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This week is ‘Fresher’s’ week in my home city – where Dundee University has just welcomed thousands of new students. In the local press they are welcomed with fine words and fine sounding ideals from the University officials.   They have come to learn, develop friendships, broaden their horizons and meet some of the finest experts in their chosen field of study.

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As a University chaplain I know that that is true – but it is only partially true. There is another side.  This was graphically illustrated to me by a student who showed me the Welcome pack from their hall of residence – basically providing them with information on how to cope with hangovers and advising them where and how to overindulge on Fresher’s week.   As an international chaplain I find it a source of constant embarrassment that many international students are bemused and offended by the banality and stupidity…

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