Emily’s Experiences in Edinburgh

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Emily Vossen, our year long Edinburgh Student Representative, was kind enough to pass along some of her reflections on her new home! Emily is a Film and Media Studies major at the University of California Santa Barbara. 

I found settling into Edinburgh to be a surprisingly easy experience; the atmosphere of the city itself is just so welcoming, that it is difficult to not feel as if you are at a home away from home. As a Californian, I was a little bit concerned about the frigid/gloomy weather conditions that I had heard so much about before my arrival, but to my surprise and enjoyment, my time here so far has gone unhampered by the weather. In all honestly, I’m pretty certain Southern California is getting more rain than we are here.

I live in a self-catered flat (thankfully very close to campus) and got incredibly lucky with who I was paired to live with; I love my flatmates and they have definitely become my closest friends since moving here.


fullsizerender_2I find that I prefer the academic system here in Scotland versus that of the UC system; I simply prefer the longer time-period of the semester system and have found the unique structuring of the courses to be more enjoyable.
At the University of Edinburgh, as opposed to having a single professor instruct the course, there are a series of instructors that are responsible for teaching a couple of lectures each. I find this method of instruction captivating. Each professor comes with a varied perspective and in-depth knowledge of certain aspects of the course, offering a more comprehensive presentation of the course’s material by its end. Additionally, all professors must upload their lecture slides online (which is not required at UCSB) and I find that incredibly beneficial while revising for my finals.

Speaking of revision, I love studying in cafes and luckily, Edinburgh is full of them. Black Medicine on Nicholson Street is by far my most favourite study spot. On the weekends, I love exploring the city and am always on the hunt for cute little coffee shops to read in.  While in Scotland, a visit to the Highlands is a must.

Last semester, I took a weekend trip up to the Isle of Skye and I would 10/10 recommend it. Scotland is definitely one of the most beautiful places that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting, and I am proud to call this place my home. All of my friends that were here for the semester wished that they could extend and spend the entire year in Scotland.  It will definitely be hard to leave when this semester comes to an end.