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…

The Middle of Literally Nowhere

In fall, I was fortunate enough to get to visit the highlands of Scotland – well, the lowest part of the highlands, anyway. There is so much about that region that lives up to its reputation. The sweeping hills, the low mists, the constant threat of rain – all of these features do indeed make…

Reflecting on the Last Few Months: Realities of Study Abroad

The fall term has almost come and gone. I really cannot believe it is almost time to go home for the holidays. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to return to Edinburgh to study abroad for the spring term as well but many friends I have made have to say goodbye to this wonderful…

Survival Guide to Missing Your Pets in Edinburgh

I have been blessed with two wonderful, absolutely fantastic dogs named Jeyson and Caramel, and I miss them every single day. This is especially true during dark times (read: essay season), when I feel like if we had ever met, I could have been e.e. cummings’s inspiration for the lines ‘You Are Tired / (I…

Exploring the National Museum of Scotland- 10 Things You Can’t Miss

  Edinburgh is full of museums – you’ll never get tired of visiting them, since there are a lot! But of all the museums in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland is the most famous. Today, I would like to introduce what can’t be missed when visiting the National Museum of Scotland. The museum is…

A German in Edinburgh – moving in

It is 2:30 in the morning, I am three-quarters asleep and on my way to the Munich airport. “September to May. 9 months”, I think. If I put it into perspective with a hopefully 80+ life span it is not long at all. On the other side if I count the days there are approximately…