Student Hosts

This year we welcome SUISS alumni Rose, Herschelle and Raquel as our Student Hosts. They will meet you at Pollock Halls reception on arrival day, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the summer school, or Edinburgh in general.

Rose Thaysen (8th July – 3rd August)

Hello everyone! My name is Rose and I’m from Denmark. I currently run my own freelance business (writing and illustrating), while trying to find timeto finish the manuscript of my fantasy novel.

Writing and telling stories has always been my goal, so while studying English literature at the University of Copenhagen, I took a year abroad to study creative writing. Very fortunately, I picked Edinburgh University. The experience completely changed my life, as I have yet to find a place where I feel so at home and find so inspiring. Naturally, I wanted to return and did so for the SUISS creative writing course in 2016. I can honestly say that it was one of the best summers of my life, not only in terms of productivity and creativity, but also because of all the amazing friendships and memories.

I took a bit of a detour, studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, but now I am back! I am so excited to meet you all and share with you all the things that SUISS and the city has to offer. One of my favorite things about SUISS was the closeness between students, tutors, hosts and staff, and I am looking forward to taking part in creating that same community for you guys.

See you there! It will be a great summer! Safe travels J


Herschelle Benjamin (8th July – 17th August)

Hi guys! My name is Herschelle Benjamin and I’m born and bred in South Africa. I’m currently enrolled as an MA student in Drama & Theatre studies at Stellenbosch University and I’m also a part-time arts journalist. I’m currently doing marketing & publicity at our university’s annual arts festival – US Woordfees. But between us, I just want to be a playwright, drink tea, read books/newspapers/poetry, attend costume parties, and direct theatre shows that make people think and explore uncomfortable themes. For now, I’m so privileged and absolutely ecstatic to be your Student Host with the lovely Kyra.

I attended SUISS last year on the Elizabeth McLennan Scholarship and subsequently experienced my first trip outside the borders of my beautiful country. And I’m so glad it was to Edinburgh and to this fantastic summer school! The people I met, the places I went, the shows I saw, the laughs we had, the learning that took place… ALL of it made me want to come back and make sure you also get to experience the full SUISS experience.

It’s the perfect place to make new friends and to deepen your studies with brilliant tutors. The directors are not so bad as well… Jokes! Everyone part of SUISS are #goals!

Allow yourself, take everything in and make the best of your time here. I’m here if you have any questions and I can’t wait to meet you all.

See you on the ceilidh floor.


Raquel Mendes (5th – 17th August)

 Hi everyone! 

My name is Raquel and I’m from Portugal.I live in between my hometown in Viseu and my work city in Lisbon. 

I graduated from ESAD.CR University in Theater. Since then, I’ve done an internship in Teatro do Eléctrico Theater Company and continued to work with them as a stage and rehearsal assistant. 

I also participated in some performances such as Movimentos Diferentes by the coreographer/ballerina Tânia Carvalho and some others in Caldas Late Night Festival. 

As you all can see, by biggest passion is to be evolved in artistic work for stage, specially acting. That was the first reason why I took Theater and Performance Course on SUISS last year. I’m always interested about finding other ways to be and find theater and performance. It was really important to me to exchange point of views about the reading assignments as well as experiencing the workshops. 

It’s with great pleasure that I am a student host this year and I hope I can share and be a part of your best memories here in our beautiful Edinburgh! 

I’ll do my best for us to have a great time not only in the courses but also to enjoy this great city and everything it has to offer (lets get drinks and see some Fringe!) 

I’ll see you soon!