Xiao-Yu - University of Edinburgh

B Advanced Science (Honours)
Semester 2, 2019
I got to meet heaps of really cool people from so many different places!

Academic experience

I studied two 10 unit Maths courses, and two 20 unit electives in the School of Political Sciences and Languages.

I initially planned on studying all Maths/science courses, and applied for exchange through the School of Science and Engineering. However, due to the fact that UoE doesn’t let students enrol in courses if they have a course clash, issues with finding courses with the exact prerequisites that I had done, as well as limits to class enrolments, I ended up deciding to do electives instead and moved my enrolment into the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. This did mean I had to get new courses approved by UQ, which was challenging due to enrolment deadlines. However, the exchange department at UoE were super helpful during this process, and were very supportive with last minute enrolment changes that I did.

I was also assigned a personal tutor who was an academic I could turn to if I was facing any academic issues, enrolment issues, etc. which also made me feel more supported whilst at the university.

Personal experience

I got to meet heaps of really cool people from so many different places due to UoE being an extremely international university, do heaps of travelling and sightseeing, and experience what moving to another country other than Australia for university would be like.


Exchange students at UoE are guaranteed university accommodation, which made finding accommodation a lot less stressful before my exchange. I ended up being assigned catered accommodation at Grant House in Pollock Halls, which meant I didn’t have to worry about the initial expenses of buying pots and pans, cutlery, etc. in my first week, as well as cooking during the semester.

Something that I didn’t realise when I was applying for housing was that for students studying on the Kings Buildings Campus, there was a shuttle bus between Central Campus and Kings Buildings, so the walking distance between Kings Campus and most accommodation wouldn’t have been an issue if I applied for housing closer to the city centre.


Accommodation cost around $5000 for the semester, which covered breakfast and dinner, though it didn’t cover lunch. Most of the time, I walked everywhere since Edinburgh is a super walkable city, but the buses in the city centre cost £1.70 per ride, and was capped at £4 a day. Overall, I probably spent around $15,000-$17,000, including travel.


Enrolling in courses once I got to Edinburgh and getting course changes approved by UQ was probably the biggest challenge.

Professional Development

Going on exchange forced me to use skills and attributes such as organisation, independence and critical thinking.


Meeting new people from across the world, and getting to experience what university is like in the UK.

Top tips

Go to events, make friends and make the most of your time! Joining the International and Exchange Students Society (IESS) was also really good for weekend trips around Scotland,cheap Ryanair flights to Europe were great for travelling, and going to a ceilidh is a must!