Jingyi - University of Edinburgh

B Biomedical Science/Science
Semester 1, 2019

Academic experience

Thinking back of studying at the University of Edinburgh, the most impressive academic experience for me was that the class was smaller than that of U, which gave students more chance to talk to the lecturer about extra details about the course as well as their research. In addition, we had tutors for each small group of students who could be contacted and provided help even after class, unlike at UQ in most of the courses we were specifically told not to contact tutors after class. I found this closer relationship with academic staff indeed motivated my study, not only by keeping students going to lectures and staying on track but also encourage me to learn deeper in my interested topics. On the other hand, the sign-on system at the University of Edinburgh was a bit old-school. It was not a self-service system and students needed to submit a preference list first. Sometimes this can imply that students may not get their most wanted courses. The timetable was also not of self choice as it was decided by tutors of the school, but some can be swapped given other sessions were not full. Also for some courses, I needed to contact the coordinator and get permission for enrolment. Overall the University of Edinburgh is a great place to study at and I am thinking of going back in my future study if I have a chance.

Personal experience

Edinburgh is a beautiful town decorated with elegant middle age architecture. I enjoyed a lot walking up the Arthur Seat, which only took about one hour or so for a return trip, at different times during the day to see different views of the city and the bay. Also, there were a lot of interesting clubs university-based. The ones I joined were equestrian, skiing and table tennis clubs. The club activities fulfilled my time after classes and allowed me to meet some friends. The equestrian club ran different level classes from beginning to advanced, and I was able to learn how to ride a horse from the start. Every Monday and Friday the skiing club would drive up to Glasgow where we could train at an indoor skiing track. Edinburgh was also quite close to the Highland, where a lot of legends came from. Other than these, during the breaks, I travelled around and enjoyed breathtaking landscapes in Europe.


The university guaranteed all exchange students with the option of student accommodation, which made it less stressful to plan before arrival. Though I decided not to take their offer because mine was a bit far away from the campus I would mostly study at, I still appreciated this arrangement by the university. Regarding private rentals, the price for a one-bedroom apartment near the main campus was quite similar to how much I spent to live at St Lucia. Nevertheless, it should be noted that if students come in the second semester, it can be a bit harder to find accommodation as most of them rent as per academic year.


The living cost at Edinburgh is kind of similar to Brisbane, so a weekly estimate is around $200. An ensuite bedroom in a student accommodation costs about $7500 and a one-bedroom apartment near the campus costs around $10,000 for one semester. These prices generally included all electricity, internet and water charges. My biggest costs were accommodation and travelling. Considering the fantastic chance of exploring Europe during and after the semester, I would recommend a budget of $15,000 to $20,000 depending on how much travelling is desired.


The biggest challenge for me was that it was quite stressful to select and enrol the courses. It had to be approved by both the UoE and the UQ, which required a lot of email communications. Since I had a tight course structure it made me worried as I was not enrolled to my desired course till the orientation week.

Professional Development

One of the courses I took during the semester was about glaciology and I find myself particularly interested in this field of study. I think it might have provided me with a direction of my future study. In addition, I had much more opportunity to practice skiing this year, though it might not be as necessary as professional development, it is still another important aspect of personal development for me.


The highlight of my exchange semester is experiencing various landscapes from Edinburgh to London, from the UK to Europe. It is a unique chance to spend half a year to take a close look at a city. Also, studying at UoE gives me a chance to see a different education system and I really like it.

Top tips

In terms of course selection and enrolment, don’t be stressed. This can be solved even after the semester starts. Otherwise, get some warm clothes and be ready for Edinburgh.