Sunday, September 9, 2012

Freshers' Week and Student Unions

I've been in Scotland for only a few days, and already so much has happened. I cannot possible get through everything, and I won't bore you with those details, besides. I've selected a topic to write about for now, and others will come later. Today, one stunningly unique aspect of the University of Edinburgh: the quality of facilities for student enjoyment.

This week is "Freshers' Week," or orientation. Note the elaborate website and posters.

Sure, it's pretty different (from the U.S.) that the R.A.s here take freshers (read: freshmen) on pub crawls the first night (the drinking age is, after all, 18), but the effort the university puts into student enjoyment extends far beyond its willingness to show us around the city's many pubs and restaurants. Teviot and Potterow (our student unions) blew the American visitors away. Let's take a look.

Teviot: This is the oldest purpose-built student union in the world. And despite knowing it was going to be a student union, check out the incredible mock-castle they constructed for us. It's full of lounges, cafes, and pubs - not to mention pool tables, Guitar Hero, and a debating hall.

Potterow: This houses bars, shops, and large performance venues, plus The Dome, pictured above. How nice is this place?

Overall, the whole "Freshers' Week" experience is very impressive. From the full-color, beautifully-designed guidebooks to the gorgeous lounges and bars built for the students, I'm beginning to wonder why we don't have this in the states. What, tuition isn't high enough to afford it back home?

I guess I'll just have to get the most use out of it as I can over the next few months. (And I'll want to warn the Scottish students if they ever think of studying abroad in America).

Cheers for now!

Learn British: You know how on the back of those Chinese fortune cookies they help you "learn Chinese"? Well I'm going to do the same, ending my posts with a quick lesson in British English. Today, we're learning "What's On." This is used as a sort of "what's coming up" or "what we've got going on here." It's found at the top of daily specials promotions, event schedules, and the like.


  1. Halfway through reading this post (well, at the website screenshot) I made a mental note to tell you about "What's On" because it came up a lot at the Fringe- but apparently you got there on your own :D

  2. Hey, nice! If you've got suggestions for more "Learn British," let me know - I'll use some of 'em.


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