Vaihdan postauksieni kieleksi nyt englannin, sillä lukijoista merkittävä osa ei ymmärrä suomea. Pyrin kirjoittamaan selkeästi.

So finally life in Scotland is reality. It’s been 7 months from the tears of joy in June as I received the news about getting a significant grant to continue my Ph.D. (Super huge thanks to the Foundation for Development of Municipalities / Kunnallisalan kehittämissäätiö!) To be precise, I’m not doing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), but Doctor of Arts (D.A.). Even though titles and degrees come with the deal, what really interests me is the working part itself and the gigantic challenge it brings to my life. My research is about visual communication (surprised?) and especially snapshot photography. There’s going to be more talk about that here in the coming months. I like being a researcher and waking up every morning and asking myself: Have I got what it takes to complete this?

University of the West of Scotland has a stunning campus area.

So here’s a quick review of what has happened during the last month or two. I resigned from my job as a communication coordinator at the Finnish Red Cross – simultaneously determined to continue research abroad but sad to leave a wonderful job and warm-hearted colleagues. Our house was put for rent, but luckily we succeeded in getting a wonderful tenant.

There’s only good research if there’s good coffee.

For New Years, we did an adventurous road trip through Europe just to arrive at our new home here in Ayr, Scotland. My home University is still the University of Lapland, but currently I’m an exchange researcher here at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) till next fall.

UWS Ayr campus is located on the north bank of the River Ayr. Best of all, the riverside offers a great car isolated way to the city and back. What could be better for a family without an automobile? The adventures of riding bicycles here in Scotland is going to be posted later on.

Inside the new university building.

Finding a home, getting phone + mobile data, bank affairs, schools for kids, insurances and so on took almost a month and come to think of it, this is the first real settled week, where everyone has a schedule and a task to do from Monday to Friday. Perfect!

Few more words about Ayr and UWS. People are really friendly. My contacts that I’ve dealt with so far Dr. Kathryn Burnett and Dr. David McGillivray have made me feel at home and helped with all sorts of issues. Many thanks to you!

A typical street view from Ayr.

You can’t visit Ayr without getting to know about Robert Burns and his poems. Here’s a statue of the great man.

I’ve enjoyed lattes and cappuccinos at both university cafés and the student union bar. Can you imagine, we have our own Starbucks at the university? What more could I ask? Overall, the campus with brilliant gardens, the river and helpful staff really leave me with no excuses not to do my job.

Ayr is located on the seaside and naturally we’ve spent a good amount of time at the beach. Down town is “oldish” with many friendly boutiques and cafés. Today we had an absolutely delicious lunch and award-winning coffees at Su Casa. Vegetarian Sandwiches comprised of fresh and beautifully served ingredients. Coffees were grinded and mixed to get a unique house blend taste. Thanks guys!

Su Casa.

Yammy kind of food here in Ayr comes in many shapes and sizes – typically in very large portions. We’ve noticed that two, max three servings from the menu is more than plenty for two adults and two kids. Besides, sharing flavors and opinions is fun.

Seafront in Ayr.

Lastly, a large thank you to my supervisors in Finland for putting up with my traveling and then to the international office staff in the University of Lapland. It’s much thanks to you that I’m here.

In my next post I’ll get more into detail about the progress of my research.

Altti

 

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