Year Abroad : What do our PPLS students think?

In your third year at Edinburgh, you can opt for spending your year abroad! You might find yourself studying while exploring new culture in New Zealand or working as a teacher in Japan. Thanks to our long history and reputation, Edinburgh university has a variety of destinations to offer. You will find plenty of practical information here and seminars held by the PPLS and the university throughout your first semester.

Therefore, I intend to offer a more ‘personal’ insight by interviewing two of my friends currently on their year abroad. Let’s see what they think!

Student A

Your name: Benedek Bartha

-What is your degree: Cognitive Science (MA)

-Your host university & country : Aix-Marseille University, France

-Why do you choose this university & country : Because I wanted to study in French, in a beautiful area, and at a university with a good Linguistics department

-What do you like about year abroad : Meeting many nice people and making new friends; exploring subjects I am interested in (like Linguistics) from new exciting perspectives; exploring new subjects (like Sanskrit, Jewish philosophy); visiting beautiful places in the south of France

-What do you think can be improved: students could be informed about potential benefits of their host university and country, for example, as a resident in France, we are entitled to a monthly financial support, but I only learnt this from other students when I got here; all practical and useful information and benefits of local life and of host university and country could be given as a more compact package upon arrival of students

-What do you gain from your year abroad: precious opportunities to discover new places and subjects, and meeting many nice and open-minded people

-Would you recommend going on a year abroad to other students : yes

Student B

-Your name: Flo McCarthy-Doig

What is your degree: Cognitive Science (humanities)

-Your host university & country : Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.

-Why do you choose this university & country: I applied to all of the options, and this was the one I was offered. Also there are courses offered in English.

 -What do you like about year abroad: I met a lot of new people, and got to get to know a new city. I’ve learned some German, and had the opportunity to experience a different style of university teaching.

-What do you think can be improved: the university knows very little about university in Germany. I had to figure out everything by myself, and the biggest help to me was the student who went before me. Luckily she was very obliging in answering my questions. It would be good if everyone who goes on a year abroad had to write a report, which the students who are going next can have access to.

-What do you gain from your year abroad: improved social skills and language skills, problem solving skills and independence. It has forced me to be more confident and self-sufficient. You also get to know another city in a way that you don’t when you just visit for a week or so.

-Would you recommend going on a year abroad to other students : Yes definitely. It’s a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.