Article 1 - University profile
I am away since now two weeks. You may be curious about my new environment and integration ! Scotland is a wonderful place, with lovely people. But, let me tell you more about my first week at the university ...
First day at Napier University
Just so you know, I am a new student at Napier University of Edinburgh, one of the main university in Edinburgh. I had my integration day on the 7th january, that's when I had a first look of where I will be studying next 4 months. This day has consist on a small presentation of the university and its campus. We were separate in two lecture halls : one for the european union students, and one for the others. We are a majority of german and french student for this trimester !
We also have choose our modules on the afternoon. I choose 3 modules : Exploring Cultures, Scottish Culture and Society and Creativity, innovation and Enterprise. I will explain you more about my courses after the university presentation !
Napier presentation & history
Napier University has three campus in Edinburgh : Sighthill, Merchiston and Craiglockhart.
Sighthill is the campus of health, life, and social sciences. Merchiston faculty is for computing and creative student industries. The student hub, to get student's papers and informations is also there. The Craiglockhart campus (which you can see on the picture) is the business school of Napier. That's where all my courses are ! We call this oval grey building "the egg", because of its form ! That's quite funny.
Napier University had been created in 1964 under the name of Napier Technical College at Mechiston. In facts, Napier is the last name of a famous mathematician, John Napier, born in 1950 at Merchiston (Scotland). He is the inventor of logarithms and decimal points !
Two years after its creation, Napier Technical College as been renamed as Napier College of Science and Technology.
In 1974, Edinburgh College of Commerce (based in Sighthill) and Napier College of Science and Technology (as said before, based in Mechiston) merged to become Napier College of Commerce and Technology.
In 1987 the third and last campus, Craiglockhart, open its doors.
In 2009, after a lot of change, the university choose its actual name : Edinburgh Napier University.
Last year, Napier has celebrating its 50 years ! (picture has been taken on the napier web site : http://www.napier.ac.uk/about/50/Pages/anniversary.aspx)
Welcoming & integration
For welcoming new students in the University, the Napier Student Association has organize a Welcome back week. It consist of different events like meetings in pubs and in clubs for all Napier students ! This week was really busy : my flatmates and I meet a lots of people coming from overseas ! Some of them were from Scotland, of course, but some were from Germany, Canada, Austria or even Caribbean. The contact is quite easy and free here ! Even I don't speak a perfect english, people takes the time to repeat and are truly understanding (we're all in the same situation !).
As I tell you before, I choose 3 modules.
The first one is Scottish culture and society. It consist of helping the international students (and some of Scottish ones) to understand scottish music, history, law and many other subjects. I think this course is essential in our exchange ! We have to be really open-minded and try to understand scottish way of thinking. It is also a good way to discover main monuments of Scotland ! In fact, we will do 3 visits :
- Edinburgh Castle
- Full day trip in Glasgow
- Half day trip to Linlithgow Palace
The second course is Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise. In this class, we work by group of two or three. We have to find a Scottish enterprise and do all our work on it. We have to make an oral presentation, a wiki page, and a report about the interview of an enterprise's member. All of this things are related to innovations process and ways to create new products / services. I think it will be really helpful in my studies because of the theme. it will also allow a good english practice (groups work and make an interview) and a knowledge of Scottish enterprises.
The last course is Exploring Cultures. The goal of this module is to explore cultures and understand how our culture influence our way of thinking. We have also group work and it is a really interactive course. In the same way of Scottish Culture, I want to discover a maximum of new cultures, new people and be open minded !
Cultural differences in the classroom
Napier University is an international university : 36,8% of the students are coming from all over the world ! In my classroom, we can feel this diversity. Scottish Culture and Society is a special course for foreigner students. That's why there is student coming from China, Canada, Luxembourg and so many other countries. It is really nice to talk with people coming from overseas : we can share our culture, our point of view, and sometimes laugh about our huge difference of education ! Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise is a business course. There is a lot of Scottish people, but also Austrian or Chinese students. The most surprising was the studies of students : a majority of them are studying social sciences or psychology at Napier ! They took this course by curiosity or because they want to start a business. Then, Exploring Cultures is a course with students coming from overseas. Even our teacher spend her childhood in Philippines Island and had travel all over the world.
Student integration and social life
When I arrived at Edinburgh, I was looking for a flat to stay during my semester. I start to look at with a Canadian girl, Pallavi. Then, she met another girl, Camélia, which is a French student coming from Lyon ! We start to search together and we find a nice flat in Haymarket. We are rally close to Princes Street and we connect easily everywhere with the buses. At home, we try to speak in english most of the time because Pallavi doesn't speak french !
Thanks to the Napier Welcome Week, I met a lot of students at Edinburgh. People are quite easy going. Furthermore, there is a lot of offers for students in Edinburgh : for instance there is discounts about 10% in shops and cafes. There is also a lot of free museums and beautiful places to visit. Edinburgh is a truly student city !
I am actually looking for a job or become a volunteer to meet other people and spend great time. For the moment, I volunteer for help scottish people in french at university. About sports, even if we can easily watch sport in the pub, I am looking for an equestrian center or a fitness / climbing club, because I prefer do sport than watch it !
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