This year we welcome former SUISS students Maria, Chrysoula (Kyra) and Zeki to return as 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.
Maria Traiforou (10th July – 19th August)
Hello there! I’m Maria from Greece. I am an English language and literature graduate of the University of Athens and I am currently working as an English teacher.
In 2014, I attended the SUISS Contemporary Literature course and I am more than delighted to return as a student host in SUISS 2017. When I think of SUISS, I think of the breathtaking view at the top of Arthur’s Seat; fascinating conversations whilst wandering through the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh; beautiful readings of literature and thrilling performances; carefree laughter and light moments at traditional Scottish pubs; cheerful, amusing evenings at Pollock Halls.
I have always wanted to return to this enchanting, dynamic, modern, yet steeped in history, city, which encompasses self-expression, artistic inspiration and intellectual stimulation. Being in Edinburgh is one thing itself, but being a SUISSER is a whole different story. SUISS is an unprecedented opportunity for academic, intellectual, social and emotional growth. It embraces distinct identities and cultures constituting an astonishing and inspiring mosaic within an international environment. A SUISS summer is a summer of self-exploration and self-discovery due to the numerous cultural, intellectual and social activities and experiences the program offers.
As a former participant, I can relate to the feelings, insecurities, needs and desires of a SUISSer. I will be happy to assist you, answer all of your questions and make sure you feel safe, comfortable and respected. I feel compelled to share my experience and contribute to an indelible SUISS summer.
SUISS may last only for a few weeks, but it offers memories and experience for a lifetime. After SUISS 2017, you will know exactly what I mean by that. I am counting down the days till summer. I am looking forward to meeting you. Prepare yourselves for an unforgettable, fun SUISS 2017. See you in Edinburgh!
Chrysoula Titi (10th July – 5th August)
Hello fellow SUISSers! My name is Chrysoula but you can call me Kyra, which is much easier to pronounce in English. I am from Greece and I live in Athens where I currently work as an English language teacher. I studied English Language and Literature in the University of Athens, after which I completed my Master’s in Postcolonial Studies at the University of Kent. So as you have probably guessed, I love literature!
I attended the Scottish Literature course in 2014 as I was very kindly awarded the Greek Scholarship offered by SUISS that made this experience possible. Literature fascinates me and I am always eager to explore other literatures and cultures. I had specifically applied for this course because I wanted to learn more about Scottish literature since there were no such courses in the university syllabus at the time, and what better way to be introduced into this glorious world than discovering it firsthand in the city of literature itself. It was undeniably the best choice I could have ever made. The programme was excellent both on an academic and on a personal level, as I met such lovely people, made good friends and had the support of our amazing student hosts. What I most appreciated was the multicultural environment and the shared feeling of love for art, which I am certain you will experience as well.
Inevitably, I associate Edinburgh with SUISS now and you should not be surprised if you do too by the end of the summer. It is one of my favourite cities and I have such sweet memories of my time there, so when I say I am thrilled to return there, that is an understatement. I will do my very best to assist you in every way possible and to make your stay in Edinburgh the most extraordinary adventure yet. I am looking forward to meeting you friends! Until then, take care!
Zeki Michael Keskin (7th – 19th August)
Hey! I am Zeki Michael from Istanbul! I am half English, half Turkish. I attended the SUISS Contemporary Literature course last summer and I can frankly say that it was a once in a lifetime experience!
My interest in arts motivated me to pursue a double degree in Fine Arts when I was an English Literature undergraduate in 2012. Now, I am in my last year as a Graphic Design student at Yeditepe University and it’s my first year as a Master’s student in English Literature at Bogazici University.
Just as everything was once only words for me until I discovered the beauty of other arts, everything was only words until I actually found the perfect city for my soul. My discoveries in Edinburgh brought my perception to a new dimension and made the beauty irresistible. As a result, I felt the need to share, I felt the need to find other witnesses. At SUISS I saw the integration of a cross-cultural environment with the beauty of city and landscape. I realized that I was not the only one who felt like this when I met lovely people on the course.
My experience with SUISS in Edinburgh inspired me a lot, and ever since I witnessed the stories of the streets, the sophisticated embodiment of time – as being both present and past in forms of hills, mountains, castles and buildings – and our position in this body, as vibrating transient souls, I have been trying to take the sublimities and beauties with me wherever I go. Edinburgh may only be words to prospective students, but I would love to be part of their experience and I would love to share what I feel and what I know about the city with them! Most importantly I will be delighted to listen to what they actually want to do and how they feel about the city!