One Million Miles for Ellie – article by Steffanie Stewart

Edinburgh Napier graduate Steffanie Stewart recently contacted us to let us know about an amazing charity hike that her brother (and fellow Edinburgh Napier graduate!) Donald Stewart is doing in honour of his friend, Ellie MacDonald who lost her battle with cancer in 2014. Steffanie shared with us some of the trials and tribulations that Donald has faced so far, as well as the inspiration behind the hike. 

donald tramp 1

The Mohave Desert in July, earthquakes, altitude sickness, rattlesnakes (actually standing on one and living to tell the tale), scorpions, sunstroke, bears, cliff faces, long stretches without reliable water supplies or mobile signal, hitch hiking to resupply points (some of which seem to have been in slightly dangerous gang land areas…) and very sore feet. These are some of the obstacles faced by my brother Donald who set off on June 3rd to attempt an epic 878 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, raising money for charity.

Kearsarge Pass

His charity of choice? One Million Miles for Ellie. Eleanor was Donald’s friend, who he met during a summer placement while studying at Edinburgh Napier. Sadly she passed away from cancer and her mum set up the One Million Miles for Ellie campaign; a campaign encouraging people to contribute towards a one million mile target, while raising money to support Cancer Research UK, Maggie’s Centres and MacMillan Cancer Support.


Ellie (being an outgoing, outdoor enthusiast too) and this inspiring campaign influenced Donald’s decision to step way out of his comfort zone. He wanted to trek such a huge distance in the hope that he could raise some money, or at least awareness for this great cause and help Ellie tick the number one wish off her bucket list – to destroy cancer.

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Student Grant Initiative: My experience in Tanzania – article by Ryan Latto

Thank you to all our graduates who continue to fund the Student Grant Initiative (SGI) – your generosity now allows us to award over £30,000 a year to innovative student projects. The Initiative showcases the talent and ambition of Edinburgh Napier Students as well as having a positive impact on local and international communities.  Please click here if you would like to make a donation.

 Ryan Latto, BN Nursing, recently returned from Moshi in Tanzania where he completed a four week placement with First Aid Africa thanks to support from the SGI:

SGI - Ryan Latto

 “The moment I heard about First Aid Africa I knew I had to take part. This Edinburgh based charity gave me the opportunity to travel to Moshi in Tanzania, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, to teach essential first aid skills. We first arrived at our placement after a few days on intense induction and we were excited to see how the next four weeks would pan out.

Our placement was a large secondary school housing 3,000 students eager to learn and head off to university. Developing our teaching strategy was the first challenge, having to teach in classes of 40 to 120 students of all ages. Immediately we found the teaching space limiting. However, many of the students were receptive to our classes, approaching the practical demonstrations with a lot of enthusiasm, creativity and humour despite the limited space. More importantly the students asked questions about why we treat injuries in certain ways and we talked a lot about the difference between what we taught and how they approached injury in their own culture.

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The China Teaching Experience, and how it came to be: – article by Andrew Graham

Psychology graduate Andrew Graham, decided to travel across China for 10 months after finishing university in 2013. Nearly three years later, the 27 year old is now Director of his own company, The China Teaching Experience. Read about his experience below and how living abroad changed his life! 

Upon graduating from Edinburgh Napier University, I decided to set off for China to experience something different. I enjoyed a fascinating 10 months, which ended up changing my life considerably! Throughout the year, I travelled the length and breadth of the country, met some extremely interesting people, and found myself in some even more interesting, and indeed bizarre situations! I also saw a market for a little start-up company – recruiting others to come out to China and teach English.

So over a number of months, I built up a network of contacts, composed somewhat of a business plan, and put together a website. I came back to England, registered a Limited company, opened a bank account, and began contacting universities throughout the UK about y opportunities. Before long, I was receiving applications from all over the country. Through a carefully put-together system of co-operation with the China Education Association for International Exchange (Chinese Ministry of Education affiliated & Beijing-based), I began placing these applicants at various schools and universities across China. And so, The China Teaching Experience was born! The company has since gone from strength to strength, and we are currently marketing for our third year of opportunities.

CTE Image 2

I have always had quite an interest in business. From as far back as I can remember, I was buying and selling all kinds of everything. I had always hoped to one day start something bigger, but was a little unsure what exactly it was going to be. Such seeds of entrepreneurship flourished while at Edinburgh Napier University. It might sound funny, but Napier’s co-curricular module ‘Starting a New Business’ is probably what gave me the confidence to start the company. I took the module in my second year of a Psychology degree, and remember feeling encouraged at how easy it seemed to start a business. Had I never taken that module, The China Teaching Experience probably wouldn’t exist today.

Going to China for 10 months was the single best thing I’ve done to date. It changed everything for me: I came back a different person, a better person, with a fresh outlook and perspective of the world. We only get one life. What a shame it would be to spend it all in just one place, or to experience just one culture. We are in an age of travel. Companies like ourselves have made it very easy for anybody to live on the far side of the planet for a year. I think one would have to be crazy not to take advantage of that. I am extremely passionate about the opportunities we provide, and welcome with open arms an application from anybody looking to change their life forever.

CTE 2016

Are you interested in applying to The China Teaching Experience? You can apply for the August 2016 programme now!
To apply, please visit: