Arriving at the University of Edinburgh: Tips from the Study Abroad team

Royal Scottish Academy photo by Paul Dodds

In this post, Lucy Coull, Study Abroad Administrator, shares valuable tips for visiting students to make the most of their study abroad experience at the University of Edinburgh…

I’m Lucy, part of the Study Abroad team at The University of Edinburgh, working with incoming visiting students. The University of Edinburgh has European exchange agreements with around 180 universities in more than 20 countries and over 100 worldwide partners in around 18 countries, so we welcome students coming from all over the world to study in Edinburgh.

So, you are arriving in Edinburgh and looking for some top tips and advice on how to settle in and make the most of your time here. This blog post will look at the activities in your first few weeks and the support available throughout your studies at The University of Edinburgh.

Welcome Week

You may feel excited, overwhelmed and maybe a little anxious when you first arrive in Edinburgh, but this is completely normal! Welcome Week is held the week before classes start and is a fantastic opportunity to get to know your new home, meet fellow students and try out new things. Activities in Welcome Week include:

  • Campus tours
  • School induction events & welcome talks
  • Society and Sports club fair
  • Social events

We recommend getting involved with as much as you can. From ‘The Chocolate Loving’ society, to a huge variety of sports teams, there really is something for everyone. To navigate ‘Welcome Week’ you should download the ‘UoE Events app’, which will go live a couple of weeks before.

Student Support

Studying abroad is a fantastic experience but can be overwhelming and a stressful time as you settle into a brand new country, university and way of studying. You will have access to a wide range of academic and welfare support to support you throughout your time in Edinburgh and we encourage you to reach out if you feel that you need support.

McEwan Hall photo by Douglas Robertson

The Visiting Student Office offers academic support for visiting students and will point you in the right direction if you require welfare support. Other forms of academic support include a Personal Tutor (who you will meet in welcome week), study skills workshops, one-to-one academic consultations, English language courses and online study skill resources. For welfare support, we offer the Student Counselling Service, a Personal Tutor and Student Support Office, the Disability Service and the Chaplaincy Centre (you are welcome to use this service if you are of any or no religion!). The Advice Place is also a fantastic service run by the Students Association, who offer free impartial advice about anything and everything. Finally, the Residence Life team are staff who live in the Student Accommodation and are available to offer support as well.

If you feel you need it, please seek support as soon as possible. The earlier we are aware of any problems, the more we can do to help!

Top Tips for Settling in

  1. Don’t forget the practical things! Register with a doctor and completing international check in are just a few of the tasks you may have to complete when you arrive in Edinburgh. Make sure you don’t forget anything by checking our new student check list.
  2. Get involved! Try out new things by joining clubs and societies! It doesn’t matter if you have never tried it before, if you fancy it – go for it! Many sports clubs have different levels so you will find something to suit you. The International & Exchange Student Society have regular social meetings and is a great way to meet people from all over the world. They also host cheap trips all over Scotland which you should definitely take advantage of!
  3. Find a study pattern. The method of teaching and learning may be different to what you are used to, so it may take a while to get into the rhythm of studying. Seek support if you feel you need it, don’t leave it all until the end!
  4. Finally, enjoy it! Studying abroad is more than what you will learn in the lecture hall but the people you meet and the experiences you build up. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet so many different people, become involved with new activities and experience a brand new culture – you will cherish these memories forever!

Lucy Coull

Lucy works in the Study Abroad department, with Visiting Students coming to study at the University of Edinburgh. After going on Erasmus Exchange herself, she is passionate about studying abroad and the lifelong benefits it provides!

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