Category Archives: BLOG

XIV Symposium of Mexican Studies and Students in a nutshell

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From 16th to 18th June 2016, the XIV Symposium of Mexican Studies and Students “Knowledge into Solutions” took place for the first time in Edinburgh, Scotland. The organising committee consisted of students from Mexican Society of the University of Edinburgh (Mexican Society UoE) and the Mexican Society in the UK (MexSoc UK). Around 160 delegates attended the event from the United Kingdom, Europe, United States and Mexico. Conacyt and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh funded the event.

The Symposium’s guest and keynote speakers are all highly recognised in their field of expertise or for their service to the country (Mexico). His Excellency David Najera Rivas, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Mexico in the United Kingdom, introduced the Symposium by examining how Mexico benefits from students in the UK. From the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) MSc Pablo Rojo, Dr Oliverio Santiago, and Dr Agustin Escobar Latapi explored and discussed job and research opportunities that await in Mexico for students after finishing their degrees in the UK or any other country. Ms Anca Martin, from the British Council, gave a presentation on the “Newton Fund and Innovation Mexico UK.”

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Professor Arturo Reyes-Sandoval, who is well known for his work on Malaria and Zika virus vaccines at the University of Oxford, talked about “Perspective of Mexican academics in the UK”. From the University of St Andrews, Professor Will Fowler,  renowned for his research on Mexican and Latin American politics, presented on “The Lion, the Unicorn, and the Plumed Serpent. MexicanBritish Relations Since Independence.”

Speakers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) also gave a presentation at the event. Namely, Dr Luis Durán, director of the Mexican Cultural Centre (a collaboration between King’s College London and UNAM), showcased the Centre activities in “Connecting the UK and Mexico”; Dr Enrique Caceres Nieto, Lecturer of Law, talked about “The Lucifer effect vs. the San Jorge Effect, an analysis of Corruption as an emerging property.” From the National Autonomous University (UAM), Dr Gabriela Dutrenit talked about innovation in Mexico in a video conference.

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Around 100 students presented their work and research at the parallel sessions with topics ranging from Science to Social Science and Humanities. Students also showcased their research in poster presentations and round tables. Veronica Garcia, PhD student at the University of Glasgow and Miguel Xochicale, PhD student at the University of Birmingham, won the prize for best Poster Presentations this year.

Miguel Alvarez Nunez, president of the Mexican Society in the UK, hosted a session to talk about the importance of promoting and encouraging Mexican students to be part of the Mexican community in the UK. Attendees voted at the session for the XV Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies, taking place in 2017, to be a by the Mexican Society at the University of Durham.

The event was highly successful and received excellent feedback from the delegates as well as the University of Edinburgh. James Smith, Vice Principal International, commented on the Mexican Society UoE and the organisation of the Symposium:

“I would like to thank the University of Edinburgh’s Mexican Society who I know that in my kind of experience sitting at the centre of the University is definitely one of the most active if not the most active national student society and that’s something to be very proud of. You are everywhere all the time doing things, and that’s the purpose of these student societies. Thank you for that. But, in particular, I’d like to thank you for organising this event. It’s a huge event, interesting and it’ll be exciting over the next few days.”

Finally, Samuel Casasola Zamora, lead organiser of this Symposium’s edition and Cultural Officer at the MexSoc UK, said:

“I deeply thank CONACyT and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh for funding this event, the Symposium’s organising committee, whose efforts were reflected in the success of this event, and the volunteers, whose help and support has been invaluable throughout these three days. I am also very much looking forward to the XV Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies in Durham next year.”

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By Selina Aragon

Fancy a bevy?

Most of us enjoy drinking a good pint with friends, after a rough day, to relax or while watching our favourite sport. Edinburgh it’s a perfect place for it. There’s evidence to support that some sort of fermented beverages were being brewed possibly as early as the mid to late 4th millennium B.C. So, we can say the Scottish people know what they are doing.beer.png

The city of Edinburgh has more pubs than any other council area in Scotland and you will most surely find a pub that suits your preferences. Here you have just a few ideas: visit the oldest pub in Edinburgh and maybe in Scotland, The Sheep Heid Inn, established in 1360, or, when we are lucky enough to have a sunny day in Edinburgh, there’s no better place than The Pear Tree House, which features a beer garden and it’s located only a few steps away from the central campus of the University of Edinburgh.

If you like to try different types of beers, new and seasonal or even exotic ones, Edinburgh has few options to choose, such as Ushers (Andrew Usher & Co) located next to the central campus offering an outstanding selection of both draft and bottled craft beers and ales, or Brew Dog where you can find bottled and canned beers in a variety of styles such as ale, stout, IPA and lager, including strong beers, and can be found in Cowgate. Another similar pub is located to the west of the central area on Lothian Road and it’s called The Hanging Bat. It offers independently brewed beers and ales including over twenty draft beers and one hundred bottled beers.

And why not just trust your instinct and choose a pub while you take a stroll. With all the variety of places and beers found in this city, it doesn’t matter what kind of beers is you like the most, you will certainly have an array to choose from and enjoy.

So, when you come to take part of the XIV Symposium of Mexican Students and Students in Edinburgh, try one (or a few) of the so many different Scottish bevvies!

Slàinte!

by Ricardo Lopez Chavez

Ceilidh: Get ready for a night to remember!

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Image taken from Da Hooley ceilidh band official website.

There are only fourteen days left until The XIV Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies starts. The Society of Mexicans Students in the United Kingdom has organised this event across England in thirteen occasions keeping the same objective: Bringing together the Mexican student community and those interested in Mexican issues. The Symposium has also been a great opportunity to visit different places and meet new friends: this year it takes place for the first time in Scotland!

We have been working hard to create an event that breathes quality. During the symposium, we not only want you to have a bit of Mexico but also experience the beautiful Scottish culture. That is why, after listening all the speakers and eating some delicious tamales for lunch, a ceilidh night will mark the end of the second day of this event with one of the most popular ceilidh bands ‘Da Hooley’ (Click here)

A Ceilidh (pronounced “Kay-lay”, emphasis on the first syllable) is a Gaelic word meaning gathering or party, which involves Gaelic folk music and dancing. If you’ve never been to a ceilidh before, you only need to remember the following:

  • Whether you like or want dancing or not, fun will be guaranteed. But just to let you know – the cheerful melodies of Scottish music will make you want to dance!
  • Ceilidhs are for E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Whether you’re an expert or a novice or if you have two left feet, or even three (like me). It’s all about fun, not footwork. To clarify, culture, experience, age, nationality, or ability aren’t requirements for dancing in a ceilidh.If you are having fun then you’re doing it right
  • We know that ceilidh can be intimidating and confusing when it’s your first time, but you do not have to worry about it. There will be a special caller that will tell all the participants how to dance. They will even shout out instructions as the music is playing. Also, the choreographies at the beginning are usually easier but, as the night goes by, they become a bit more complicated (albeit more fun!).
  • There is also no need to worry about not having a partner because many ceilidh dances tend to be a group dance and in other cases you will finish dancing with a different person at the end of the dance. Therefore, it is an excellent opportunity to meet and network while dancing with a lot of people, friends old and new.  Ceilidh is a socially inclusive activity that breaks barriers and builds bridges between participants
  • Ceilidh dances are so energetic that it is quite usual to have small breaks for a chat and drink between dances. During these pauses, you can choose to keep dancing or just sit and watch others dancers while enjoying the atmosphere.

The most important advice is that if you haven’t been to a ceilidh before, just try it, and I promise you’ll be astonished how hard it is to refuse dancing and how easy it is to learn all the steps and have fun. So, if your presentation or poster is ready, make sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes and be ready for a night to remember!

Post by Rosinda Fuentes Pineda

Da Hooley Ceilidh band

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