Cecilia: Welcome to Hogwarts! First Impressions of the University of Glasgow

My first week at the University of Glasgow (U of G) was such a blast and I cannot wait to see what is ahead. I got lost more than just a few times whilst walking around campus, but this was mostly because I was too busy taking photos of absolutely everything! Once I got used to the harsh weather and the even harsher accents, I quickly found my feet and settled in to my surroundings.

I have created a list of my top 3 favourite things about the university which I will call home for the next few months:

1. Historical Architecture

I swear everything looks like a castle here

The university celebrated its 569th birthday in my first week here, and was founded in 1451. Considering that the Treaty of Waitangi was only signed in 1840, the university is literally older than our entire country! Some famous alumni from its long history include economist Adam Smith, the creator of the steam powered engine James Watt, actor Gerald Butler, and the politician Nicola Sturgeon.

I got lucky to see the cloisters still decorated from Christmas! These lights are not permanent.

Walking into the university is like entering a different era, with gothic styled towers and turrets creating the feeling of walking into a fantasy castle. The university buildings look like the set for Hogwarts, especially early in the mornings when the fog is rolling over the hill. You can almost feel the magic in the air!

2. The Library

The top floor offers an amazing view of the campus

As someone who spends a lot of time at the library back home, I was very impressed with how big and well resourced the University of Glasgow library was. Despite the recent renovations making the library seem more modern, it is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Europe. Even better, it is open from 7:15am until 2am in the morning – perfect for late night exam cramming sessions!

There are 12 floors in the library with separate study rooms scattered throughout. They also offer library tours in person as well as a virtual reality tour online. You do have to have a valid University of Glasgow student ID to be able to enter/exit the library, so it is not as freely open to the public as our library. I personally find this quite reassuring and a little bit safer, especially with such late opening hours.

3. Art and Culture at the Hunterian Museum

The oldest museum in Scotland is located right inside the university! The Hunterian Museum, which is dedicated to the anatomist and physician William Hunter, also includes the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Mackintosh House, the Zoology Museum and the Anatomy Museum.

The Hunterian Museum always has new and exciting exhibits, and also run events and tours such as “Night at the Museum”. The Hunterian Art Gallery is also worth checking out as it has one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland, with permanent artwork by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens on display.

These are all located on directly on campus, and are free to enter for students. They are a great way to spend a rainy day (which happens quite often in Scotland).

It is also worth noting that the University is within a short walk to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. I pass by these cultural landmarks every morning on my way to and from the student accomodation – they are definitely worth a visit.

Back entrance of Kelvingrove Museum

I cannot believe that it has only been one week since I started here! It already feels so familiar and I am certain that the weeks ahead will bring much more entertainment.

Catch you very soon,

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