Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and home of the Scottish Parliament, is an excellent study abroad choice to enrich your academic career and immerse yourself in a new culture. Edinburgh fluidly combines the past and the present as ancient architecture and Scottish tradition still brilliantly survive among the modern, fast-paced movement of the city. Whether you want city, sea, or countryside, Edinburgh has it all; read below for a bit more information on studying abroad this amazing city.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/robertotaddeofoto28.

Culture and Immersion

Edinburgh has everything from historical sites to sports enthusiasm to quiet country roads. There are a plethora of things to enjoy such as:

  • Touristy shopping mixed in with classic pubs along the Royal Mile which leads to both the Scotch Whisky Experience and Edinburgh Castle. The Scotch Whisky Experience provides a theme park ride-esque look at the production of scotch whisky and ends with a tasting. Edinburgh Castle, a classic symbol of Scotland that dates back to 9C BC sits atop the Royal Mile and offers a look into the medieval past of Edinburgh.
  • Arthur’s seat: a breathtaking 360 degree view of the city and a serious hiking work-out.
  • Tea and treats at The Elephant House, the café where J. K. Rowling wrote her books.
  • Murrayfield Stadium, home of Edinburgh Rugby.

As study abroad students are usually on a budget, check out the Edinburgh Pass –it offers 30 attractions for 24 pounds. Also, check out free museums such as the Museum of Scotland, Royal Museum, and Writer’s Museum. In addition, students will most likely want to take advantage of the UK’s small size by traveling by train to nearby cities. The UK’s Rail Card is £28 and saves you 1/3 off the rail ticket price; it pays for itself in 3 ticket purchases.

Affordability

Edinburgh operates on the British Pound (£). The city is cash, bank card, and credit card friendly. ATM machines can easily distribute money from your home bank, but charges will be made to your account. This encourages large amounts of money to be withdrawn at one time; as Edinburgh is a large city, precautions must be taken with carry around large amounts of cash.

An alternative idea is opening up a bank account in Edinburgh. Barclays is a good choice seeing as they are part of the Global ATM Alliance. One may withdraw cash from any ATM of the Global ATM Alliance without having to pay a fee. For example, if you have a Bank of America account in the United States, you may use Barclays’ ATMs for free in the UK and BNP Paribas’ ATMs in France for free.

Culture Shock and Support

Moving 5,000 miles away from home is simultaneously an exciting and scary adventure. While it is important to engage with Scottish students, having friends from your home country can help you cope with culture shock. Try looking into programs that offer opportunities to meet other students who will be attending your university. One surprising aspect of Scotland is how heavy their accent is! Any English level speaker from native to beginner may have a challenge. You should acclimate to the rhythm of their dialect within time, but until then, just ask the speaker to repeat! Most people are very understanding about this.

Enjoy haggis and kilts along with castles and cobblestones as you develop your academic profile in Edinburgh- the perfect blend of trendy and historic with big city and small countryside elements. Studying here will offer a student an incredible combination of excellent academic and cultural educational opportunities.

Offset those costs! Check out these scholarships:

  • BUTEX: If you are planning to study at The University of Edinburgh for either a semester or year, this scholarship awards £500 to the winners
  • Saltire Scholarships: For student who are coming from Canada, China, India or America for one year of study, this scholarship offers a £2,000 reward.
  • More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Contributed by K. Leigh Furzer

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