, see a bagpipe parade, walk beside the River Clyde and see the colors of the city during the night.

STS: Cheers Pedro!

Lena Points #20: To Let/ Toilet Sign in Glasgow

Some Dark Humour in Glasgow

Student Tours Scotland apologies for the lack of blog posts recently. In particular we apologise for the lack of Lena Points that we have brought you. So here is a funny one to keep you amused. As a child in Glasgow my Dad used to tell me that all To Let signs (used on buildings that are available to let) were actually toilets missing the Letter 'I' in each case. I of course stupidly believed him. So imagine mine and Lena's surprise when we found this beauty in Anderston in Glasgow City Centre. To say we ROFL'd is an understatement.