Jessica - University of Edinburgh

B Biomedical Science (Hons)
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

At the university of Edinburgh I studied Molecular Genetics 3, Pharmacology 3 and Structures & Functions of Proteins 3. I found the academic system of Edinburgh really quite similar to that of UQ, however I liked that our week was divided into 'subject blocks' (I would do say three hours of pharmacology on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, and then three hours of genetics on a Tuesday and Friday morning). The equivalent subjects of my second year biomedical science subjects at UQ were all third year subjects in Edinburgh, so that was relatively challenging; but study groups were really encouraged, and being apart of one was quite beneficial academically, and also happened to be where I made some of my best friends in Edinburgh.

Personal Experience

I had the most incredible time in Edinburgh. I developed friendships over the five months that I will treasure for the rest of my life with people from all over the world. I explored ten countries; each of which simply took my breath away. I really tried to immerse myself in the culture, the people and the languages, and in doing so, was able to experience some really incredible things. During my time in Edinburgh, I started to learn some french through a free language course the university offered which was wonderful! Over my five months in the UK/Europe, my independence and trust in myself increased greatly, as I think happens quite naturally when suddenly living on the other side of the world. I continued to learn what it is to love and be there for people despite differences in whatever way.

Accommodation 

I lived in university catered accomodation, however the accomodation at Edinburgh is not 'on' campus, but rather in the middle of the two main campuses (about a (really lovely) thirty minute walk to each). My favourite thing about Pollock (where I stayed) was the people. I made the most wonderful friends there who I went on to eat every breakfast and dinner with, as well as travel around Europe with! Pollock was also really handy because I never had to worry about there being food for dinner or so (and the food really was quite good). I think there are pro's and con's to both catered and non-catered, but if you are more than happy for your cooking to be done for you, I would recommend catered so you can spend your time doing much more 'important' things while on exchange.

Budget

Accomodation and food was reasonably priced in Edinburgh when converted back to AUD, although a regular latte was usually about $5. I generally walked everywhere around Edinburgh, as well as the cities I visited while travelling. EasyJet and Ryanair do really cheap flights to different destinations around Europe which was wonderful! Drinks were cheap compared to Australia, which made for rather cheap nights out. I budgeted about $13,000 and never felt like I couldn't do or buy something (and even came back with at least a dollar to my name which is wonderful).

Professional Development & Employability

I've learnt how to rely on myself a little more rather than those around me for encouragement and the like. I have continued to learn the power of friendship and working together to achieve a common goal (be it a university assignment or a professional deadline).

Highlights 

The people I met and the places I saw. I think the two go hand in hand, generally the places that I loved the most were the ones which the people I loved the very most were. I adored every moment spent getting to know someone, and the hours spent walking cobbled european roads exploring new cities.

Top Tips

Just do it. It will honestly be one of the most incredible things you do at university. You will learn so much about yourself, about the world and the people who live in it, as well as hopefully a little bit concerning your degree. It really is a beautiful world that so deserves to be explored.