A letter to prospective students…
…by Myrto / from Greece / studied MSc Literature and Modernity / Graduate (PG)
Hello prospective students of the University of Edinburgh,
I know you feel kind of lost and frustrated with all the paperwork that has to be done. Good luck with it all – but bear in mind that the experience in Edinburgh is totally worth it.
Edinburgh is an awesome city with many opportunities, a long history of myths, spooky stories, literary figures, a vibrant multicultural student life, friendly people and, unfortunately, terrible weather. Here you can make friends from all over the world that you can visit after your studies are over.
The University has outstanding facilities, various student societies, and offers a high quality of education and support. I studied there in 2013-14 and I found my MSc (Literature and Modernity: 1900 to the Present) very satisfying and highly demanding. You might have limited free time, especially from the second semester on, but you should definitely steal some time to explore the wonderful city, the Scottish landscapes and Scottish culture and museums. Welcome Week is certainly worth attending, so try to make the most of it, and do not miss your first ceilidh dance experience! It’s so much fun. There are also many volunteering opportunities, seminars from the Career Service, free movie nights and various academic paper presentations for all the academic fields.
As for your studies, you will need a lot of strength and support from family, friends, university staff and flatmates. However, you will gain a lot and you will be an asset in the worldwide job market. Apart from your programme, you can sometimes attend other courses from other departments if you find something that interests you. Personally, I found optional courses more interesting than my core courses, and I became acquainted with Digital Humanities, a very interesting academic field.
The research facilities in the University of Edinburgh are perfect. There are the University libraries: the most well-known is the Main University Library which will become your permanent place of residence. It is full of comfortable spaces for studying, and if you need to work on a group presentation you can book a private room. There you can also rent movies or find a collection of rare books on the 7th floor. The National Library of Scotland is also a good choice, especially for MSc and PhD students.
Apart from all of the above, professors are the ones who make the difference. What I will always remember from my Masters programme, apart from the excellent knowledge and teaching practices of the staff, are my breaks during Dr Aaron Kelly’s class that were always accompanied by biscuits and hot English tea.
To conclude, the student experience at the University of Edinburgh is a life-changing one.
Oh, and two final tips:
- Edinburgh weather is like having four seasons in one day. Be prepared!
- Do not be afraid of the Scottish accent – you will eventually get used to it.