Getting Used to Edinburgh…

… by Eddie / from Hong Kong / MSc Statistics with Data Science / PG

Hello everyone, I am Eddie. I am now studying MSc Statistics with Data Science at the University of Edinburgh. If you are thinking about pursuing a Masters degree, you should never rule out the University of Edinburgh. This is in a beautiful country, great city, and it is an excellent university.

I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. This is my very first time leaving Asia. Honestly speaking, everything in Edinburgh looks a bit strange to me, like the huge supermarkets, no skyscrapers, and streets becoming empty after 11 pm. I was expecting Edinburgh would be pretty much like Hong Kong, just less busy or people feeling less stressed. But it turns out that Edinburgh is a totally different city from Hong Kong. I was quite shocked about some of the differences. Some of the changes can be easily adapted to, but some are more difficult. I am still trying to get used to all these changes.

One of the great changes is about the people. The University of Edinburgh is an international university and I have met people from all around the world here. It is interesting to have conversations with people coming from different cultural backgrounds as there are so many customs or traditions I never imagined existed. For example, I did not expect there to be some people eating bread with their every meal, whilst one of my friends from Europe did not expect the Chinese-style bread to be hot instead of cold. These subtle cultural differences may look like nothing to you, but it means a lot to me. At least it reminds me that the world is bigger than I expect.

Apart from your classmates and friends, the professors here are also helpful. You are always welcomed to ask questions in or out of the lectures but do remember to make appointment if it is outside the lecture or office hour. I have heard from an alumnus that he used to ask professors questions once a week. Moreover, my personal tutor Dr. Carvalho did help me a lot in the previous semester. The scheme of assigning a personal tutor to each student is beneficial. As an experience scholar, my personal tutor gave me a lot useful advice about my academic planning. This is also why I enjoy the life in Edinburgh where I meet amazing people.

However, life is not always easy. As I mentioned above, there are bad changes moving from Hong Kong to Edinburgh. One of the most significant bad changes for me is about food. In Hong Kong or most of the Asian cities, it is convenient and easy for you to find a restaurant or convenience store to have meal at any time, even after 11pm. But it is a different story here. Most of the restaurants here close before 9pm. Also, it is hard to find an affordable restaurant that you can go to every day, or at least I can’t afford it. The only solution I have found is to learn how to cook. But obviously, it is still a bad solution.

If you are used to the restaurant life like me, be prepared to spend your money, or learn some recipes.