Hi. My name’s Matt, I’m 22 years old and will mainly be studying Scottish Literature and Scottish Studies this year. I’m coming in from the beautiful city of Nantes where I’ve been studying English for two years.
But it’s actually a longer story than that.
I come from a bicultural background, my mom being Anglo-Indian and my dad French, which resulted in me being a (mostly) native speaker, if you conveniently forget the whole “never actually lived in an English-speaking country” bit. As a result, my idioms and baseline accent come from either one of three sources: Netflix, my mother, and the doomsday cult I grew up in.
So when my four-year attempt at being An Engineer™ ended in crushing burn-out and abject failure despite a very fulfilling time working at the student newspaper in lieu of studying, I turned to something I knew: languages.
I love learning languages. So very much.
So, English degree with a not-so-minor minor in Italian it was. #FiveMoreYears.
Several of my amazing professors at Nantes Uni had incidentally either studied or taught at the University of Edinburgh, and, not to brownnose or anything, but they were practically dithyrambic about both the university and the city.
I’d been to the West Country in England a few times to visit relatives, usually either for weddings or funerals and in any case rarely longer than a week at any given time, so I did crave a more genuine connection with an English-speaking culture while still wanting to understand that initial feeling of alienation that makes The Erasmus Experience® so compelling, and that wasn’t something I felt I could do in England.
So to cut a long story short, Edinburgh struck a chord with me; or perhaps a more accurate metaphor would be to say that Edinburgh used my frail human vessel to play Wonderwall to its mates on the beach.
As I was writing this article for the blog application, it just felt so weird to think that I was leaving for Scotland in just under ten days. Between leaving my flat in Nantes, trying (and failing) to find a flat-share in Edinburgh, filling out three times the paperwork I would before a regular school year, and nailing down whatever loose ends remained while working a summer job as a typo-chasing trained monkey for a major banking group, it had been hectic from the day exams ended in late May and I knew that this was the next frontier.
As of today it’s been two weeks since I landed in Scotland and while those two weeks were not uneventful, they probably belong in an entirely separate article to this one and possibly in an entirely separate blog. I’m basically just really glad that I’m finally here for good and starting to get my bearings. Just don’t get me started about the buses in Edinburgh, which seem to be catered to psychics, or possibly 2005 teen heartthrob Wentworth Miller, as they seem to assume the average user will have a photographic memory of the bus network or at the very least have a city map tattooed on their back, and thereby guess, nay, divine which stop is coming up next.
See you around,
And now for a Very Special Post Scriptum, sponsored by the Liver Lovers Society:
Welcome to Edinburgh!! You’ve probably already packed everything and at this point may have already settled in for the year!! But as the the hustle and bustle of Freshers’ Week comes closer, please don’t forget to pack… your brain!! ;p