“We’d heard a lot of good things about Scotland”

Zhenya Komarenko is the leader of small group of Ukranian students who have recently visited Global School of English in Edinburgh. She and her students were here in October and she agreed to meet to tell me about their experience of Scotland and the School.

We began by discussing that most British of subjects – the weather! Zhenya said that they had hoped it would be warm here and, luckily, it was mild and pleasant!

I asked why they had chosen to come to Scotland and Global School and this is what she told me.

“We’d heard a lot of good things about Scotland, especially that it is a beautiful, friendly country. We had been to England twice in the past, once to London and once to another city, but I felt that London is not quite as safe as I’d like and that our students would be better trying Scotland for a change.

“We came to Global School because Study British English Agency, who is based in the UK, recommended it. I’m pleased to say that they were right – it’s been a good experience – nothing bad at all and I’d certainly recommend this school. The programme they have organised for us is excellent and the price is very good too.

“I’ve not visited the lessons, but the kids tell me they love the teachers and the classes are very good, with lots of opportunities to practise their English and the teaching materials are excellent.

“What I really like about Edinburgh is that it’s safe. The kids can go for a walk at lunchtime and I know they’ll be OK. Everyone in the shops and at the tourist attractions is friendly and they try to help you if they see you are struggling to speak English. I also really like the combination of the Old and the New Towns. The views are amazing, even just travelling around the city on a bus.

“We also had a trip up to the Highlands and I really enjoyed that. It’s such a beautiful country and the views are amazing. If you’ve not been here then I really would recommend you come and see for yourself!”




How the Scots taught the world to play football!


It is well known that England is the home of modern football. When Scotland played in the first international football match, against England, in Glasgow in 1872, both sides did not really pass the ball the way footballers do nowadays. Instead, the players tried to dribble the ball past opponents and then get near enough to the opposition goal to get it over the line. In England, some clubs began to pass the ball, but the greatest exponents of this new style of football were the Scots, who had developed a way of playing that encouraged the team to play the ball to each other rather than individuals trying to dribble with it.

Professional football (where the players are paid for playing, as they are today) had been introduced in England in 1885, but in Scotland many clubs were still amateur (this means they were not paid for playing). The English international team lost heavily a number of times to Scotland between 1878 and 1882 and this was due largely to the clever passing play of the Scots.

As a result, many English professional clubs signed Scots’ players. These Scots were called “Scotch Professors” and their influence led to a change in the way football was played which has continued up to the present day. Also, many of these Scots, and many English players too, introduced football across the then British Empire and beyond, particularly to countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.