Tag Archives: Student

Edinburgh: A Never Ending Festival – Lively Gardens

24 Aug


It’s that time of year again when we say goodbye to the patchwork of artists, actors, comedians, performers, and patrons that descends upon Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival every August. But just because the official festival season has ended does not mean the fun has to end…

My name is André, and I’ll be joining Blythe as Global Assistant this year. Originally born in Germany, I am Portuguese, Irish, and Canadian, and am in the 5th and final year of my MEng in Mechanical Engineering. I’ve definitely got the travel bug and I took the chance to go on exchange to Carleton University in Canada, having an absolute blast while out there. I’m a keen golfer, cook, and photographer (although an amateur at all of these).

Blythe and I will be showing you how Edinburgh is a year round festival of culture, on and off campus. Whether you’re into music, theatre, photography, food, sports, or even air shows, we’ll be keeping you up to date with all the exciting stuff going on in Scotland’s vibrant capital year round.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are just a pleasant 20 min walk from Princes Street, and apart from housing a diverse collection of flora from around the world, they also play host to a wide range of special events, exhibitions, and workshops for all! Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about watching the grass grow, far from it they host photography exhibitions, cooking workshops, arts festivals, and even tours, as well as gardening classes for those who’ve always wanted to grow their own dinner.

There are events held year round, and the best part is many of them are free. You can browse through the full schedule here: Royal Botanic Garden Events.


Reflecting on Culture (or Jo Goes Next Door)

12 Jul

Over here at EUSA Global, we are all about trying new things. After three years working on all things international, I’m putting a new twist on my job and going on secondment. For two days a week for the next year, I’ll be next door at the Institute for Academic Development.

Let me tell you a bit about what I will be doing.

So, we know that working, volunteering, and studying overseas plays an important role in the personal development of our students.  The University is keen to create more and more opportunities for students to go overseas – this is a fantastic initiative which we fully support. However, does travel alone create a culture of global citizens? Does simply going overseas mean you will be transformed and changed for the better?

New cultures are tough and without reflection, I don’t think going abroad equals internationalisation.  In addition to reflection, I think community-building, especially on return, also plays an important role.

EUSA Global has learned a lot about the process of internationalisation this year – from our Global Citizenship workshop, the student-led Understanding Internationalisation Academic Conference, the Study America project,  to our work with Careers Service on their Taking Advantage of Time Away online resource. We have learned about the importance of tools which assist students in reflecting on their experiences and building community both here and overseas. I want to take the next year to explore and understand this and alongside students and the University, design our next steps.

And I think the students are the best part of the deal. I’ve met some amazing ones (you guys have to meet Fran!) through EUSA Global that are in the midst of this process – as international students here, fundraising to volunteer overseas, currently away, thinking about going away, etc. I’m looking forward to spending the next year listening to their stories and co-designing some great ideas.

I think that this project is very relevant to me, as well. After living in six different countries and experiencing the world through many different lens – from typing divorce petitions at a legal Aid Clinic in downtown Kingston, Jamaica to working with doctors in rural areas of the former Soviet country Georgia – I like collecting cultural stories.  Originally from America and now settled in Scotland, conversations on reflection really mean something to me. Each day I’m reminded of my own culture and my new one. My international education (both formal and not) have transformed me not just because they have happened, but because I was given the tools to process these experiences thanks to Juniata College and my mom (she’s an intercultural communication professor, folks!). Without hard-working reflection, I think I would struggle.

I look forward to working with students, the Institute of Academic Development, the Careers Service, International Office, and other partners to take a proper look at the overseas experience. I also look forward to using this space to share insights and capture yours (both big and small) throughout the year.

– Jo

Find me on Facebook and  Twitter.

How do we celebrate culture? How should we?

10 Jul

The University of Edinburgh is an evolving petri dish of culture with students and staff moving to and from cities – rural, urban, developing, emerging, developed – all over the world. In no place will you find such a blend of academic backgrounds, cultures and perspectives then in our classrooms.  Our residence halls host students who live in different ways but yet, live together. Membership to our studen’ societies represent the international business environments we are preparing our students to work in.

Each day at the University of Edinburgh, there are culture clashes and incidences of intercultural miscommunication somewhere on campus but each day, we also seem to find some common understanding.

How do we celebrate not only the understanding, but also the miscommunication and clash?  Sure, we eat different foods, speak different languages, and view our family structures in different ways.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only should we learn from each other but even more so – we should find opportunity in the discomfort and challenge culture brings.  How do we celebrate and honour these challenges?

Alongside partners within the University, EUSA will be running an ideas workshop to explore how our university community can do just this through our annual cultural festival. If are you free on Friday, 2nd August at noon – you are welcome to come.  Please RSVP and I will send you more details. Students, staff and local community members are encouraged to attend. If you can’t make it (or can and want to tell us what you think before the workshop), please fill in the following questionnaire. Conversations from the day will be updated right here on the EUSA Global blog.