I have been attending courses at the University of Edinburgh for a month and I can definitely say I’m not disappointed! We have been warmly welcome during the welcome week at the beginning of September and now I’m really satisfied with my courses which I find of great quality.
I panicked at first when I realized how my English was bad as I could just understand the general meaning of the courses during the first 2 weeks. I think I’m becoming little by little more confident with English language so now I can take notes quicker and understand some nuances in lectures(but still far from all of them!).
I have one course of Spanish, one of social anthropology and one of Politics. I find the teaching system really different from France. Indeed, we are really encouraged to share our points of view with our teachers, as in lectures as well as in tutorials. I have been used so far to consider the teachers as “the ones who know what is right” and to wait for them to tell me what I should say about the subject at study. I was completely wrong, thanks to all the readings we have each week, we broaden our fields of thoughts and become more critical regarding the topic we study. I feel more convicted into my studies and it makes me feel quite proud not to feel a passive student anymore. I want to be a teacher when I graduate so I think I will have learnt a lot here regarding teaching pedagogy.
Concerning student life, at uni we have got plenty of opportunity to socialize, especially through societies. I joined “New Scotland” which is the traditional Scottish dance society, I go to classes every Thursday and it’s so much fun! I love Scottish dance because as opposed to others like rock’n roll, tango or salsa you don’t dance with one partner only but we all the group-you can dance with until more than 30 people at a time.
I still have to find the correct balance between all the things I want to do and my studies. I want to go to the gym as regularly as possible, travel around Scotland, go out but also take the most of the courses I attend here because and make progress in English. It’s not easy to combine but I try to do my best.
This week end I succeeded in motivating a group of Erasmus students to go for a hike in Loch Lomond. The landscape was amazing. It’s only when I was at the top of the hill, looking at this steamy lake from above that I started to realize at last: “I’m in Scotland! This is amazing!”