Memoirs of an Exchange Student - part 1: The End Is Nigh

The end is nigh, as they say. A week from when this issue of BTSB comes out I take my leave for Edinburgh. I’m still having trouble to actually picture myself living in Edinburgh with only a handful of people I know and sharing a flat with three complete strangers. I am lucky to have found two of my three future flat mates on Facebook, though, but the total number of my acquaintances in Edinburgh is still to just five persons. The thought is a scary one. I have always had many friends and I like to socialise with people, so the first few weeks (or months, even) might be lonelier than what I am used to. But thank goodness for the Internet and phones, I will not be completely cut off from friends and family. Skype even allows me to have a video chat with my dog! The end of something is always the start of something different. Always looking at the bright side of things, this next year is going to be awesome. I am going to move to a place I’ve only once visited before (that was for about three hours six years ago), but already love. I get to improve my spoken English, live with native English speakers (at least two of my new flat mates are Scottish, which is incredibly cool!) and study things I’ve been interested in for almost as long as I can remember. Also, I do know three other Finns from Edinburgh so I won’t be completely alone and I’m going to continue at least one of my hobbies once I get settled.

I admit I have high expectations of the exchange. Of course, I know anything can happen and I might end up hating everything related to Scotland. Still, spending time abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do and now I finally have a perfect chance to do that. And the university even pays me for doing it!

In a nutshell, a week from moving, I’m excited, scared shitless, and panicking. Promising, eh?

The writer is a third-year English philology student with a minor in British and Irish studies. She will be spending the year 2011-12 as an exchange student at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. During her stay there she hopes to get better acquainted with the Scottish culture and learn to at least imitate the Scottish accent as well as make the most of the extraordinary scenery the country has to offer.

A Guide to An Awesome Freshman Year: Do's and Don'ts

Poetry: A New Beginning