Exchange First impressions Scotland Study Travel

My Beautiful Journey in Scotland

Ellis – Edinburgh Napier University – United Kingdom

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Behavioural Science / Bachelor of Justice

Hi, my name is Ellis, and I am 3 years in to studying a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/ Bachelor of Justice. It has always been a dream of mine to travel, so it was absolutely a no brainer to grasp the opportunity of exchange that QUT has to offer. I was born in Scotland originally, so I felt a natural pull to go on exchange there. And so, I chose Edinburgh Napier University to spend my semester abroad. I had never visited Edinburgh before, so it was something exciting and new, yet it was also not too far from where my family are, whom I had been so eager to reunite with. My partner can work remotely so it seemed a perfect idea for him to join me on exchange. This was extra exciting, to see the world with my partner; something we had discussed and dreamed about together for years, was finally coming to life. We were able to find a flat right in the centre of Edinburgh with four other university students – it was perfect! Our flat mates quickly became people we’d consider lifelong friends. As the semester went on, they had introduced us to their group of friends, whom we had soooo much fun with; from dinner parties to pub outings, hikes where I realised just how unfit I was, movie nights, music festivals and even trips to our flatmate’s home to stay with their family in the lovely South of England’s countryside.

First Impressions

The first thing to stand out about Edinburgh was the cold, as we had arrived at the beginning of January. It is cold and windy, and it snows! It was so exciting to see real, proper snow! But then it continued to snow, even in March, and roads… they were icy. Which doesn’t work well with my clumsiness. But it was so beautiful, nonetheless. The city of Edinburgh will always hold such a soft spot in my heart. It’s a city with so much character and life, and its people are so warm with a lively sense of humour. Normally when walking, I have my head down trying to get from A to B as quickly as I can, but in Edinburgh you are constantly looking up at the incredible architecture, excited and curious to get lost and explore the different alleyways and nooks and crannies of what I would describe more of a large town rather than a city.

During The Semester

The semester was filled with memories I will cherish forever and never forget. As for the university work side of things, I got extremely lucky with my lecturers and tutors, all of whom I found to be incredibly knowledgeable and skilled academics. There was always help if I ever needed it too. Edinburgh Napier University is a fantastic university that offers an incredible amount of support to its students – I loved it there.

The one challenge I had experienced was, I had some issues with the units at QUT I had chosen to match with my modules at Edinburgh. And so, I had to change modules halfway through the semester, which was extremely stressful and confusing. But I was met with such understanding from Edinburgh Napier University, where my personal tutor would reach out to ensure I was okay and accommodated the changes I needed as promptly as possible. They made that process so much smoother for me and alleviated a lot of my stress.

A Memorable End with One Month Travelling

Being in the United Kingdom means that you have Europe just in your back yard. As soon as the semester ended, we had the amazing opportunity to travel, where we spent a month travelling through France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands – it was an experience I had always dreamed of, and it lived up to my expectations entirely. To be able to experience different cultures is such an incredible experience that made me feel pure happiness. Not only did I get to visit Europe, but I also got to spend time with my family in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, which was the most wholesome and precious part of my Semester abroad. We were also lucky enough to see the heaviest snow they have had in over a decade. Thank you so much QUT for this life changing experience!


Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.

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