[email protected]: Meet Mike, Social Organizer in Edinburgh

We spoke to Mike, the activities organizer at Kaplan Edinburgh about his days planning activities and helping students to learn about their home-away-from-home.

Mike has written for us before, read his blog posts on their trip to Dublin and a few Austrian students' experience in Edinburgh.

Where are you from? How long have you been the social organizer in Edinburgh?

Born in England but raised in Scotland, so I’m a bit of a mixture! I started as Social Programme Manager here in August 2012, so I’ve just started my second year in the job.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Enthusiastic, funny, smiley, tall, loud! 

How did you come to be a social organizer?

After I graduated I worked in a radio station for a couple of years (which I loved!) before doing some writing out in the United States. When I came back, I worked in sports events for a while but when I saw the job advertised it sounded like a perfect fit!

What is your favorite thing to do in Edinburgh?

I love sitting in Princes Street Gardens on a warm summer's day, before enjoying a night out in the Edinburgh Festival. 

What do you think the students enjoy doing the most in and around the city?

There are so many things! They love to walk up Arthur’s Seat and get a great view of the city, they really enjoy our Scottish dancing evenings, and of course our pub night on Thursdays.

Mike, left, at pub night with Edinburgh students.

What do you think surprises new students most about Edinburgh?

A lot of students tell me they are surprised to find that Edinburgh people do not have a really strong accent, and they find it quite easy to understand. They also tell me how beautiful the city is.

If you had to plan the perfect day in Edinburgh, what would you suggest someone do?

Hmmmm, a tricky one! It’d definitely start with a full Scottish breakfast; eggs, bacon, sausages, haggis and black pudding! Then we’d go for a walk in the Old Town, visit the Royal Mile, the Castle and the Royal Palace at Holyrood. Finally, if it’s a summer day we could have a BBQ outside, and if it’s winter we could hit the Christmas markets for a bit of mulled wine and a ride on the big wheel!

Have you ever had a silly or ridiculous experience during a social event? What was it?

Aww, am I only allowed one?! There are so many examples!! One time when we went bowling, we were getting on the bus to come back. As the students got on the bus, one of them realised he had forgotten to get his shoes back, and was still wearing the bowling shoes he’d hired! Everyone was laughing except the poor guy who had to go and get his shoes back. He saw the funny side afterwards though!

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

My brother lives in Sydney, and when I went to visit him there I really enjoyed it. I could definitely get used to the Australian summers. Having said that, Edinburgh on a sunny day is very difficult to beat!

Have you ever been to Edinburgh? What would you say is the best thing to do there? Do you have any questions for Mike?

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