Last week, we told you a little bit about Loch Ness, where the Loch Ness Monster, who is usually referred to as Nessie, is supposed to live. But does she actually exist? What evidence is there?
In your country what do you know about the Loch Ness Monster? Does your country have a mysterious monster? Tell us about it.
Actually, there is quite a lot. The website nessie.co.uk records dozens of sightings over the last 150 years or so, both in the loch and also on the land alongside.
There are also a few famous photographs, allegedly showing a monster-like creature in the loch. One of the most recent, which can be seen here, was taken in 2011 and it is claimed it has been analysed by the military in the USA who said there is no doubt that it shows “an animate object in the water.” Could it be that Nessie really does exist?
Join us next week for more information on Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster.
Anabella Chavez (seen here with Andrew Lennox, the President of the school) works for ESL, a major international agency in the world of English language teaching. She is based in Panama but recently came to Scotland for the first time, where she is studying for a few weeks at Glasgow School of English. Given her industry background, it was interesting to meet up with her and find out what she thinks about Scotland in general and the school in particular.
She began by telling me that she knew about our country through her job, as ESL send students to study here. She is particularly interested in our history and in seeing our landscapes. The romantic image of the Highlands, with their famously beautiful scenery, is something she wanted to see for herself.
When asked about her first impressions of Scotland, she said that, coming from Panama, there were two things that really stood out. Firstly, and most importantly, “It’s lovely to be able to walk almost anywhere and feel safe. Sadly, that’s not always possible in my own country.” Secondly, she noted that the weather was very different from home, saying that it was very hot in Panama while it was cool and wet here, and it took her a few days to get used to the Scottish climate.
As someone who has to make critical decisions about English language schools in her job, Anabella has found that Glasgow School of English is a very good one. She says the teachers are excellent and they prepare very well for each class. She explained that they go around the class and help each student individually and, rather than just telling you what to do all the time, they ask you to think about what you’re saying and try to work out the answers yourself, which she thinks is good way to learn and understand a language. Finally, she said that the other students are very friendly and it’s great to meet people from all over the world.
We discussed studying and living in Glasgow and, again, she said the fact that it’s so safe to walk around in has made the biggest impression on her. She had been told that Scotland was friendly before she arrived, but she has been really impressed by just how nice everyone is. Anabella’s English is very good and it helps that, as she said, “I’m not frightened of trying to speak English so I am happy to ask questions. Here, in Glasgow, people will help you or speak to you, even if they’ve not met you before.”
Finally, she said she would love to come back to Scotland again, perhaps to work here for a short time. Anabella finished our chat by saying, “I really do love the country and the people. It has been a great experience.”
The legend of Nessie has been around for hundreds of years. One of the earliest sightings was on October 1871, when a Mr Mackenzie saw a ‘log-like’ object in the waters of Loch Ness. Since then, dozens of other people have seen ‘something’ in the Loch. But is she real – or just a myth?
There are lots of websites dedicated to the Loch Ness Monster. One of the most interesting is nessie.co.uk, from which we’ve taken a lot of information for this blog.
Loch Ness is a very large, freshwater lake (lakes are called lochs in Scotland). In fact, it’s so large that it contains more water than every other lake in the UK put together. It is 22.5 miles long and up to one and half miles wide, with a depth of 754 feet. It holds 263 thousand million cubic feet of water and has a surface area of 14,000 acres. In other words, it’s a VERY large place with lots of room for a monster to hide!
Join us next week for more information on Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster.
Glasgow School of English has a wide range of students from all over the world. I recently met four of them – Omar Alqurnas from Saudi Arabia, Victoria Orlova from Russia and Corrado Fossati and Antonio Marrocco from north and south Italy respectively. Here were four bright, enthusiastic young people from very different parts of the world, all chatting away, sharing their experiences of their time at our School and showing just how easy it is for people from different cultures and backgrounds to get on with each other. If only the world’s politicians could learn from them! They all agreed that one of the best things about studying English abroad is that you meet such a wide variety of new people and learn about their countries, cultures and lives, and, of course, get to know about another new country – Scotland.
None of the four had been to Scotland before, but they had all been to England and some had studied at other schools of English there. I asked what was different about Glasgow School of English and the general view was that everything here is better organised. There also seems to be more care about the lessons in Glasgow School and there is a far greater emphasis on the quality of the teaching. Also, unlike some other schools, students with different levels of skill are not all put into one class. Instead, the test that all students have to sit before beginning their studies here ensures that each class has students who are all at the same level. For example, if, like Antonio, you are studying for IELTS level 7, you’ll be placed into a class alongside other people studying at this level.
We talked about the things they most like in Scotland. Corrado said that, for him, it’s the people. “They are really friendly,” he said, “and the Scots and the British generally are very welcoming and virtually everyone is honest, decent and well-behaved.”
Victoria agreed, saying she also thought the countryside and the landscape is amazing, especially around Loch Lomond. She had been there on a trip with the School and was really taken by how beautiful the loch and surrounding mountains are. The architecture here also impressed her and she really loved how clean the streets are in Glasgow.
Antonio said that one thing he would always remember is Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. “It is fabulous,” he said, “especially the famous Salvador Dali painting of Christ of St John of the Cross.” One other thing that he has come to love in Scotland is … fish and chips!
Omar said that for him it’s his friends. “When I studied in London and Manchester, it was hard to make friends, yet here everyone is so friendly and I have a lot of Glaswegian friends. They even got me wearing a kilt and when I posted the picture on Facebook all my friends in Saudi said – what are you doing wearing a skirt?”
All four are graduates and all speak very good English. They all want to study further at university and intend to develop their careers into new directions, Omar and Victoria in languages/linguistics and Antonio and Corrado in finance. I’d say they all have a very good chance of succeeding in whatever jobs they go into in the future and if Glasgow School of English has helped them then we’ll be very happy to have done so.
Especially when 99% of our students say their English has improved after studying with us!
The fall in the value of the pound means it’s a lot cheaper to come to study English in the UK than it was a year ago. That’s good news for all our students, but did you also know that it’s much more cheaper to study in some parts of the UK than others?
In particular, it’s much cheaper to study and live in Scotland than it is in most other areas of the UK, especially London. You don’t have to take our word for it: there are lots of studies that show how much cheaper it is to live and work in Glasgow than London. For example, look at the differences in these prices:
Rent prices in London are up to 60% higher than Glasgow.
Restaurant prices in London are up to 13% higher in London than Glasgow.
Grocery (food and drink prices in supermarkets, shops) are 5% higher in London than Glasgow.
Our figures here are taken from these independent, third-party websites, where you can find our much more about the difference in the cost of living between London and Glasgow.
Not only is it cheaper, but virtually all our students in Glasgow tell us that Glasgow is a very friendly place and that the public transport is very good so it’s easy to get around. They also tell us that the School is excellent. A recent survey by an independent firm showed that 99% of our students say that studying with us has improved their English!