No study paces? Masuma has the info in the first of her blog series…

This is the first in a series of blog posts written by NMasuma Mukit a SoSS student. During a series of blog posts, Masuma will give you an insight into her life as a Business Strategy Leadership & Change student here at Heriot-Watt and why she loves it! we hope that you enjoy the read, get a coffee and settle in…

No study spaces?!
Around this time of year, with exams approaching and as many deadlines as possible crammed into the final few weeks of the semester, study spaces are rare and hard to come by. On Campus, Elements is often too noisy (and the tables are too unclean for my liking), the computer labs are in terribly obscure places or they’re full of engineering students, and let’s not even talk about study space availability in the library. Now with work going on in the library and the endless tunnels and mazes we have to endure (I can’t be the only one with a terrible sense of direction, right?) to find an unoccupied PC lab in the uni, we need alternatives. Plus, where we study makes a big difference. There have been countless studies showing a positive correlation between office design and employee productivity. So it’s definitely important to switch things up a bit because a) you will most likely get bored and b) the library staff are probably sick of seeing your face by now. Below I’ve listed some of my fave spots around the city where I like to study (and yes I drink a lot of coffee):

Now the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is a good old Starbucks or Costa. These are great for individual studying – just plug in your earphones and go. The Starbucks on George Street, in particular, has a lovely view of the passers by outside. I personally prefer slightly more “moody” settings. For one with a real atmosphere, try Cult Espresso. An almost rustic coffee shop tucked away in Buccleuch Street, this place is a great place to study in a relaxing setting. Another excellent place to try if you’re in that neck of the woods is Natural Food Kafe. When I visited it was rather quiet, almost Pinterest-type setting with the lighting and the wooden tables, and (to me) really conducive to getting into study mode. They also have an interesting range of smoothies and other freshly made items on the menu, so a nice place to try with friends! Extra seating in the basement means you should have plenty of space for studying, whenever you go.

Starbucks Edinburgh
Starbucks Edinburgh

In the same vein, Brew Lab and Black Medicine are top spots for coffee and well recommended by students too. Another bonus is the proximity to other interesting, random charity shops and bargain stores which can provide a good break in between study periods. Peters Yard, just off Quartermile, is a beautiful little coffee shop with good cakes and some lunch options, too. I like coming here to study as I enjoy being amongst the hustle and bustle of people. It also offers nice views in a picturesque, green location, with indoor and outdoor seating – ideal for sunny days. This is also right next door to the Meadows, where I like to take breaks between study periods to stretch my legs.

Peters Yard Edinburgh
Peters Yard Edinburgh

Then Spoon on Nicolson Street is a good place for group work. Up a set of narrow, cobbled steps, this small café/bistro has good menu choices whether you go at breakfast, brunch or lunch, lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and very bright and interesting décor. You can choose to sit on the couches or around tables, and again enjoy the view of the busy street below. Study appropriate and very Instagram-worthy!
So there you go – a very short list of some of my favourite study places. Where do you like to study?

Thanks, Masuma! very insightful, if you have any feedback or thoughts on this post; please share them in the comments; this Blog is for you all the SoSS students out there so if you have a topic you want covering, send it into us in the marketing team and we will add it to the melting pot!

Heriot-Watt Students Meet the World at VisitScotland Expo!

This year our Interpreting and Translating Undergraduate students had the opportunity to become a volunteer interpreter for International travel trade professionals courtesy of VisitScotland. VisitScotland is Scotlands national tourist board and holds events such as EXPO to provide a platform for the international travel trade to meet with the tourism operators and visitor attractions based here in Scotland. This year, EXPO was held in the SEC Glasgow on 10th and 11th April 2019. EXPO hosted over 550 international tour operators, meeting with 270 Scottish suppliers. Our students were invited to assist with the Chinese delegates many of which spoke limited English.

The Chinese delegates had scheduled one-to-one appointments during the two days, each appointment was 15 minutes. Our Heriot-Watt volunteer interpreting students supported the Chinese delegates – each assigned an individual travel trade professional to assist for the full two days. This opportunity was unique as it meant our interpreting students had to understand travel technical language and translate negotiation scenarios. The VisitScotland team ensured that our students were fully briefed on the topics and specifics of each appointment.

Jinnuo Pan at VisitScotland
Jinnuo Pan an interpreting student at VisitScotland EXPO 2019

One of our students Jinnuo Pan tells us about the experience;

“EXPO is an international event where I met travel buyers from all over the world. The event allowed them to gain a better understanding of travel business here in Scotland. There is no doubt to me that attending this event helped me a lot. Firstly, EXPO was a big and formal event, so I was exposed to the pressure this entails. It was good practice as an interpreter to have to deal with pressure like this frequently. Secondly, during the interpreting process, I faced challenges that had been discussed in the classroom environment but that I hadn’t faced before, so I could use the theoretical knowledge learnt to solve them. In addition, during the event, I worked for a new client, so I had to be mindful of my words and professionalism. This feeling is totally different from the simulated practice in class at Heriot-Watt. In conclusion, it is very helpful and I learnt a lot from it”.

Yingzhi Forsyth another of our students shared her feelings of EXPO:

“I feel that this event was very meaningful and interesting. I got to know so many places that I had never heard of before. The long history of Scotland and it’s spectacular heritage, such as the castles, the monuments, whisky, golf, food and entertainment, etc. and that doesn’t include everything! Expo not only brings great business opportunities to Scotland but also allows people from other countries to have a deeper understanding of Scotland’s culture. For myself, because I am studying Interpreting and Translating, I benefited immeasurably. I not only exercised oral English but also increased my vocabulary and expanded my Scottish knowledge. It was a precious opportunity from any perspective!

Yingzhi Forsyth at Expo
Yingzhi Forsyth at Expo

If this post has inspired you to study Interpreting and Translating with us and be given the opportunity to get involved with opportunities such as these then find out more about our Postgraduate Interpreting programmes here:
https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/uk/postgraduate/subject/translating-and-interpreting.htm