Everything you’ll miss about Edinburgh on your year abroad

It’s not just the Big Cheese but it may as well be

When you find out you’re going on your year abroad, everyone is beyond excited for you. Excited about the places you’ll go, the things you’ll learn, the opportunity to pull tanned foreigners with weird sexual interests.

They’re jealous because they’ll be stuck in boring, cold Edinburgh and you’ll be sunning yourself, scraping by in a pass/fail year.

But what you don’t realise is there’s something about Edinburgh that a year in Amsterdam, California, or Sydney can’t quite replace.

The pubs

By the end of second year, you’ve perfected your drinking. You know where sells the cheapest pints, the best shots, and you’ve worked out to definitely not go to the Grapes.

All of a sudden, you’re dropped in some bizarre new place where the beer is genuinely cold and binge drinking isn’t an acceptable way to make friends.

By mid-November, you’re dying for a £2.50 pint.



Social media really is a double-edged sword. Without Instagram, you wouldn’t be able to post pictures of your year like you’re really, honestly, having the best time ever but Snapchat forces you to confront the image of all your best friends together doing your favourite things in your favourite places.

And sure, your British friends, and all your friends will be British, can sort-of replace them but not a single one of them will care when you tell them that there’s a new Library Cat.

Oh yeah this social looks fun, shame I can’t fucking go

The in-jokes

Edinburgh student culture comes with a chronicle of in-jokes and stereotypes that it takes at least half of freshers’ week to come to terms with. But abroad, no one will get why you’re laughing at the guy in the Canada Goose.

You’ll also fail to understand the in-jokes where you are. Apparently straight fitting chinos and pastel bowties are legitimate fashion choices in the American South.

The weather

There’s something weirdly comforting about how Edinburgh forces you to sleep in three jumpers and rugby socks. Having legitimately hot weather until mid-December is troubling and can put you off your work.

How can you be arsed to trek all the way to the library if you’re suddenly drenched in sweat whenever you step outside?

The buildings

The Eiffel Tower is just a Scott Monument rip-off.

Once you’ve seen one tall building, you’ve seen them all

The Big Cheese

There’s genuinely nothing quite like it. Some bars and clubs abroad might have some questionable tracks on their playlist but the drinks cost $10.

There’s something about being surrounded by 50 guys in hockey club ties, listening to Robbie Williams, your bloodstream 90 per cent sugar from VKs, that makes you want to scream at God’s bearded face that you’re alive and pull that pretty posh girl from your tutorial.