Destination: Edinburgh, Scotland

"On a clear day, you can see for miles from the top of Edinburgh Castle. It's the perfect way to see the city from above!"

Crisp morning air and the wind briskly sweep across your face. The smell of fresh brewed coffee and baked goods linger as you walk the morning streets to hop on board a city bus. A glance at the sky reveals clouds in the distance, but a grandeur castle gleaming in the sunlight. Gradually, the streets become crowded with tourists, children running off to school, and the daily adventures of city life begin for yet another day in Edinburgh, Scotland.

For many, this description may seem unreal or too picturesque. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and as a young, university student from northern Pennsylvania in the United States, I assure you Edinburgh can be described as nothing less then magnificent. In my home country, I attend a small, private liberal arts institution where I will earn my Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communication and Writing.

I arrived in Edinburgh over one month ago, and choose this city because of my sincere interest in learning, exploring, and living Scottish culture and society. Intrigued by Scotland’s history, I immediately knew Edinburgh would be a fantastic destination for a study abroad experience.

Most importantly, according to an online study abroad web site, “Studying abroad may be that defining moment in your education that will change your life.”

“So what it is it like to be an international student in Edinburgh?” This answer could easily vary depending on the student, but for me it can only be described as an adventure of a life time. No day is ever the same and each day promises new experiences full of laughter and excitement. Of course, a study abroad experience for an international student can only be worth what the student makes of it.

The social scene is one of the best. From late nights at the pubs to football matches and attending theatrical productions at the Edinburgh Playhouse, the city has so much to offer young students. The city holds vibrant historical and modern day attractions which serve as excellent educational learning opportunities. Many businesses offer discounts to students, which helps save money and cut costs.

Classes are taught on an informal basis and allow one to work on developing interpersonal and group work skills. The focus for education is on exploring your interests and taking classes that will teach you the skills and qualities needed to perform in the rapdily changing twenty first century.

Learning to navigate the city does not take long and the public bus system is the primary source for transportation. However, chaotic road work currently crowds the streets. This is a bit tedious at times; especially when you are in a hurry.

Through living in the city and attending classes at Napier University, I have been exposed to a whole new way of life and gained a significantly stronger understanding and appeciation for cultural differences. I have established close networks of friends from all over the world.

Best of all, you can never go hungry. Fish and chip shops are everywhere.