Winter is Here and November is Gone

November it seems went by in the blink of an eye because I’m uploading this in December. Honestly each month I’m here becomes better than the last and I’m very happy that I picked to come to Edinburgh and University of Edinburgh over my other options. Though this month has been fun, it was the most academically stressful. Having three essays due back-to-back in all three of your classes kind of takes the fun out of being abroad just a little bit. But I am here to study so it all works out. One of the first things I did in November was go up to Calton Hill with some friends to watch the fireworks for Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes Night). We made some mulled wine from scratch and hung out. Tesco’s sells mulled wine sachets, which are inexpensive and tasty. We then used travel mugs and brought the rest of the mulled wine with us to keep warm while we waited for the fireworks to start. It’s still quite jarring that you can purchase fireworks so easily here, and not just the small firecracker ones you think of on the fourth of July, I mean the ones that can sky rocket into the stars. But beyond the fact that we were probably too close to some of the fireworks being set off on the hill, it was amazing to see fireworks going off all over the city and country. There was almost a weird sense of solidarity knowing that people all over the U.K.

Calton Hill for the fireworks
Calton Hill for the fireworks

Later on in the month, I was able to celebrate a friend’s birthday where a large group of us went out for dinner and then to the Bedlam Theatre to see Spring Awakening. Bedlam theatre is right by Teviot and Potterrow, and George Square. The Edinburgh University Theatre Company the converted church and put on over 100 shows during the academic year. Their rendition of Spring Awakening was amazing for such a small budget (each ticket for a student costs four pounds). The theatre is small but that gives the space a sense of intimacy that you wouldn’t experience at larger theatre houses in Edinburgh or in London. Plus, what’s better than supporting other students at your university and inexpensive way to go to the theatre. I’ve also experimented more with my cooking this month. I’m proud to say I no longer rely on pasta bakes and other easy meals like omelets. I now have made things like vegetable loaded stir-fry’s. Not even just with food though, but also with drinks like coffee. Buying coffee out sadly is too expensive to do regularly so I rely on a French press to get me by. Instead of the usual black coffee (or when I’m hankering for something sweet milk and sugar), I’ve started trying to make the drinks I’d buy out. This makes drinking coffee in a lot more desirable but every once in a while I do splurge. The last thing I did in November was celebrate St Andrews Day by going to Holyrood Palace for free. If you order them online early enough you can get tickets to the castle or the palace. Being there reminded me of how rich the history of Scotland is and that it’s embedded so deeply everywhere you go in Edinburgh. But now, it’s time to bunker down and prepare for my finals.

St Andrews Day at Holyrood Palace
St Andrews Day at Holyrood Palace


Until next time,





  1. Hey Alex, any tips for potential US students who are thinking of going to Edinburgh for school?

    1. alexanderbordelon says:

      Hi Jones, to answer your question it depends on if you want to enter as an undergraduate student or a visiting student (or a transfer student from visiting). I know that Edinburgh Uni requires AP exam scores, subject, tests, and also either the ACT/SAT (they have a list of options that I’ll link below). For a visiting student though, it was applying to my home uni for exchange, being nominated to apply and sending in a simple application with my college transcript and letters of recommendation. Since I’m not on the admissions board, so I can’t entirely say what you need to do to be given an offer to study here. But if you look at their entry requirements and follow through there’s a good chance you’ll be given an offer. Also be sure to check for which subject you’d like to study when you’re applying. Hope this helps! -Alex

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