France and friendly Scotland

Global School of English has recently enjoyed the company of another group of French students from the Business School at Strasbourg University.  The students, all around 18 years old, have been with us from 14thJanuary and will leave on 20thMarch to return to France. For all of them, it was the first time they have visited Scotland.

I caught up with them in a break in one of their lessons and we discussed a wide range of things, from their opinion of Edinburgh and Scotland to which football teams in France have the biggest rivalry.

The latter was interesting (it’s PSG and Olympique de Marseille if you want to know) but I was more keen to find out what they all made of Edinburgh.  As there were 10 students and my French is limited to “Oui” and “Non,” I was pleased to discover that their English was pretty good.  I was equally pleased to find out what they thought of Scotland.  Here are a few of their comments:

“Edinburgh is a new city for me. It’s interesting and friendly.”

“It’s very friendly. You can talk to anyone and they’ll speak with you.”

“The weather is a bit wet.” (no surprise in March!)

“It’s beautiful, very beautiful.”

“The pubs here are much better than in France.  In Edinburgh, everyone is very friendly and will speak to anyone, but in France you go to a bar with your friends and just talk to them.”

“Much more friendly than England.”

“We went to the pub to watch the France v Scotland rugby match.  We stood to sing La Marseille (the French national anthem) and everyone loved it and showed us so much respect.  There seems to be a lot of respect between people in Scotland.”

“French food is better than Scottish food.”*

“A big surprise for me was the number of monuments and statues and the history of the city.”

“We all like fish and chips!”

“Learning English is very important for business.”

That last comment was one that several of the group made.  They are all business students. I asked them what they want to do when they graduate and while many do not know yet, quite a few of them want to start their own businesses.  Famously, a US President^ said “the French have no word for “entrepreneur,” but in this case he could not have been more wrong!

Interview, Alastair Blair

*       Scottish food is good, but to be fair, the French have a superb reputation for quality food!

^       George W Bush.