Nicole - University of Edinburgh

B International Studies
Semester 1, 2019
While my study abroad now feels like a dream, I could not have imagined all of the wonderful people I became friends with and the experiences that I was fortunate enough to share with them.

Academic experience

While there were some differences in the way that I registered for courses, they were generally conducted similarly to at UQ. I studied history courses while abroad, which was very interesting as I was able to see how people from different countries understand historical events. Any challenges with my studies were eased at the University of Edinburgh by other students and my advisor at the university.

Personal experience

The most significant part of my study abroad was the friendships I made with people from around the world and that I hope will last for a long time. I was able to explore Scotland and more of Europe during semester breaks and weekends, which was extremely novel and exciting.


I lived in on-campus housing. I enjoyed being around so many other people, many of whom I am still friends with. I would suggest researching all of your options for housing, and really thinking about what will make your stay the best for you. Catered accommodation worked well for me as I did not have to worry about food, and having 24 hour staff meant that security was not an issue.


Edinburgh can be expensive, especially if you are not familiar with the pound and have to constantly do conversions. Financial assistance from UQ and the government was a great aid in this time, so that I didn't have to worry about money while I was away. Make sure you know what your rent will cost, so that you can prepare yourself for everything else and gain the most from your experience. Edinburgh is quite good for travel, a short distance from London and the rest of Europe. My accommodation was quite expensive, due to the facilities I chose. Overall, I spent about $10 000, including travel and accomodation.


The biggest challenge during my experience was homesickness, which I overcame through talking regularly with a variety of friends and family back home, as well as my new friends abroad. It helps to tell other people on exchange about what you are feeling, as it is likely that they are going through something similar and you can help each other.

Professional Development

In such an expanding world, its extremely important to have good communication skills in the workplace, especially intercultural. Being on exchange improved my skills in this area, and it is easy to include your abroad experience on your resume.


The highlight of my experience was truly the friends that I made, as I would not have had such a great time without them there. I can't imagine getting through the semester without such incredible people around me to support me and explore Edinburgh alongside me.

Top tips

I would suggest looking at all of your options, but going with your gut when it comes to deciding where to go. Edinburgh is a beautiful city, conveniently located and full of other exchange students looking for adventure. Be open to new experiences and try new things. Do research about weekend trips before you go so that you don't miss out on anything that interests you. Don't be held back by what you would or wouldn't do if you were home, as this is a once in a lifetime experience. Be flexible about your course and housing preferences, as you'll have a great time regardless of whether you get your top choice. If possible, pay your rent up front so that you don't have to worry about it while you are away.