Hi, I’m Alan McLachlan. I have worked at Edinburgh Napier for almost four years.
I lead our Admissions, Visa and International Support, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and UK & EU Student Recruitment teams. Everyone within my teams are focussed on providing enquirers and applicants with an excellent level of service, providing a positive experience during the application process, helping with the transition into the University (particularly for students coming from overseas). Our EFL and Visa and International Support teams continue to provide support and advice to our rich community of international students when they are on their programme.
There are a number of great things about working at a University. The people – both academic and professional service staff are very dedicated to their work and to supporting our students. I also like seeing the difference that studying at University can make to students, both those who live just a few miles away and those who have moved here from the other side of the world. I’m fortunate that I get to see students at both ends of their journey – at the start when they first arrive, with a mix of nervousness and excitement about starting a new stage in their journey, and at Graduation where after much effort and hard work (plus hopefully some fun along the way) they achieve their goals and are often surrounded by proud family members. It makes for great job satisfaction.
I was born and brought up around Edinburgh so I am biased but I think there are very few places that can compare. The city is compact and easy to get around, with everything you would expect from a capital city on your doorstep whilst within half an hour you can be walking along a quiet sandy beach or exploring the wild hills and moors that surround the city. And then we have our festivals – we are luck that we don’t have to travel the world – the World comes to meet us as these festivals, where the best of the world’s arts, culture and people descend for us to enjoy.
Living and studying in a new country is life-changing, but one that will provide you with such a great depth of experience that it will set you up for the rest of your life. You will never be alone, from the friendliness of your host country – and us Scots are well known for our welcome – to the fact that with today’s technology, your friends and family are only a Skype call or FaceTime away from being in touch with you. Having travelled to different parts of the world nothing beats the excitement of exploring new places and learning about different cultures – the benefit of studying in a different country is that you really get to explore this in more detail and become embedded in where you liv. You will regard yourself as a honorary Scotsman/Scotswoman before you know it!