Freshers’ Week 16: International Students’ First Impressions

To kick off Freshers’ Week, we headed down to Qudos on Friday night to meet some of the freshers at the International Ceilidh. We got talking to them about their time in Glasgow so far, what they miss about home, and what they’re looking forward to this week and over the next year (mostly the absence of constant rain). 


Christina (New York): “I really love the architecture here. We went to George Square, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the building was really beautiful – and apparently they built it backwards, which is cool. The city is just a lot more aesthetically pleasing than home, a lot prettier than New York City!”

Manon (Paris): “Glasgow is a lot smaller than Paris, it’s a lot more compact. At home, everything’s kind of sprawling, there’s lots of open space, but here everything’s a lot closer together. The weather is a lot worse though! I’ve never been to a ceilidh before, but it looks like a lot of fun.”


Calum (Glasgow) and Cyrus (Essex)

Cyrus: “I actually just moved in this morning, I’m from Essex so that means lots of coaches.”

When we said that home was probably quite similar to here, he strongly disagreed:

“Definitely not! People are fun here! Way better than in Essex.”

We asked what brought them to the ceilidh. 

Calum: “It’s my fault Cyrus went to this ceilidh anyway. I told him there would be people who would explain what to do so you wouldn’t mess up the dancing, but we couldn’t really find them.”


Lindsay, Elizabeth, Sonja, Margherita, and Sarah (from South Carolina, Bulgaria, Rome, and Germany)

We asked them what they’re most looking forward to in Freshers’ Week.

“All the free food that I heard about!”

“Free goodies!”

“I’m definitely gonna carry my backpack around to make sure I can take everything back to my flat.”


Martina and Dario (Italy)

Dario: “I’ve been doing my PhD here for a year, but Martina’s just moved here. We were doing the ceilidh, it was a lot of fun – getting sweaty is all part of the experience!”

Martina: “I’m a fresher, but I moved here in July, and then went back home for a bit before moving back to Glasgow. I think the thing that I miss most from home is the food, and it does rain a lot here…”

Kessa  (United States) and Devon (Civil Engineering) (United States and Canada)

qmunicate: Why did you choose Glasgow?

Devon: “Living inside a city and being able to travel around Europe easily and inexpensively was really attractive. We’ve already booked tickets to Inverness”

Kessa: “I came since the English Lit department was one of the largest in the UK!”


Chan, Jeremy, Khaisyen, and Rachel (Malaysia & Singapore)

qmunicate: What do you think of Glasgow so far? Have you tried any glaswegian food?

Jeremy: “It’s much cheaper here! Especially the drinks, I know all about that. I have tried haggis, which is really nice.”

They all agreed that they would miss the food they had at home, though, and added that they would definitely miss spicy food.

Chan: “I love how green everywhere in Glasgow is, like Glasgow Green and the Kelvingrove.”

Jeremy: “Home is a concrete jungle, the landscape is beautiful here.”

When we asked if there were any traditional dances in Malaysia and Singapore, they laughed: “Yes there are, but we wouldn’t know how to do them!” Definitely dances that aren’t as exciting as Scottish ceilidhs. They thought they were easy to understand, most of the time. “And sweaty!”

qmunicate will be documenting all the madness of Freshers’ Week as it unfolds, so keep an eye on our website and look out for our daily magazines from Monday 12th – Friday 16th September. 

[Aike Jansen, Evan Osborne, Hannah Burke]


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