Freshers’ Week, which took place last week, kicked off my semester in Edinburgh. A abundance of pub crawls, student-led tours, and Societies’ Fairs filled the week and introduced me to Scottish history, culture, and social life. While most of the activities were geared to the actual freshers, or first-year students at the uni, the activities and events also provided me, a third-year visiting student from Georgetown, with an introduction to Edinburgh and an orientation to the University of Edinburgh.
I was excited to become a student at the University of Edinburgh, where over 30,000 students are educated annually. (This student population is more than triple the population of student at Georgetown!) During the week, I quickly discovered that I had entered a diverse and international student population; the student body as well as the residents in Edinburgh create an international atmosphere of languages, foods, cultures, and customs in Edinburgh. I soon embraced the international culture as I meet my flatmates in my Accommodations at the uni; my flatmates and myself, who come from Norway, Sri Lanka, Cyrus, England, and America, certainly exemplify the international student population at the uni. Upon deciding to attend the University of Edinburgh this semester, I was excited to study abroad to become peers with students from all over the world, and upon my arrival to my Accommodations, I felt fortunate to live and learn with this diverse group of students.
Also during Freshers’ Week, I began to learn my way about the city of Edinburgh, my home for this semester. I am fortunate to live in Accommodations on Cowgate, which has spectacular proximity to the central campus to the south and Princes and Georges Street in New Town to the north. During the week of activities and orientation, I became acquainted with the central campus of the uni, which includes Georges Square and Bristo Square. Bristo Square is the home to Teviot and Potterow, two Student Union buildings that are run by Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA). They both serve students with study spaces, meeting rooms, and social gathering places for innumerable students at the uni. Interestingly, Teviot, or more formerly the Teviot Row House, is the oldest purpose built Student Union building in the world; in fact, Teviot has been serving the students of the University of Edinburgh since October 19, 1889. I look forward to joining uni students in relaxing in the Dining Room, drinking in the Library Bar or one of the other seven bars, dancing in the nightclub Underground, and going to some of the numerous student-sponsored events inside Teviot this semester.