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SPS student voices and experiences
From Mexico to Scotland: Introducing Karen!

From Mexico to Scotland: Introducing Karen!

Hey there! My name is Karen, and I’m from the northern part of Mexico, specifically from Monterrey; I’m here to tell you all about my incredible journey from Mexico to Scotland and why I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh for my Master’s degree in International Development. So, grab a cup of tea, and let’s dive right in!

When people ask me why I chose Edinburgh over any other place in the UK, I tell them this: Edinburgh is a city that has it all. From the stunning natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands to the winding streets of the Old Town and the modern buildings of the New Town. From cultural activities to leaving-at-4-am parties. From great mountains to the beautiful coast. There’s something magical about this place that’s hard to put into words. What’s really amazing about this place is that it has the perfect balance of fun things happening daily while maintaining a small community feeling. It’s like having the best of both worlds. And the natural beauty? Absolutely breathtaking. On my way to Uni, I can always spot parts of Arthur’s Seat, which never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Alan Rickman: “I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh, in many ways I am coming home”

Also (and maybe it is a little bit of a cliché, but it doesn’t matter because it is true!), the Harry Potter feeling of the city is pretty amazing. As a die-hard fan of the books and movies, I couldn’t wait to explore all the locations throughout Edinburgh and beyond that inspired J.K. Rowling’s stories. It was like walking into the pages of the books themselves. From the winding streets of the Old Town to the magical landscapes of Glenfinnan Viaduct, I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the world of Harry Potter and experience some of its magic myself.

Victoria Terrace
Edinburgh’s idyllic Old Town

But let’s talk about what really drew me to the University of Edinburgh. First, this university is known for academic excellence in multiple fields. I was excited to be part of such a dynamic and intellectually stimulating community and to challenge myself both academically and personally during my time here. The opportunities for growth and development are plentiful: in my case, I wanted to experience what it is like to go and work for an organisation. I wanted more than just the academic package, and my master’s offers a placement-based dissertation, which is one of the primary reasons I chose it. My placement starts in May, and I can’t wait!

Of course, living in Edinburgh isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (literally); the weather can be extremely cold at times, which has been tricky given the temperature at home is over 40 degrees in the summer! Moreover, the thing I struggle the most as a Mexican is with food – I definitely miss the spice and heat of the food back home. However, I’ve found ways to adapt and make the most of the situation. I’ve invested in a good coat and some cosy scarves to keep warm during the winter; I’ve even started experimenting with cooking my own spicy dishes at home and trying new and exciting local food. It’s all about finding a balance and being open to new experiences. And despite the challenges, I’m grateful for the opportunity to live and study in such a beautiful and historic city.

So, there you have it! Edinburgh has won my heart for all the right reasons. I’m excited to see where my time here will take me and to keep discovering all the fantastic things this city and country offers – I’ll keep you updated as I go!

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