…by Riley / from New York / went to Rye Country Day School / now studying Business Studies & Spanish (UG) / Class of 2017
Your Time at Edinburgh
Why did you choose to study abroad in Edinburgh?
I chose to study abroad for a many reasons, but I’ll highlight two in particular. Firstly, I was attracted to the UK by the opportunity to choose a degree program and specialize in a certain area of study from the very start. Moreover, I liked how the Scottish system gives you a bit of flexibility in the courses you choose during the first year or two of your degree, which is similar to colleges in the US.
Secondly, as I wanted to study international business, it was quite logical to experience living abroad. The University of Edinburgh is particularly good for studying any degree that has an international aspect to it because students here come from an incredible range of countries, backgrounds, and cultures. This makes class discussions much more lively, engaging, and ultimately more useful.
What do you enjoy the most about your degree programme?
The best aspect of my degree programme has been the opportunity to be part of a truly international community, both academically and personally. Through my courses, I have been able to engage with academics who play an important role on the world stage. Similarly, the diversity of people on my course at Edinburgh is second to none—everyone has a unique story and is, more often than not, happy to tell it. This starts from the very beginning of your experience at Edinburgh with your halls of residence (for example, my closest neighbors came from Australia, Croatia, France, India, South Africa, Spain… and Philadelphia).
What opportunities did you take advantage of at Edinburgh?
In my time at Edinburgh, I’ve been able to explore the wide range of clubs (‘societies’) that students run. Most notably, I’ve regularly contributed to various publications across campus, and am now Editor-in-Chief of an opinion magazine called the Columnist, which I started in second year with two of my housemates.
I also have been able to take advantage of the various societies related to my coursework, such as FreshSight, a student-led consultancy that advises charities in Edinburgh. Through my work with this organization, I have been able to better understand and give back to the wider Edinburgh community, which has been an extremely rewarding experience.
Another important experience from my degree here was my third year abroad, when I studied in a prestigious Spanish university. What is great about going (even further) abroad from Edinburgh is that you can take advantage of the EU’s Erasmus program, which helps with funding and allows you to have a deeper connection with your host university than most programs from American colleges.
What words of encouragement would you have for students from your home state or province thinking about applying to Edinburgh?
Studying abroad, particularly at the University of Edinburgh, is a great experience if you’re looking for independence. The culture on campus is predicated on the idea that we are responsible adults from day one, and the self-directed learning style reflects this. While this may not be for everyone, I have immensely enjoyed the responsibility and autonomy students are given at Edinburgh. As I now think about my next steps, I realize that Edinburgh has given me the tools and confidence to forge my own path – something that I probably would not have gotten (as much) at an American university.
How would you describe Edinburgh in three words?
Dynamic, engaging, historic.
What are you hoping to do after graduation?
I have just completed a 10-week internship in London working at an investment bank, and I am hoping to pursue a career in a related field upon graduation.
That said, I am now focusing on my final year dissertation, which will discuss internationalization strategies of firms in the apparel industry. This is a topic that interests me greatly, and I hope to use the knowledge I gain researching this year in my career going forward.
If you would like to get in touch with Riley or another one of our North American students to find out more about what it’s like studying in Edinburgh, get in touch with Tessa and Shannon via email, and they will connect you!