University of Surrey: North America

An insight into life at Surrey from two current Canadian students

Trip to Edinburgh

This year I was lucky. My exams were done with incredibly early and I had almost two weeks off before semester two began. So, myself and a couple friends decided to go visit Scotland — Edinburgh to be specific. We were there for a total of five days (4 nights) and I can honestly say that it was the most amazing experience. The very first thing we heard when we entered the city were bagpipes, which in my opinion, was pretty awesome.

We flew out of London Gatwick on the 31st of January and made it to Edinburgh via the shortest flight ever (only an hour and 20 minutes). Somehow we managed to catch a bus that took us into the city and found our way to the hotel. Obviously, it was pouring rain. But that didn’t really dampen our moods. Our hotel was on the busy Grassmarket street, a beautiful location from where you could see the Edinburgh Castle

This was the view from our room and that just made everything so much better!

The first day there we were just in time for dinner, so we had some lovely Italian food, headed back to our room and just played cards and watched TV for the night.

The next day, it was still raining. So we decided to visit all the indoor locations first, such as all the museums. The National History Museum is massive and literally took us the entire day to walk around. It was free entry (hurray for students!) and we were inside pretty much all day looking at all the exhibits. We also visited the Museum of Childhood which brought back some lovely memories of the toys/books we used to own as children. We peeked into the National Library, which is also a grand old building.

Day 2 was more productive. The rain was lighter so we could wander outside a little bit. We walked up to the Castle for some amazing views, as well as visiting St. Giles Cathedral and Holyrood Palace (The Queen’s official residence in Scotland)

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On the castle grounds! The views were absolutely stunning

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12687907_10208747952925715_5079155507349533906_n[1]12705184_10208747953445728_5172617315714512436_n[1] 12729239_10208747953165721_3423161967348506544_n[1]                                         Although we weren’t allowed to take photos inside Holyrood house, we were allouwed to snap some on the grounds and of what is left of the Abbey. The ticket included an audio tour (which I’m an absolute sucker for) and now I really know what happened to Mary Queen of Scots (who is apparently NOT Mary I of England – which seems to be an easy misinterpretation)

St. Giles

On the 3rd and last full day that we had, we visited the sites that were slightly outside the city. This included the Botanical Gardens and the hike up to Arthur’s Seat. Both again, had free entry, much to my excitement.

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One of the glasshouses in the garden

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The 360 view from Arthur’s Seat. Needless to say, we were huffing and puffing when we reached the top. But the sunset was worth the hike. The hike isn’t particularly difficult, I’m just horridly out of shape

Lastly we visited a museum of illusions. This was the most underrated and fun thing that we did on this trip. There were all sorts of illusions that you could interact with, with the top floor having a huge panorama of the city

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All in all, it’s a beautiful city with such friendly people (although sometimes it was tough understanding their accents). Food wise, I tried haggis and black pudding for the first time and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a big fan of both of these and I would definitely have them again.

However now, back to reality. Semester two is upon me and I’m two days in and I already feel behind. Back to making the library my second home and 37 more days till Easter break!!

 

 

A New Year

So another Christmas/New Year has passed and it is now 2016. Unlike last year, I had the opportunity to go back home to Canada for the holidays which was pretty awesome. Since we have exams in January, I did spend the latter half of my holiday hard at work and revision. The first two weeks of it were pretty satisfying in terms that I got to see all my friends and family after such a long time. A lot of Christmas/New Years parties were also due, and all in all, it was a nice relaxing break for me.

(we also now have a new family member: he’s a 3 month old kitten! Training him and playing with him was such a blast, and did not help my revision one bit. I miss him more and more every day now that I’m back in the UK)

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Anyway, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back in Guildford. Exams are now over and done with (yay!) and I would just like to say how liberating it is to not have to stress about revision every day, and to not spend my days making the library my second home. However, I still get that guilty feeling when I sit down to watch Netflix now… it just FEELS like I have to be studying but in reality, I am well and truly free until the 8th of Feb

In another exciting news I’m headed to Scotland this Sunday (Edinburgh to be exact) with a couple of friends. I am actually realy stoked for this as I’ve never been before and although I know it rains there (alot) I can’t wait to see everything in the city. We leave on the 31st and come back on the 4th. I feel like after all the hard work at uni, we deserve to have a nice, relaxing break.

Semester 2 starts on the 8th of February and I actually am looking forward to my new modules. They sound pretty interesting and there are some new subjects I have never had before, so I think it’ll turn out to be a nice rest of the year

It is a clear, sunny day today in Guildford (although it is chilly, so layer up!) and I think I and a few friends are going to go look at places in town that we have never been to before. When it clears up, you take full advantage of it!

 

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