‘Yes, Mum, I eat well in Scotland!’

Before moving to Edinburgh, I had heard of the legendary deep fried Mars bars and thought that I would be strong enough to resist them. This year was actually my first time living away from my parents, so of course my mother was a little bit concerned and provided me with many tips on how…

Scottish Castles You Should Visit

Argument on the number of castles in Scotland is controversial, but how many castles would you think there are?  The estimate (we can’t even count properly) says it varies wildly from 2000 to 4000. Wow, this honestly surprised me a lot. You may wonder what the definition of castle is.  Here are the two criteria: one, used…

Last Few Months in Edinburgh…

So we finished semester 1 in December. Semester 2, the last one in Edinburgh for me, started in January.  And now Semester 2 is about to end… I can hardly believe that only a few months from now I have to be back to Japan.  I have such a mixed feelings about going home —…

3 days in London

Learning week was the opportunity for me to travel for 3 days in London: it was my first time there and I really loved it ! I obviously didn’t have enough time to explore all the city and had to choose where I wanted to go. So here’s a suggestion of itinerary for 3 days…

Trip to Steall Waterfall

  The 18th of January I was going to the airport with a big smile on my face because two of my best friends, Celia and Ricardo, came to visit me from Spain for my birthday. After an evening of celebrations and a little sleep, without even having shown them Edinburgh, we woke up the…

Citylife vs. IESS Trips

  On the University of Edinburgh campus, the two most prominent organizations for day/weekend trips are Citylife and IESS (International and Exchange Students Society). The two cater directly to international students wanting to see more of the UK. The affordable day and weekend trips Citylife and IESS lead are perfect for those studying abroad. Though…

It Snows in Scotland?

Often our preconceptions of a city are associated with its climate. I have experienced first hand that this is indeed true. I can tell you as a native Californian that I am questioned about our sunny climate. Or as a university student in Canada I am often pitied for our exceptionally cruel winters. That being…

A Coffee Addict’s Guide to Edinburgh and Beyond

Although I may not call myself a coffee addict, I am certainly addicted to coffee shops. The welcoming, cozy atmosphere is immediately alluring with no two shops alike. Most coffee shop addicts have their go-to shops back home, but living in a new city requires finding the best new places for a cup of joe….

Ready for a Travel Challenge?

Although spring semester seems long, it is broken up with many breaks and long stretches of no classes. And with the chilly Northern air of Scotland, the best solution is to travel (preferably south). Travel is a high priority with exchange students. Fortunately, Europe’s intimate borders make it easy. That being said, Europe is expensive….

Happy Hogmanay!

After Christmas, I came back to a quiet Edinburgh. Winter break here means an abandoned campus, free choice of seat in your favourite coffee shop and an empty hallway in my usually busy twelve people apartment. I came back to see the big thing at the end of the year, join the party, the crazy…

Owlery

This week my best friend visited me from Seattle. We went to Duone castle, about two hours out of Edinburgh. From there, we went to the cold crispy shores of Loch Lomond. We went and explored the Necropolis in Glasgow. The cemetery was so old, it emanated a feeling of ancient history – not only…

The Weekend Diaries Part Two

This year my schedule is more organised, but also more packed than ever. Plans are being finalised and trips are already planned. The essay deadlines are lurking as well, but they are not going to cross my plans this time. This semester they have to work for me, not the other way around. Let me…