I have now been in Edinburgh, Scotland for just over a month and a half. Unfortunately, it’s flying by a little too fast for my liking but I recognize now that choosing to take a year abroad was the best possible decision I could have made for myself. Culturally, Scotland and the rest of the UK for that matter does not seem like a place that would be totally different than North America, and in some ways it’s not but in others it’s a totally different cultural experience. Yes, they speak English. But the accents in combination with all the different word names and slang can be pretty baffling (especially if they’re from Glasgow). I wish I could go into detail at present about my perspective on the Scottish and their cultural similarities and differences to Canadians but I’m still trying to wrap my head around it (topic for future blog posts I guess).
Also on the topic of culture though, a great thing about QMU specifically is that a large population of the student body is actually international students and there are many more internationals at the three other universities in the city. I went to a Halloween event last night that was specifically marketed towards internationals and I met so many people of different nationalities; German, French, American, Spanish, Chinese etc etc etc. This is an experience that I never would have had at home in Canada because I never would have thought to reach out to people of different nationalities, but currently my friend group consists of people from all over the world.
School is going well. I will admit I was at first a bit baffled by the different lecturing styles in my more analytical courses but I’m definitely getting the hang of things now. I am also in rehearsals now for my Performance Project class. I am working with five Scottish people, however we decided to go with a Canadian play, Problem Child by George F. Walker which we are adapting to appeal to a British audience and we will be performing it at the end of November for a final grade. Also, I have been hired by the university to join their team of Student Ambassadors who work for the Recruitment and International Liason Office. Basically, I’ll be giving Campus tours and going to various Open Days and other presentations and speaking engagements to give a student perspective on the university. This is great because I’ve done similar work for Brock’s Dramatic Arts Department, so I’m very comfortable with it.
In very exciting news I spent last week in LONDON! Going to London has been a dream of mine for years, so my American flatmate and I decided to take a trip down to see all the touristy sights that one must see on their first visit to London. I can’t say I recommend taking the bus from Edinburgh to London (the bus ride from hell, take a train instead) but London itself was incredible. Most memorable for me was going to the Globe Theatre as I spent so much time learning about it in first and second year stagecraft classes at Brock. In fact, I was so well taught by Brock about the Globe that I knew almost everything they told us on the tour. In addition to this I saw my first West End show, We Will Rock You, which was absolutely flawless.
I’ve seen quite a bit of theatre in a month and a half, and am very proud to say that I haven’t spent more than twenty pounds on any ticket. I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You and yesterday I saw the National UK tour of American Idiot the musical. I also saw a show called Haunting Julia, which was sort of like a horror movie onstage and thus had some really impressive special effects. Edinburgh is such a great place to see theatre, and I look forward to continuing to see shows all year.