Edinburgh ZOO

Hi,

On Tuesday we had a lecture in Edinburgh ZOO with my course “Action for Biodiversity”. Or probably I should not call it a lecture as it was more like an excursion. One of the employees gave us very nice insights into the lives of animals in the context of biodiversity losses and conservation.

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It was really rewarding experience for me because I had an opportunity to see ZOO from another perspective. We were told how much ZOO does to conserve some species, they do valuable research to find out more about the animals and cooperate with several other ZOOs in order to protect the species and breed them in captivity. After this visit I realised that ZOOs are really important part of conservation and protection of animals and even though some people may think that ZOOs are bad for animals, I know that it is a complete opposite. I found out that some species are of high conservation importance due to only small number of species left in nature and ZOO strives to do many actions to help those and on the other hand, some species are not endangered, however, attract many visitors to ZOO. For example, Visayan warty pigs are not really species that you would go to the ZOO to see but they are critically endangered, while penguins are relatively cheap to keep and present a great visitors attraction. Also, they do research with monkeys to find out more about them, but they do not force them. Monkeys can easily choose to participate in the research as the door to the lab is always open but monkeys know that they will get some treats afterward so they are motivated to stay. Clever solution.

I am really grateful that I could get these insights and know more about what ZOOs strive to achieve and how.

Bye!

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Education system at SRUC

Hej hej,

I would like to describe how lectures look like here at SRUC and make a comparison with SLU´s approach.

I must say that after few weeks here, I realised that studies here are not that demanding in terms of time. In Sweden, we always had to prepare and read something lecture to lecture and I basically do not remember a week without not having some assignments, group project or some other deadline. Here, we were given deadlines for essays at the beginning of each course, meaning that we have more or less one month to finish those. That gives you a lot of freedom because of course, you can schedule it according to your own deliberation.

Another thing that surprised me was that here is not a focus on group projects, which in Sweden we always had to work in groups on some project that spanned throughout the course. Here, we mainly work on essays individually. The essay usually has to be around 2500 words and we have to use not less than 12 references. Related to that, in Sweden we have to give several presentations during the semester, however, here some courses require presentation of the essay and some do not. For example, I have to write 3 essays but I will present only one and the other two just require submission.

A less satisfying thing is that lecturers here do not pay so much attention to include the students into discussion and do not raise some questions to make the lecture more interesting. Particularly, this point is not really welcoming as it is not easy to pay attention when lecturers speak in a monotonous tone and only follow the slides without mentioning any examples from the practice. To be honest, lectures here are pretty boring due to the facts mentioned above.

On the other hand, I could perceive that here is probably more attention to include some field trips or excursions into the curriculum. For example, students of the course “UK agri-food industries” went to a whisky distillery, which I believe must be a nice authentical experience. Unfortunately, with one of my courses, we were supposed to visit a buffalo farm, however, the trip was cancelled due to staffing problems on the farm, I was very disappointed by this as I was really looking forward to seeing the reality of some business and have some insights. Luckily, this week, we will go to Edinburgh ZOO for an excursion, which I hope will be really rewarding.

So far, I cannot say anything about the exams because they are scheduled for December.

I hope you are doing fine.

Denisa

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Resuable cups

Hello,

Today I would like to talk about reusable cups. When I came to Edinburgh, I was surprised by how much people here pay attention not to use disposable cups for coffee/tea. On the other hand, to be honest, I was surprised by how no one cares about that at SLU… Coffee consumption in Sweden is really high and some people drink not only one coffee a day, however, they hardly ever bring their own cup for the beverage.

Here, in Edinburgh, you usually have to pay the higher price for a beverage if you don´t bring your own cup, which I think makes a huge difference as all are motivated to carry the reusable cup with them. Usually, you get charged 25p (= 3 sek) on top of the original price of the drink. I don´t know what you think but for me, this “fine” is really motivating for me and I don´t tend to buy coffee because it makes you realise the waste stemming from drinking coffee/tea.

Moreover, you can buy branded KeepCup It has been estimated that a “Keep Cup” starts paying for itself environmentally after just 15 useswith a logo of SRUC (the University of Edinburgh has them too and cafés in the city quite often too), so that in most of the cases you can see students and professors carrying their KeepCup which makes me happy.

On SRUC websites it is stated that “the reusable hot beverage cups have been introduced to encourage staff and students to reduce their environmental footprint. The cups aim to inspire us all to consider their impact on the environment by challenging the culture of single use culture of ‘use it and throw it away’.

I would love the idea of having a KeepCup with SLU logo! And I really hope someone will come up with some reusable cups at our university too because the waste is huge and could be prevented easily.

No doubt that it would be perfect if you bring you cup wherever you go despite the nonexistence of the “fine” 🙂

Denisa

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Gym facilities in Edinburgh

Hi,

As the students of SRUC, we have a perfect opportunity to apply for the gym membership for free. I find this a perfect benefit because it is really good to do some exercise after sitting at the lectures or in the library working on the assignments. Actually, we could apply to two gyms here.

KB Fitness

  • One (KB Fitness) is directly on the campus and is really small, however, all necessary equipment is available and the gym is never too full anyway, so that you can still have a good workout.

 

 

 

Pleasance

  • Another one (Pleasance) is in the city and it is probably the largest gym I have ever seen. You can find literally everything there. You can go to the gym, play squash, swim, go to the sauna, go to the various classes and probably other things, which I still have not revealed, too. This gym can be really crowded, especially in the afternoons/evenings, but luckily there is really a lot of equipment so that you can always find a place to go. There are many separate rooms and each of them

    Pleasance

    offers something different – cardio zone, weight zone, TRX zone and so on.

 

I would really love to have this benefit in Sweden, too. A lot of my fellow students in Sweden already had a membership at some gym so that I believe most of us would welcome that.

Bye, Denisa

 

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Halloween

Happy Halloween to all of you!

I never celebrated Halloween so much, but lately I realised that I like the tradition and decoration, however, still there are many other people enjoying Halloween to the fullest with all the stuff related to this day.

In Edinburgh, I could see a lot of decoration everywhere well in advance and many events in the city took place. We chose to join the event in the student house Teviot Row House, which turned out to be a good choice. Many students in different costumes and the house was decorated nicely but scary though.

With my flatmates we cut the pumpkin, cooked pumpkin soup and pumpkin rissoto and I really enjoyed this seasonal food.

And now it is time to welcome November!

So have a nice beginning of November 🙂

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Trip to Loch Lomond

Hi,

Scottish nature is beautiful and from Edinburgh you can get to various locations to enjoy hiking. However, the best way how to get somewhere is by a car since bus connections are not really simple and you cannot easily reach those more remoted parts. For example, getting to Loch Lomond by car is easy and it takes approximately one and half hour to get there, but by public transport it could take up to three hours to get to some place to enjoy hiking. In Sweden, I was used to getting to nature easily by buses, so that here I am disappointed about the situation.

So, we rented a car to explore more and get to Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is a freshwater lake where lowlands change into highlands. The lake is 36 km long and is the largest loch in Scotland, however, the depth is not that significant making Loch Ness the one with the largest volume of water. Several small islands can be found on Loch Lomond, too.

Our destionation was the Conic Hill which is 361 m high offering a beautiful view of highlands and loch. From the car park it was less than an hour walk and totally worth it. The view was amazing and on the way back we saw plenty of highland cows.

    

This trip was perfect so as weather that day.

Hopefully I will be able to explore Scottish nature more soon 🙂

I hope you are doing well.

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SRUC Health & Well-being

Hello!

Last week, we had an event at SRUC, Edinburgh about health & well-being, where we could ask something we were interested in. We also could take fruits and some other healthy snacks, and a leaflet with further inspiration.

I was thinking that it might be good to share something like this, so that you can get some inspiration for recipes. At least I always loose ideas what to prepare for a lunch.

Moreover, recently I had a family visit here in Edinburgh and we mostly ate unhealthy food which made me feel really uncomfortable so I could perceive really quickly how the food affect your well-being. On the other hand, tasting traditional meals is something I really enjoy and I consider it as a huge part of getting know the culture and local dishes. But it is always nice to get back to some healthier options 🙂

Sending greetings from windy Edinburgh,

Denisa

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Q&A #2 Applying for a Master´s programme

Hello,

in the previous post, I mentioned that some of you contacted me through my Instagram asking for some questions and I really appreciate this. Therefore I decided to answer most frequently asked questions here. If you have any kind of question, please, write me and I will gladly try to answer that 🙂

Question: What are the requirements for the English language?

Proof of your English language skills is something you should think about in advance in case you did not study with English as the language of instruction. Basically, there are two options on how to prove your English skills

  1. Internationally recognised English test
  2. University studies

1.) I would say that this applies to most of the international students. To demonstrate your English abilities, you can submit your internationally recognised English test, such as IELTS Academic, TOEFL, Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge English Language Assessment or Cambridge ESOL. You can read more here as I have no experience with the certificate but IELTS Academic which is the one I have done. If you have no certificate at this point, I would recommend doing IELTS Academic as most of the universities prefer this one to for example CAE. If I remember correctly I did my IELTS Academic exam in December and in January I applied for SLU.

2.) Another option is applicable if you studied 60 ECTS credits with English as the language of instruction in the EU or English speaking country. As I have no experience with this, check this page if this applies to you.

Usually, the requirement is the equivalent of English 6 which is for example for IELTS an overall mark of 6,5, CAE certificate or TOEFL total score of 575. You have to check specific programme requirements as it may vary. Also, this page can be helpful and I believe you will find answers to your questions.

 

You can apply for Master´s programmes from now until the 15th of January 2019, so do it and give it a chance.

See you on the campus!

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Q&A #1 Applying for a Master´s programme

Hello, all future SLU´s students !

Some of you contacted me on my Instagram and I am very grateful that you did so! It is so rewarding to see that you find the articles useful and it gives me further motivation to keep writing. Usually, you asked me similar questions that you wanted me to answer, hence I decided to answer them here, too 🙂

 Question:

Is it difficult to get admitted? What are the chances to be accepted?

I can totally understand you want to know more about the chances of being accepted, however, it is not easy for me to answer that because I am not a responsible person to know more about the selection process. For Master´s programme “Environmental Economics and Management” can be admitted 25 students, which is not much but do not let it discourage you even before you start the application process!

I would say that for me the whole situation was even more discouraging because my boyfriend and I strived to study abroad and planned to apply for some universities. As we study diverse programmes thus different universities fulfilled our criteria, it might have been really easy for us to give up in the beginning, but we said NO. And I recommend doing the same!

Of course, it takes some time to finish all requirement for the application, but just give it a chance and you will see. I do not know how many students applied for my programme that year and if I was lucky enough to get accepted and I think I will never find out how exactly the selection process works. But what I know now is that I was afraid, too and I thought it is impossible to be accepted but here I am – a student of SLU !

I am sure you can be one as well. Just do not give up 🙂

If you have any question, please, do not hesitate and contact me. I will be very happy to help you 🙂

You can apply for Master´s programmes from now until the 15th of January 2019, so do it and give it a chance.

See you on the campus!

 

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Information meeting about exchange studies

Hi!

Are you thinking about going for exchange?

Then you should mark 24th of October in your calendars.

In Ultuna (in Alnarp, too) will be organised an information meeting about exchange studies for academic year 2019/2020. During the meeting you will have an opportunity to ask questions and someone from the mobility team will help you with whatever you are not sure about. Especially, the application process will be described, however, I think it is suitable to participate to get a better overview about exchange studies as a whole.

So be on 24th of October at 13:00 in Lärsosal V and have a fika with the others 🙂

I hope your questions will be answered and you will find it useful.

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