International Students in Edinburgh

I met Gurpreet (27) in a lit­tle café on Lothian Road. He is from New Delhi in India, and arrived in Ed­inburgh six months ago to study for a Masters De­gree in Architectural Con­servation at Edinburgh Uni­versity. He lives in a small flat which he shares with another Indian Erasmus Student. He tells me that […]

I met Gurpreet (27) in a lit­tle café on Lothian Road. He is from New Delhi in India, and arrived in Ed­inburgh six months ago to study for a Masters De­gree in Architectural Con­servation at Edinburgh Uni­versity. He lives in a small flat which he shares with another Indian Erasmus Student. He tells me that «preet», the last part of his name, means «love».
Next to him sits Amir (24) from Teheran, the capital of Iran. He is studying Devel­opment and Environmen­tal Studies at University of Edinburgh. Like Gurpreet he arrived in Edinburgh in 6 month ago. When he first tried to leave Iran in Sep­tember, he was prevented from boarding the plane by Iranian passport police. Until today he doesn’t now the reason for this action.

I start my interview with Gurpreet and ask him why he opted for Edinburgh.
Gurpreet (27):
«I could choose between York and Edinburgh and I decided for the last one be­cause it’s a well known city with many historic sights and great culture. It is also bigger than York and Scot­land has numerous gov­ernmental organisations like Historic Scotland and others that help me with my studies.»
In Iran many young peo­ple leave the country to study abroad says Amir. He could have chosen between Germany and Scotland and apart from the much easier application process at Edin­burgh University it was rec­ommended to him by his professor.
Amir (24): «My ar­rival was not the best since I hadn’t even had time to find a flat with all the prob­lems I had with my passport back home, but now it’s re­ally great!»
Obviously India and Iran are countries with really different religions, cultures and traditions. I am curious about which aspects are dif­ferent for them to live here in Scotland, either negative or positive.
Amir doesn’t have to think about his answer for long. Straight away he starts ex­plaining:
Amir: «Everything is to­tally different. Teheran is really polluted and crowd­ed. Living in Edinburgh is so relaxed, I have a five minute walk to Uni and I see many street singers on my way that cheer me up in the mornings. It is also a re­ally safe city, anyone can go through the street at night without being afraid of rob­bery or attacks. Unfortu­nately living costs in Edin­burgh are much higher than in Teheran.»
Gurpreet: «Yes, eve­rything is so much cheaper in India especially the fast food. Anyway it is really relaxed here. Delhi is a city of 11 Million inhabitants. I am used to huge crowds, long queues and much traf­fic. In Edinburgh the infra­structure and public trans­port works really well. The people are easy-going and open-minded and it’s really easy to get to know people here. Just to give an example back in India we had strict laws forbidding to kiss on the street. People wouldn’t mind it but they’re still not as open as here.»

Both of them have more contact with international students than with locals since the student commu­nity in Scottland’s capi­tal is really multicultural. In Amir’s class for exam­ple there are about 27 peo­ple from abroad.
Gurpreet: «The good thing about it is», as he points out, «that everyone has its own story, back­ground and problems and everyone is interested in getting to know you.»

He adds that tolerance is not self-evident and before he came to Edinburgh he was afraid he would have prob­lems to live his religion and culture. Fortunately every­thing went well.
Before I leave I ask them whether they have any rec­ommendations for students coming to Edinburgh.
Amir: «Try at least one whisky tasting and experience the music scene», he insists. «And please try Haggis in a good place. It can be delicious!!»
Gurpreet: «Bring along proper clothes», adds Gur­preet. «and for the Indian students: Don’t forget to bring along your pressure cookers!»

After all you have read about Edinburgh so far wouldn’t it be an option for you to study in Edinburgh?
I interviewed two students from abroad to gain an im­pression about living and studying in Scotland’s capi­tal as an international stu­dent.

Team Curso/CTR Edinburgh

Carolina Melches

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EIN KOMMENTAR ZUM FAKE

  1. Franziska has added a suggestion, note on 15. May 2013 | Permalink

    hi alle, wollte nur kurz anmerken dass Edinburgh eine wunderschöne Stadt ist. Wir können es kaum erwarten wieder nach Schottland zu kommen. cheers!

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