Meet the ISAS Team: Spotlight on Alison!

Alison photo

Alison has recently joined us as our new intern. She graduated from Glasgow University with a degree with Spanish and History, and will be with us for a year. Take it away, Alison….

Please tell us a little about your new role.

In my role as International Student Support Intern, I will be supporting the ISAS team in their current activities as well as helping to develop exciting new projects! I will be helping to plan events, carry out research, provide admin support and write for our publications and social media. I will also be starting my own Intern Blog, to fill you all in on our latest news and projects.

 What do you like the most about your job?

I love the variety of this internship. It’s a great opportunity to develop experience in a number of areas, from social media to focus groups, events to admin, there’s a lot of scope for hands-on learning. It’s also a great chance to work with a variety of staff and students across the university and learn about different cultures in the process.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Like most of the ISAS team, I love travelling when I get the chance.  I spent last year living in the Spanish Pyrenees which was great for hiking, snow-shoeing and skiing. Now that I’m back in Edinburgh, my main hobbies are dance, yoga and running. I survived my first 10k charity run a few weeks ago and will be attempting to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon next May (terrifying).

 Please share the most useful advice anyone has ever shared with you.

When I moved to Spain, a friend said “never refuse an invitation” (within reason!). Moving to a new city or country can be really daunting, so it’s important to get out and meet as many people as possible. If you’ve been invited for a coffee or to an event and you can’t make it, try to reschedule. Even if you’re worried about language or cultural barriers, the best way to learn is make connections with other people.

Where would you choose to have a meal in Edinburgh?

I’m a vegetarian so I love the wholesome, meat-free food at Henderson’s on Hanover Street.  Their veggie haggis, neeps and tatties is definitely a highlight! They do a 10% student discount and have a different student deal every day. Another favourite of mine is 10 to 10 in Delhi on Nicolson Street for lovely, cheap curries.

Tell us about your favourite Edinburgh hidden gem.

Edinburgh has the most amazing walks. My favourite hidden gem is the Hermitage of Braid/ Blackford Hill, a local nature reserve in the south of the city. Walking through The Braids, it feels like you’re right out in the countryside rather than a capital city. Once you reach Blackford Hill, the view is incredible.

 You graduated in 2013 – do you have any piece of advice for current students?

My advice would be to make the most of every opportunity while you’re a student. Get involved in societies, find a new hobby, join the gym…anything that gets you out of your comfort zone and meeting new people! I would also say, don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by coursework, exams, accommodation or money worries, but from my experience I’d say it always helps to talk through these issues with someone, whether that’s a friend or university staff member.


Categories: University Life

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