Global School currently has two large groups of students, from France and Italy, studying with us. The group leaders and a few students from each country kindly took some time to give me their thoughts about Edinburgh, Scotland and Global School of English. Nicoletta and Fabrizia (teachers), and Giovanni (student) are from Venice, while Filip (teacher), Emilie and Pape (students) are from Paris.
A few of them had not been to Scotland before. Pape said he was pleasantly surprised, telling me, “I like it very much. It seems a peaceful country and the landscape is beautiful.” Everyone agreed that the people they have met, both in Global School and in the street, have been friendly and helpful.
They were all surprised at how good the weather had been during their stay here (we are having a very unusual heatwave in the UK just now!). Giovanni said that the Highlands (in the north of Scotland) “are amazing and the temperatures are really nice for us as Italians – warm, but not as hot as at home!”
Another thing that surprised them was that Edinburgh has many people from all over the world living and visiting the city. Also, as Nicoletta mentioned, Edinburgh is not a very big city by European standards and commuting from their accommodation to the city centre is quite easy, largely thanks to the efficiency of the bus service.
As far as the School is concerned, they were impressed with the atmosphere in the classrooms. Emilie said, “the lessons are really good and the teachers do a great job. Every person participates in the lessons and that helps improve our English.”
When it comes to Scottish food, the three students were all in agreement that fish and chips are excellent, although Pape also said that he really liked Scottish steak pies. None of them had tried haggis yet and when I told them what as in it (basically, the innards of a sheep!) they were not sure they would!
Filip made a point of saying how impressed he was with Edinburgh as a city in which to learn English. “It’s perfect for young people; it’s safe and there is a lot to see and do. One thing in particular that is very good, and different from many European countries, is that the museums here are all free to enter – that’s great as it encourages younger people to visit them and learn about the country’s history, heritage and culture.”
Finally, all three teachers agreed that they would most definitely be back with other groups of students – the best recommendation any School of English can have!
Interview by Alastair Blair