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SPS student voices and experiences
Introducing our new writer, Ash!

Introducing our new writer, Ash!

My name is Ash (they/them) and I’m a third-year History and Politics student, meaning I split my time studying between the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the School of Social and Political Science! I’m German and grew up in Leipzig, a city in East Germany mainly known for its football club and as the home of some of the most famous German composers! However, I have also lived in the US, near Seattle, and now call Edinburgh my home.

Me studying in Edinburgh actually was not planned from the beginning of my university applications. Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I was going to spend a gap year working in Argentina and then going to university back in Germany or in Ireland, but when I was not able to travel all the way to South America, I was looking for alternative options and decided to move to Edinburgh for six months, volunteering in social care and supporting adults with learning disabilities.

Well, six months turned into now three years, because I fell in love with the city as soon as I arrived. It provides the perfect mix of city life with so much history, and exciting opportunities, but allows for room to breathe in nature through the abundance of parks, beaches and small adventures you can go on just a stone-throw away from campus. One of my favourite spots in the city is Cramond Beach, which is fully accessible by bus from the city centre, but does not feel like you’re in a city at all. During low tide, you can actually walk all the way to a small island through the sea on an elevated path and explore! But be careful as the tide can surprise you and trap you there! One time I actually had to wade through the cold sea water in order to get back!

Some green trees with the sea of Cramond Beach in the background
One of Ash’s favourite parts of Edinburgh: Cramond Beach

I’ve been enjoying my degree a lot too. Being based in two different schools has given me the opportunity to explore a huge variety of topics and courses, ranging from a course about Carnival in the Atlantic World to International Relations Theory. The sheer size of the departments and the university means that the choices can be this diverse and everyone will find something they are passionate about. Of course, there were also times when I didn’t feel as comfortable and felt confused and a bit lost at such a big university, especially starting university a non-binary and international student. But the welcoming campus community and the amount of politically active students really made me feel at home and encouraging words from lecturers helped a lot! My courses and lecturers definitely helped me to develop my interests in Queer, Feminist and Anti-Colonial Studies and I am now thinking about applying for Master’s programmes, something I would have never considered before starting university.

When I’m not on campus doing my readings or writing essays, you can usually find me either being active in the Students’ Association as the LGBTQ+ Liberation Officer and in different societies, at my part-time job, or going on long walks and hikes exploring the city with my friends, usually ending up in a cute café or pub, of which Edinburgh has so many!

I am so excited to be part of the team – see you soon!

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