On top of maintaining his own strong bonds with Edinburgh, linguistics graduate Jurgen Basstanie has introduced many people to our city through a European training programme.
MSc in Applied Linguistics
|Year of Graduation||1994|
Your time at the University
I loved my time at the University. The quality of the lectures was excellent and the approach of the staff was so different from what I was used to at my university in Belgium. I really appreciated the (informal) learning community on linguistics that was created by staff and students, who came from all over the world. Until today I have used this community to exchange ideas about teaching English as a foreign language. I feel studying in Edinburgh really gave me the expertise and confidence to do what I had always wanted to do: lecture English language.
I chose Edinburgh because besides the University, the city has so much to offer in terms of culture, history, nature and I could quickly connect with local people. Edinburgh is a place where I instantly felt at home and even today I consider it as my second city.
I was very active in several student unions: the film society, the hill walking club, the football union. I got to know people from across the world and still remember many interesting discussions we had about the things that matter in life: education, careers, friendship, love and self-development. I am so grateful I had this opportunity and cherish my time in Edinburgh every day.
Your experiences since leaving the University
Since I left Edinburgh, I have taught English as a foreign language at various university colleges in Belgium. I have been able to apply what I learned on the principles of learning foreign languages and the pedagogies of foreign language teaching in practice. Besides that, I have been able to engage in international relations at my current college and in that capacity I have sent about 50 students to Edinburgh with Erasmus programmes [European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport] to do placements with businesses in the city and with non-profit organisations in the voluntary sector. This way I have been able to share my interest in the city with many Belgian and foreign students. Some of my former students decided to stay in Edinburgh and still work there today.
The bond I have with Edinburgh is really strong and I have been back many times, each time taking a friend or family member to show them around in the city and to help them meet local people, so they could learn about the city first hand.
I have been able to engage in international relations at my current college and in that capacity I have sent about 50 students to Edinburgh with Erasmus programmes to do placements with businesses in the city and with non-profit organisations in the voluntary sector.
Do not hide in your student room but go out and meet people, learn about others, about their perspectives, about what they value and appreciate in life and get to know all these corners of the city. There are so many hidden treasures in it.