Kate – Napier University – Scotland
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) / Bachelor of Laws
My name is Kate and I am studying for a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Laws. I recently completed a semester exchange at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience living in Scotland. It is hard to know where to even begin and I could not recommend living in Edinburgh more to anyone.
Studying in Edinburgh
At Napier University the students and teaching staff were so lovely and accepting. At Napier I studied three elective subjects. I even did a subject where I learnt all about British Politics. As a law student it gave me the opportunity to further widen my knowledge on just how similar the Australian and British legal systems are. This I found helpful even for my studies back home. The classes were very collaborative, so it was much easier to make friends at university.
Accommodation in Edinburgh
I found that securing accommodation was definitely the biggest challenge in Edinburgh. I was unable to secure student accommodation; however, this took me on such an amazing journey. Something quite different from the ‘typical’ exchange experience. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and ended up living and working in one of Edinburgh’s most well-known and popular hostels. It had 6 floors, 250 beds and 50 workers. I got to live alongside people from all parts of the world and made lifelong friends as a result of it. Some friends I made who were living in the hostel were also students who had come from different parts of the world to study in Edinburgh! I had no shortage of friends to study within the hostel. The opportunity to widen my cultural awareness and live in a totally different environment from my typical share house in Brisbane was really amazing.
Living in Edinburgh
I lived in Edinburgh throughout the winter and it was definitely a big adjustment from Australian weather. Seeing the sun go down at 4pm was definitely difficult at first but there was never a heated pub with beers and Celtic music playing far away to relax in. There is never a shortage of things to do in Edinburgh. Whether that was going for a morning walk up to Arthur’s Seat, having a sundowner on Carlton Hill, having a fire at Portobello Beach late at night or going to the Ceilidh (traditional Scottish dancing) at a place called Stramash. The list really is endless. The people in Scotland are so welcoming and truly love to meet people from other countries. I loved having the experience and can’t wait to either visit or even live in Edinburgh at a different stage in life.
I had travelled through a lot of the UK when I was younger so I definitely had a big desire to travel through Europe. The subjects I took at Napier definitely gave me the flexibility to also do extensive travel throughout the semester. I was able to visit 15 countries outside of Scotland. Some travel I did with friends from Australia, some were with other backpackers I met at the hostel and along my travels and some was solo which taught me a lot and was the best experience of my life. I saw so many beautiful places and met such amazing people who I now call lifelong friends.
This exchange experience truly changed me as a person for the better and shaped me into a much more free-spirited, motivated and overall confident person. I could not recommend an exchange more to other students as it’s truly life-changing.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.