The first 24 hours in Edinburgh

I arrived in Edinburgh early in the evening. The first twenty four hours here passed by like a fleeting yet amazing film, which will be very difficult for me to forget.

Moving to another city can be both challenging and exciting. As an incoming MSc student who hasn’t been abroad often, I tried to do as much research as I could before starting my postgraduate life in Edinburgh. When I got off the plane, everything seemed a little bit familiar, but also a little bit unexpected.

The cold air

I come from northern China where the temperature ranges from 30℃ to 40℃ during the summer, which absolutely won’t happen in Edinburgh. I knew that Edinburgh could get very chilly due its geographical location, but it was a totally different story to experience the cold for myself. As I got off the plane, I was aware of it instantly. Actually, I was wearing a dress so it was partly my fault. Another interesting thing that I have noticed is that although the weather is a little cold, you will find people in the city wearing all kinds of clothes, from short sleeves to warm jackets.

The historical streets

Edinburgh is a city with a long history, which you will experience from the moment you set foot here. I got up very early the next morning in order to pick up my student card and BRP (Biometric Residence Permit). When I arrived in the city centre by bus, what I saw was not like other city centres I have visited before. Many of the streets are covered with small stones (cobbles) as if telling stories of years of ups and downs. It can be a little tiring to walk up and down the hilly streets, but what awaits you is breath-taking scenery.  The shops with traditional or modern decorations make the streets even more enchanting. 

The helpful people

Being new to the city, it was inevitable that I would need to ask for help from both staff of the university and people in the local community. To be honest, I was a little nervous when I approached people at first. I had no idea if I would be welcomed or not, but I kept telling myself that I needed to get out of my comfort zone. However, I received nothing but kindness. There was a gentleman who showed me where the career service is. There was also a kind lady who offered to activate my access to computers when I merely asked for a case. The list goes on and on and I can’t remember how many things like that have occurred in just twenty four hours. People here are amazingly helpful and I have a hunch that I will receive much more support here than I expected.

The very first twenty four hours in Edinburgh passed quickly, but many more days in Edinburgh lie ahead of me. It is an adventure and I want to remember as many moments as I possibly can.




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Xiang Hui

Xiang Hui is a student on the MSc International Business and Emerging Markets programme and is China’s National Scholarship winner. As an explorer, Xiang is always ready to meet new challenges, is a big fan of history and hiking and is also interested in painting.