Here’s Your Getaway
I have always had a dream about studying abroad, living in a different country and truly experiencing a new culture. As a someone who easily gets stuck in routines and familiar ways, but at the same time gets incredibly restless with the way she is living life and therefore at regular times need a change of environment, an exchange year proved to be exactly what I needed. A change in culture, environment, people and possibilities.
While my choice of destination often was questioned by others (“Why would you go there, it’s so cold and rainy!”), it always made perfect sense to me. I have always had a fascination with the British culture: the music, the movies, the accent, the British way of life. And so far, I am happy to tell you that the sun has definitely warmed us more than the rain has had us seeking shelter.
However, as the days are getting darker and colder one cannot claim that the weather was the main reason why they chose to study in Edinburgh. So what are the reasons for choosing Edinburgh, the university and the UK?
Here are some of the reasons one might consider when choosing country, city and university.
One of the key factors to a great exchange, I have found, is to go on as many trips as you can and experience as much of the country as possible. While the cobbled stones and winding roads of Edinburgh can truly keep you captivated, the mountains of the Highlands are nothing short of magical! It is not hard to see why the old Scotts believed in fairies and boobries there. The scenery is utterly captivating and certainly does make you feel very small. At times though it can be a welcomed escape from the stone, glass, concrete and gravel of the city. The Highlands is also home to several filming locations for Harry Potter and many other movies, which diverse companies surely benefits from. It is not hard to go on at least three different movie-themed trips. I would know.
Underground Travel And Overcast Weather
It is an incredible feeling when one of the reasons for you choosing Edinburgh and the UK in the first place suddenly presents itself as an opportunity.
Continuing on the travel theme, London is one of my favourite cities. So when you manage to get tickets to your favourite musician’s concert in Brixton Academy, it is bound to be amazing. What is almost as amazing is that you as an exchange student always can find a soul willing enough to book a trip with you four days before the departure. While five hours on a train in pitch darkness might not be the most exciting thing you will come to do during the exchange, the destination is definitely worth it.
The weather forecast promised sun, however, I have a suspicion that the weathermen/girls promise sun the entire day if the forecast estimates more than 15 min of sun. Like when the Swedish weather forecasters promise sun on Midsommar, even though every Swede knows it will, without a doubt, be the rainiest and coldest day of the summer. It always is.
The concert? Oh, no words can describe it! A definite dream-come-true moment. The musician? Jamie T, for those of you who haven’t heard him before, or not already figured it out from the themed headlines.
Jamie T released his fourth album ‘Trick’ this December and you can listen to it on Spotify or iTunes, if you don’t want to buy the physical record. A bit of free commercial there. Is it allowed? Don’t know. If you just feel like listening to the headline, Tescoland, of this blogpost though, feel free to klick the link.
Having covered the Highlands and culture, it is time to move on to the university and societies.
I Haven’t Got Grief Till Monday
Because even though the city has the potential to steal all of your attention away, ‘study abroad’ actually involves studying. Somehow though, the days here seem to blend together, and it is hard to differ between weekdays and weekends. Not because you don’t have any work to do, but since every day just has that special feeling about it. The university, however, should you need it, provides you with all the support you might need. The classes are small, if you are taking honours courses, and the professors good and friendly.
There are a wide range of societies to join with regular events. You are certain to find something you like, or you can just join in on the events of your taste.
This was not too fun to write about, moving on.
All this undoubtedly points in the favour of Edinburgh, so what are the reasons for not choosing Edinburgh? Well, let me tell you.
If You Got The Money
Coins. And the washing machines.
Those are the reasons.
For some reason this country has coin operated washing machines. Don’t ask me why. Two pounds per machine and one pound for drying. Once you have managed to gather all the coins (because, seriously who still uses cash!?) it turns out that somewhere in your machine there has been extra detergent hidden. You therefore have to run the machine again with just water to wash all the detergent out. And that was your last two pounds. To rewash your already clean clothes… Nothing more to do than to walk up to the store to see if one could change a five-pounder to coins. Of course you couldn’t change them just like that. You had to buy something. I bought an orange.
So with the orange and coins I walked back to the laundry room to put my now extra clean clothes in the dryer. What happens then? Yes, of course the machine swallows the money. I therefore change to another machine, which refuses to take the coins at all. That is when I give up. So now they hang in my room, and they will probably have to hang there for two days before they get dry. All in all, £7.60 for two machines. Just to be clean. Should be considered a public service according to me. One should be paid not to smell bad.
Slightly upset I then sit down to do some studying and eat my orange, and guess what, it is not even good! Threw it away.
Apart from that it’s all good though haha.
Am I Humor In The Brainless?
This might not be the most fun blogpost ever written, though I tried at the end. However, I wanted to cover some of the qualifications one might consider when choosing where to study and my reasons, if someone is here for that reason. The next post will hopefully be more fun and contain some personal favourites and experiences. And come around quicker.