Rafael Drinks, Pedro Thinks #03: Counting House, George Square

Where would we be without the Counting House?

Student Tours Scotland has a new series of blogs this season featuring some of the best and coolest bars around the city. This week we catch up with Rafael and Pedro to see what they find cool in Glasgow as Rafael Drinks and Pedro Thinks once more.

The Counting House is one of those bars that every student finds out about at some time. You really can't miss the place. I personally (Gary, the ginger Scottish guide) have many memories in this bar. Some good, others better forgotten. It features in a number of videos on our youtube channel is often the start of many friendships as well as the place where we go to celebrate the end of a semester and goodbyes (for now at least). The haggis here is cheap and enjoyable and the fish and chips is a particular highlight. They have a great range of beers and ales - bottled and pints. There is always wine and most importantly, a great range of whiskies. It's frequently hosting events and themed months. You'll get a lot of great memories here - even if you just go for the breakfast first thing in the morning. 

If you haven't already been, then get yourself down to the Counting House. The building alone is worth the visit.

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #18: Pedro

A View from Back Home

Student Tours Scotland continues to interview some of the hundreds of Brazilian students who have left Brazil on the Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship. This week we catch up with Pedro Oselame from Rio Grande do Sul in the south of the country.

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): I am Pedro Oselame, 23 years old and I come from the south of Brazil, a beautiful state called Rio Grande do Sul. I was born in Caxias do Sul, but now I work and study at the capital Porto Alegre (where I drink my delicious chimarrão).

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

P: Well, technically it was the lack of options (sorry). What happened was that originally I wanted to study in Edinburgh, but there weren't any universities offering my course there. Since I really wanted to study in Scotland, I just had Glasgow to choose from and had to settle with it. After a couple of months I realized the city was awesome and I had been very lucky.

STS: What is your earliest memory of arriving in Glasgow - any funny or weird experience?

P: Well, the absolute first thing that happened to me in Glasgow was that I got to the accommodation and realized I had forgotten to pack a towel. After flying all the way from Brazil, all you want is a shower. So I went down and talked to the guy on the security office asking where I could buy a towel at 9pm on a Thursday in Glasgow. He didn't really answer me, but he gave me a towel instead. That was a great first impression of Scots.

STS: Now that you've gone home, did you enjoy your time in Glasgow? What aspects of life in the city did you most enjoy?

P: I really enjoyed Glasgow and I miss a lot of things about it. All the pubs at a walking distance. Fish and chips. Street musicians. Weird crazy unusual stuff that only seems to happen there. I have a lot to choose from.

STS: Did you manage to do any touring around Scotland while in Glasgow with Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship?

P: On both semesters I was in Glasgow I tried to go on as many tours as possible. I've been to all the cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Inverness, Stirling, Aberdeen and Dundee), Oban, Ayrshire and many others, but my favorite one was probably Glencoe.

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

P: Absolutely. First: why not? It is one of those kind of experiences you can only gain from. But Glasgow is also an awesome place to live in (especially as a student) and it is really easy to get from Glasgow to almost everywhere in Europe, so you can enjoy the best of Scotland and Europe on the same year haha.

STS: What do you miss the most from Glasgow now you've returned to Brazil?

P: As mentioned, I miss a lot of stuff about Glasgow. But there are two that I'd like to mention here. The first one is the accent. I absolutely hated it. But as everything else about Glasgow, I learned to like it and now watching television listening to English in a "standard" brittish accent is just not the same. And I also really miss all the great people I've met there that made my year awesome.

STS: What one piece of advice would you give students from Brazil thinking of going to Glasgow Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship?

P: One advice? Keep a journal, because you WILL forget everything. I regret not doing it, at least.

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Pedro!

P: De nada, Gary.

Whoa! Whoa! Where’s Renan? #02: Tomont End, Isle of Cumbrae

West Coast Cycling with Renan

Student Tours Scotland brings you another 'Whoa! Whoa! Where's Renan?'.

Renan is cycling on the Isle of Cumbrae on West Coast Scotland. It's a pretty awesome wee place and most Glaswegians have been there at least once in their lives. You can get there from Glasgow Central Station to the West Coast town of Largs. Then you can hop on a short ferry over to the Cumbrae Slip where a connecting bus takes you into Millport town. There are loads of places to hire a bike. The island is 11 miles around so it won't take you long to get around the outside. It's also pretty flat too - so no need to overexert. But if you want you can access the interior too and see a lot more including some great views. 

Student Tours Scotland frequently takes tours over to the island and Renan is pictured at the north end of the island at Tomont End with a War Memorial looking back over to the West Coast Mainland.

Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #17: Flávio

Student Tours Scotland meets up Flávio from Brazil to discuss the Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship which he has been doing since September 2013 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?

Flávio (F): Opa! Im Flávio, 21, and I come from Sao Paulo, but I was studying in the countryside, Araraquara, for the last three and a half years.

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

F: Well, mostly because I wanted to improve my english. In the process, we first had to choose the UK. Then, I decided for the university according to three criteria: the location, the ranking of the university in the area I study and the course that I would be enroled with, not in this specific order. At the begining, I had chosen the UK because I wanted to go to London, but I realized that the universities there are not so good, so I decided for Glasgow.

STS: What is your earliest memory of arriving in Glasgow - any funny or weird experience?

F: I came to Scotland from Germany. On the flight, the guy besdie me spoke to me, and as I didnt understand anything, i replied, 'sorry, I dont speak German'. He was actually Scotish,with a very strong accent. I didnt look at him again until we landed.

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

F: Yes, a lot! The city is awesome! Not only the city, but it is awesome to travel around Scotland! You have lots to do, people are very friendly,the museums are well organized and it is safe to walk around.

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

F: Indeed, I went with you to Glenfinnananannn (I know it's spelled wrong) viaduct, to Loch Lomond and also did a road trip with my girlfriend when she came to Scotland. We went to the Isle of Skye, Inverness and down the Cairgorms National Park. We saw a lot and it was worth losing a week of classes.

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

F: Definetely! Scotland is not only Loch Ness and Kilts! It is such a rich culture and live country. If you have the opportunity to come, you wont regret.

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

F: Humm, I am stuck between the proximity to different cultures and the pubs!

STS: What one piece of advice would you give students from Brazil thinking of going to Glasgow Ciências sem Fronteiras - Science Without Borders UK Scholarship?

F: Come. And don't miss the opportunity to learn as much as you can, to talk with everybody, to go on day-trips and to taste haggis before you criticize it!

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Flávio!

F: Cheers, see you on Gaucho-Feira!