From the "low lands" to the “Highlands”: An adventure to Edinburgh
The U21 summer school scholarship programme offers me a unique opportunity to explore something that I would never imagine doing.
In the month being at the University of Edinburgh, I had the chance to attend an intensive course on international law, which allowed me to explore something off my academic radar. The course is not like other exchanges where you have a standard curriculum where you go to lectures and attend seminars. Instead, I went to university every day for three hours like a high school student. The intensity of the course might be a bit intimidating at first. However, especially because of this format, I was able to learn and absorb so much new knowledge in a limited time period.
Interestingly, although Scotland is quite different from the Netherlands, landscape wise and culture wise, it is quite similar to my birthplace Hong Kong.
It is almost a reminiscence to my childhood: the public transport, the “tokos” and pedestrians speaking in Cantonese. The culture in Scotland is pretty adaptable if you are willing to drink some Scotch! All jokes aside, the Scottish people are in general very welcoming and sociable. If you are willing to start the conversation, they would always be up to it! One very different thing about the Scots and the Dutch, is that the Scots actually do bike with helmets on, and some of them pretty much dislike people doing that without the safety measures, as we do in the Netherlands, so beware!
I have met people from all over the world: the United States, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and more.
I saw the other students attending the U21 programme every single day for four weeks. As such, we developed a close relationship in the course of those weeks. We learned a lot about each other’s culture, all while being in a foreign country. The friends I have made there have greatly broadened my understanding about various cultures, languages and practices.