Welcome to Edinburgh
It's officially been two weeks since I packed up and flew across the ocean to begin my study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh. Studying abroad has been on my college to-do list since high school. Thankfully, because of Dartmouth's unique D-Plan, I am able to study abroad as a student-athlete. I thought I'd share the basics of my program for those who are interested in spending time outside of the US during their college career!
- No. 1
My study abroad program is located in Edinburgh, Scotland. As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a hub of heritage and culture. Geographically, the city is split into the Old Town, which is the medieval area (where I live), and the New Town, which was built in the Georgian style. Looming over the city at one end is Edinburgh Castle, where Scotland's crown jewels are housed, and at the other end is Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano! It's not only easy to travel around Edinburgh, thanks to the elaborate bus system, but very easy to travel around Scotland, thanks to the frequent train service in the center of town.
- No. 2
It rains in Edinburgh. A LOT. Almost every day, we experience rain in some capacity. In my two short weeks here, I have experienced everything from downpours to misty rain while the sun is shining. Regardless of how cliché it sounds, you get used to the rain and the rain does not stop the city's flow of life! When I am walking around town, I make sure to always carry my umbrella. I also packed my rubber boots for the days when I know it will be raining alot.
- No. 3
Going into this program, I really didn't know what to expect from my accomodation. Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised! While many of Dartmouth's study abroad programs include a homestay with a host family, for my program, we stay in dorms. The Univeristy of Edinburgh has multiple dormitories throught the whole city and you submit your top five choices and will be assigned to one of them. I was assigned to a dorm that is in the heart of Old Town and a seven minute walk to my classroom! It's a flat-style dorm meaning that I live in an apartment with four other girls. We all have our own rooms and then share two full bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen.
- No. 4
While I'm studying at the University of Edinburgh, all my classes are through the New College, which is their school of Religion and Divinity. New College has its own campus away from main campus. At the University of Edinburgh, you apply to a specific program, unlike Dartmouth where you don't have to declare your major until a couple years in. Many people who I am taking classes with are hoping to spend the rest of their careers in the field of Religion or Divinty and it has been incredible to learn from so many talented peers. I also met two girls in my class who did an exchange to Dartmouth last year!
- No. 5
Meal plans as we know them are not as popular at the University of Edinburgh as they are at home. I am not on a meal plan so I cook most of my meals in my flat. However, there are a plethora of great restaurants in the area that I live and I've had everything from traditional Scottish food to Italian food since I've gotten here. For those who don't like to cook or eat out, there is a campus dining hall that you can pay for in cash.