Confused, American, and on exchange: Meet Edinburgh’s newest students

“I don’t understand why they don’t refrigerate the eggs here.”

With the arrival of the new year comes the arrival of a whole host of new exchange students. They seem to be all over campus as they try to navigate their way around, while trying to make friends at the same time – hats off to them for moving to a whole different continent, at this point in the year.

After all, most friendships have already been established from way back in freshers week. And no, just because you moved from England does not make you a foreign student, whatever the locals may say.

Here’s what they had to say:

Allison Green, Economics, University of California Berkeley 

How are you finding Edinburgh?

I’m loving Edinburgh! It’d definitely the prettiest city I’ve ever been too, and everyone is incredibly nice.

What made you want to come here?

I came here because I knew I wanted to go to a UK college for study abroad, and I liked that it was close to a lot of beautiful urban things, but also close to nature as well.

Was there anything that you found surprising when you got here?

How historical the city was! I didn’t expect Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, etc. to be so close to the actual city.

Junfei Yu, Wheaton College, Massachusetts

I was born in Shanghai, China but now go to Wheaton College in Massachusetts and as a second year student, I am taking four computer science related courses and one math course while I’m here.

How is your first experience of Edinburgh?

I’m trying to make the most of my experience in Edinburgh by joining societies, meeting new people and trying new things out such as gliding and golf.

What made you decide to come to Edinburgh?

The history of the university and the city itself, how could I say no to a school established in 1582? Also the vibrant atmosphere on campus where theres always a million things happening everyday. I heard that Edinburgh has a lot of rainy days.. But I did not expect it would rain like that in the January. The rain kept falling in the first week after I arrived.

Deborah Koh, Business, University of California, Santa Barbara

How are you finding Edinburgh?

I really like Edinburgh here so far, everyone’s really nice & friendly!

Why Edinburgh?

I picked Edinburgh because I wanted to be in an English-speaking European country, and the obvious choice was London, but I wanted to go somewhere a little out of my comfort zone and not in a huge city for once. This is my first time in Europe! I’m surprised about how diverse Edinburgh is, and also how small the city is!

Nick Fierro, Philosophy and Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis

How are you finding it here?

I’m loving Edinburgh so far! It’s definitely a medieval sort of city, very unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s taken me a while to get used to my general area but (strangely enough) I’ve had a great time getting lost down side streets and into different neighborhoods. Weather…not so much, but I’m used to it now and I hear it’s getting better from here. There’s always something to do and learn.

Did anything surprise you?

The eggs. I don’t understand why they don’t refrigerate the eggs here. I never will. What a strange country.

Angelina Nou, Bio-engineering, University of Maryland, Washington DC


How has your experience with Edinburgh been?

I think Edinburgh is super awesome. Its gorgeous, and I come from university of maryland, college park, which is this huge campus in the suburbs of dc. So its super different being inside a city. In a good way.

Why Edinburgh?

I kinda chose Edinburgh sorta randomly. I asked my friend who had studied abroad last year and then backpacked around europe what her favorite places were, and she pretty much chose edinburgh for me. I also thought the courses here looked super interesting. And i like how I’m in a city here, but there’s still the highlands and awesome nature things really close.

Did anything surprise you about being in the UK?

The sinks are weird here. That was a surprise.


They seem like a lovely bunch. Go say hi to your neighbourhood exchange student! Offer them a cuppa, an umbrella in the rain. Take them to Hive.