As it is always the case with summer vacation, it simply passed too quickly, but luckily what was about to follow was something even cooler than the vacation – the third quarter of my IMFSE. This chapter takes place in the capital of Scotland, at one of the most prestigious and best ranked universities in the World, the famous university of Edinburgh. (ranked 19th in the world according to 2016–17 QS Rankings)
Reading about the Uni, and even more hearing the stories from older students that used to study in Edinburgh, I only had high expectations from both the city and the school. I’m happy to state that so far this place went even beyond my expectations and hopes!
Moving to a new country is never an easy job. All over again you need to find your way around the city, meet new people, get used to new studying environment with new rules and methods in ways of teaching and organizing studies, get a Sim Card, find the cheapest grocery shop etc. But the most stressful part by far was searching for accommodation. As we are staying in town for only one semester (4 months), vast majority of landlords don’t want even to hear about signing a contract shorter than 6 months. It took me cca 10 days of going around the town and doing the so called “viewings” during which I already felt I got to know the city really well and literally thought that all the bus drivers already remembered me. The thing that basically saved me for those 10 days was my friend Christine who is living in Edinburgh and selflessly offered me to host me before I find a place to stay. It’s a great thing having such amazing friends.
On my 10th day in Edinburgh, just before the classes started, I finally got lucky and found a place for myself. To make things even better, I found a place to stay with my fellows Arjan and Khai.
Monday was the day to start the school and to finally move in! It smelled like a good start 😊!
First day was reserved for the “welcoming lecture” held by professor Grunde Jomaas. The purpose of it was giving a broad picture of what fire safety engineering is all about, some more details about IMFSE program – especially about the University of Edinburgh part with a short presentation of the lecturers and PhD students involved in the Fire department, and finally giving us some first insights into what we can strive for and expect from both our future careers and life and studying in Edinburgh.
After the lecture, we were given a short “Tour of John Muir and William Rankine buildings“ showing us where all the professors and PhD student’s offices were, and even more importantly where the famous fire lab was 🔥. In the end professor Jomaas took us to a great burger place at campus where we could finally meet the first year students and enjoy some delicious food!
Meeting the young IMFSE freshers immediately reminded me of me after meeting the 2nd year students last year. It was really interesting with all their curiosity and questions about the program, life, our experiences and advice etc. Another group of brilliant, smart and bright people just started our program. What can I say, it turns out again that IMFSE selection committee really does a great job 😊.
While we were still digesting the lovely burgers from Monday and talking about the good welcoming day we had, fire group treated us with another yummy social event – already on Thursday at the Southern. This time we had the pleasure of meeting two more lecturers, Ricky Carvel and Rory Hadden, than a PhD Simon Santamaria, and of course meet again with prof Jomaas. We all agreed on how nice it was meeting the lecturers in an informal and friendly way.
And as the first week was coming to an end, and we couldn’t imagine it being better, professor Jomaas invited us for a potluck dinner at his flat. It was a great opportunity to meet each other even more, this time in a slightly different way – through the various (inter)national dishes. Pictures as usual tell more than words.
By and large, the first week was truly remarkable and surely gave a good incentive to all of us to give our best during the semester – but also never to neglect the social side of life!