Edinburgh Castle

The daily shenanigans

There is a lot more to the Business School than you might think, and it makes the experience of studying here so unique.

The MSc International Business and Emerging Markets students
The MSc IBEM cohort enjoying the Business School hoodies

The first semester has come to a close and everyone is either travelling around Europe or has headed home to spend time with family during the winter break. I’ve opted for the latter and therefore I’ve spent Christmas with my family in the Netherlands. As a result, I have been facing lots of questions about what my life looks like in Edinburgh. Usually I would give a blasé answer about how much I enjoy the challenging coursework, inspiring faculty members and rich history of the university. However, there is more to the Business School that makes the experience of studying there so unique.

The Meadows, Edinburgh
Autumn leaves in The Meadows

In Edinburgh, there are these special gems in a typical day that I especially want to tell you about. For instance, on some days I like to walk over to the Meadows (just around the corner from Buccleuch Place) for my afternoon break. Once there, I enjoy sitting on one of the benches in order to marvel at Arthur’s Seat’s grandeur and to observe passersby while I take in the park’s sounds; fleeting jazz music coming from the saxophonist who marks the nearby entrance to the Meadows; kids’ voices recounting their day to their babysitters as they walk home from school; and people calling out for their dogs. On other days, I convince my friends to walk through George Square’s garden (in front of the Business School). Here I enjoy watching the squirrels hop around and kicking up the autumn leaves before having to return to the Business School to finish my day’s work.

Interior of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh
Interior of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh

Naturally, a typical day will involve the obvious elements of university life such as group (and client) meetings, lectures, doing the week’s readings and preparing for tutorials. However, it is a lot to take in sometimes and therefore it is wonderful to have those bright spots in your day that allow you to unwind.

One of those bright spots is a real Edinburgh treat: you can easily climb up to Arthur’s Seat’s summit and make it to your class at 9 am on time!It is a true Try Before You Die, but I won’t lie: you might actually die from exhaustion after waking up so early on a weekday. Therefore, I’ve told Arthur to remain in its location for us to enjoy on the weekends (you’re welcome!).

Lastly, I’ve found that surrendering to the “Whisper of the Pint” is also a great way to unwind after a long day of studying. This is a quietly muttered suggestion that emerges amongst the students in the Hub (the Business School library) after nightfall.  A short negotiation ensues about whether we should head off to Pear Tree or Teviot Row House. The conversations we’ve had on such nights have led to the discovery of the most precious gem university-life in Edinburgh has to offer: invaluable friendships and lots of laughter.

So to the ones I’ve come to know so far, thank you all for a great first semester, for your words of encouragement, the great conversations and for being a critical sounding-board. But most of all: thank you for making me laugh as much as I have in the past months.

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Elaine Kreiken

Elaine is studying the Masters in International Business and Emerging Markets at the University of Edinburgh Business School.