Glasgow Sem Fronteiras #21 - Leo

Glasgow Without Borders

Student Tours Scotland welcomes another of the Brazilian exchange students to our regular (kind of) blog feature on life in Glasgow for them.

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? Tell us a random fact about yourself.

Leo (L): My name is Leonardo, or Leo, 22 years old, I am from Santos, in the coast of São Paulo State. However I had lived and studied in Uberlândia before I arrived here in Scotland. Also I am at my last year of my graduation course, Chemical Engineering.

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

L: I always had in my mind that if I would go to have an exchange experience to practice my English, I should to go to where the language was born, the UK. So before I chose my destination here, I did some research about Chemical Engineering and the universities that offered it, and I saw some pretty good things about the University of Strathclyde. I also collected some information about Glasgow as a city and Scotland as a country, and I heard a plenty of good things about the people and the culture (which I am in love with since I arrived hehe). So, definitely, Glasgow for me was a great choice!

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

L: The accent got me into some funny situations here. The most epic happened on my first day here. My first meal here was in KFC. I ordered a hamburger and I imagined that I was ordering the whole meal (or in other words I expected to eat some chips), However, the attendant asked me something that I did not understand. So to not be impolite I did not ask to her to repeat what she said. I answered, “No”, and with this, I did not receive any chips and I realized the question concerned if i wanted the meal. Another funny situation happened at my first experience in a night club here. I was talking with some Scottish person and when they discovered  I was Brazilian, they started to talk in Spanish, and did not want  to believe that my mother tongue was actually Portuguese!

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

L: Yes, I am. I don’t care about the weather. Glasgow has taught a lot of things to me with rain our without.  I am really liking the way that people treat each other here. They are really friendly and polite. Also the city is wonderful, has an incredible mixture of old buildings, modern wall-paintings and monuments (can you think of something more amazing than the Traffic-Cone-Head statue, aka the statue of the Duke of Wellington)? Also I love the parks and cafes (if you have never tried a latte with an empire biscuit or never walked at least around Glasgow Green you do not know what is good in life). Another great thing is the pubs which have amazing beers! Each part of the city has something special (I know the Glasgow’s subway seems really complicated to understand but come on, the West End deserves a little sightseeing).

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

L: Yes! My first trip was a visit to the city of Perth. This was also my first contact with Scottish mythology (do you know what are Fairies?). I visited a lot of places already, nevertheless I still need to go to the highlands!

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?

L: Totally yes, I am sure I would not be as happy as I am here in Glasow otherwise. I am living in a place with an amazing culture, people, accent and food (where else would I have found quality haggis?). I am truly accomplishing my goals in this exchange.

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

L: It is hard to choose. I love the flexibility that my university has with me and the way that a student here is valued. I mean, my university in Brazil could learn a lot of things from Strathclyde. Here I am learning and evolving in several ways (through engineering, as a human being or even culturally). Also I am having more contact with team working and presentation - that is important thing in my profession. I am sure I will miss my friends here, especially these ones I consider my brothers.

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

L: Come to Glasgow, it will be the best choice of your life! Don’t worry about the weather (good coats can solve that), accent (imagine learning English on hard mode - you will be the best!) or anything else that worries you. In Glasgow I am sure you will have the best experience!

STS: Cheers for chatting with us Leo!

L: Cheers!