Montag, 28. Januar 2019

Studierende berichten: Edinburgh Study Trip 2019

The purpose of this report is to share our travel experience on our study trip to Edinburgh, in order to let the other students know what we have visited and what we have learned. The official part of the trip started on Monday. But, as a class, we decided to go three days earlier to enjoy Edinburgh in our own way.

City walking tour
On Monday morning, we did the Sherlock Holmes walking tour. This walking tour was not an ordinary guided tour. We saw many places where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes books, lived and studied. This walking tour was really interesting. The tour guide was costumed as Sherlock Holmes and was very enthusiastic about Sir A. C. Doyle, so it was very exciting for us to follow him and find out how the author came up with the story of Sherlock Holmes.

Lectures at University of Edinburgh
 In the afternoon, we attended at the University of Edinburgh. There we heard five presentations given by lecturers of the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences. The presentations were about: the resettlement of lynxes, the potential of the bicycle in Scotland, GIS in Africa, surveying the earth with the ICESAT2 satellite, and finally, some former students told us how they started a new start-up. Afterwards, we went with the lecturers for a beer in the oldest students’ union building in
the world to have a talk with them about the student life in Edinburgh.

Visit to ESRI UK
On Tuesday morning, we met in front of the offices of ESRI UK. There we had the chance to listen to 6 presentations about what ESRI is and what they do as one of the most important suppliers of
GIS software. They explained their projects, and talked about their training and working life including how they had come to ESRI UK. Some of the members of the ESRI UK team have worked for a long time at ESRI; others had just started a few months ago. For us, it was very interesting to see how it is in such a big company.

National Library map collections
After lunch, we visited the map collections of the National Library of Scotland. There we saw a presentation on the history of the maps and how they were digitalised and georeferenced. Later we had the opportunity to see the archives of the map collection. In addition, we had the chance to see
some of the old historical maps and the copper engraving tools.

The Gin Discovery Tour
On Wednesday morning, we visited the Edinburgh Gin Distillery. There we heard a very interesting presentation of the history of gin. They also showed us how they produce their gin, and we could smell all the ingredients they use.

Conclusion and recommendation
In conclusion, our stay in Edinburgh had both educational and entertainment contents, in the right
proportion. We suggest to the future students to take part in the study trip because it is a not-to-bemissed experience.

Authors: Raphael Hubler, Elia Ferrari, Enea Gentilini

Montag, 21. Januar 2019

Studierende berichten: Edinburgh Study Trip - Edinburgh - How to...

How to fly without any complications:
First, we took the train to Geneva. A few weeks before the trip started, we bought a cheap flight with EasyJet. The advantage is that they fly directly to our destination, Edinburgh. That means no being lost in Paris, like the class one year ago. If you take this advice, make sure that you don’t have too much luggage with you. You’re only allowed to take one piece of hand luggage with you. That means, leave as many clothes at home as you can, take only 100ml of liquids with you and don’t forget to leave your pocket knife at home. When you’ve done all these things, don’t forget your identity card. I said ID, not passport. Both of them work,but with your identity card, maybe you’ll be faster at customs. If you want to know more about that, feel free to ask. With that part of the trip, we also get our first impression of the Scottish people (at least the police officers). They don’t like to talk, and if they do talk, it’s hard to understand them. Anyway, we arrived in Edinburgh without any complications.

How to take non-standard photos:
Make sure that you have a person on your trip who likes to take photos. They often don’t like to be in a picture. Now try to take as many pictures as possible where this person is in them. If possible, try also to have a nice landscape in the background. It's also very important not to forget your charger cable or your external charger. Even shops which sell your camera may not have your cable or your charger, so you won’t be able to rebuy it.

How to drive on the wrong side:
In the UK, they drive on the wrong (left) side of the street, and so it could be a good idea to do it as well. While you’re driving on the roads, it isn’t really a problem, but after you’ve started your engine and want to drive away, it’s easy to drive on the wrong side. With time, you’ll get more and more comfortable with the road in Scotland and start to enjoy the driving. There are some very interesting road signs along the streets, which warn you about oncoming vehicles in the middle of the road or
tell you to brake now, and before every corner, there is SLOW marked on the pavement. Every time you drive into a town, they politely ask you to drive carefully, and when you leave, they say thank you. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to know which lane you should use to drive around a roundabout, and knowing how fast you legally can drive is often a bit like gambling. After you get used to your car and driving on the wrong side, you really start to like cruising through the beautiful Scottish Highlands on curvy roads. It really is a lovely experience. But please remember to drive on the correct side of the road!

And how was the more official part of the trip?
The first activity with the whole class was an interesting guided city tour with a lot of information about Edinburgh. In the afternoon, we had the chance to listen to five different talks at the University of Edinburgh. The talks had a wide range. So, we heard a talk about satellites with LIDAR for forest measurement, and in the other hand, how to use GIS in developing countries.
On Tuesday, we visited ESRI UK. We heard also very interesting talks there. We learned how the company is structured, what they do in the UK, and heard from different employees what they do. The talks where very informative. In the afternoon, we visited the map collections of the national library. The presenter was very enthusiastic and had a lot of interesting information.
On the last day in Edinburgh, we did a gin tasting tour. The tour guide had a lot of funny information about the history of gin. So, it was a little history lesson. And sure, in the end, there was a little sampling of gin. And then, it was over. We flew back to Switzerland and were more or less ready for the normal school days.

Authors: Simon Abächerli, Simon Fetscher, Tobias Hofmann, Marius Hürzeler G2017