Student Hosts

This year we welcome SUISS alums, Magda Barouta, Laura Smith and Cecilia Cesarini, 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.

Cecilia Cesarini (8th July –  17th August)

Hello Suiss-ers!My name is Cecilia, Italian born and bred and nomad for the last ten years. I have been living in Denmark and Australia and currently based in Spain.Once upon a time I was an environmental engineer before I said “goodbye” to the corporate world and focus my time and energy on writing. Under my secretive pen name, I’m developing two different paranormal series aimed at New  and Young Adult audiences
My experience at SUISS was simply amazing, allowing me to get to know my writer-self better, as well as meeting like-minded people. Hence I’m very excited to be back and support all of you who, like me last year, are ready to step out of their comfort zone and expose their writing to the world. I am also ready to infect you with my love, bordering on obsession for Scotland; my database of favourite cafes, gothic walks and trips to hunt for Scottish inspiration is continually updated after each stay in Edinburgh!Chì mi thu a dh’ aithghearr! (See you soon)


Laura Smith (8th July –  3rd August)

Hello fellow readers, writers, and travelers!

My name is Laura (she/her) and I am a high school English teacher from Wisconsin, USA. I am so excited to be returning to SUISS and to Edinburgh for a second summer. Last year, I had an amazing experience in the Text and Context program. Reading modern and contemporary texts with people from all over the world gave me so many different perspectives on literature that I brought back home to my students.

I also traveled all throughout Scotland. I biked the John Muir Way (from coast to coast across the country), I visited Inverness and Isle of Skye, and I took some day trips to Stirling, North Berwick, and other spots close to Edinburgh. So feel free to reach out if you are making any travel plans before or after the program, or looking for weekend travel ideas! (The picture of me is from Kilt Rock on Isle of Skye).

Get ready to eat haggis, befriend a highland cow, see streets that look like they are straight out of Harry Potter, and make memories! I can’t wait to meet you and spend some glorious summer days reading, writing, and exploring.

Magda Barouta (5th – 17th August)

Hi there! My name is Magda and I am a theatre scholar, writer and English teacher from Greece. When I was 18 I moved to Thessaloniki to study English Language and Literature at Aristotle University. That’s when I discovered my ever-growing passion for analyzing and writing theatre plays. My most recent research project is my MA thesis, which explores the ambivalent ethics and politics of posthumanizing technologies portrayed in contemporary British drama.
Being the recipient of the 2022 John McGrath scholarship, I was able to enjoy the experience of a lifetime at SUISS. Not only did I receive ample inspiration for my progression as a theatre scholar, but also I had the opportunity to meet fascinating people I share interests with from around the world! Thus, I am thrilled to support you in this exciting step and share my enthusiasm and tips with all of you about the coolest theatres in town, the performances you shouldn’t miss and the tours around Scotland that will take your breath away. If you lose sight of me, don’t worry. You’ll probably find me at a Fringe show!