For me, my time as visiting student at Edinburgh is the best semester in my college life.
It’s impossible for anyone not to fall in love with this city's afterlife here. If you’re a Harry Potter fan like me, I am sure you will be amazed by this city at the first glimpse. The imposing castle, elegant galleries, ancient cathedrals……Historically, environmentally, aesthetically, architecturally, and socially, this is a perfect place. Every time I viewed the city from the top of Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill, I wouldn’t miss J.K. Rowling’s magic world again, cause I lived there.
My experience of studying in the University of Edinburgh is as wonderful as the city. As a visiting student, I can select courses freely with their undergraduates. So I could try courses I would never have a chance to take at UIC. I was very lucky to learn from well-respected brilliant professors. They were excellent scholars in their respective fields, but they won’t make the classes “scholarly boring”. Instead, they tried their best to make knowledge easily accepted by us. They were always willing to clarify whatever stupid questions students asked.
Another notable thing of their classes, which is my favourite part of their university education module, is the weekly tutorial section. Discussion-based tutorial is a common practice in most British universities, especially for humanities courses. This form of class requires students to think critically after listening to lectures by professors and reading related materials. On tutorials, usually under an open topic, everyone is encouraged to speak out their wildest ideas and explore academic questions. In my own understanding, the habit of reading and the ability to think creatively is crucial to one’s academic career, the experience of taking such sections is inspiring.
If I am asked by anyone whether joining an exchange programme is a good idea, I will say yes in a heartbeat. Studying abroad at the undergraduate level provides you a first-hand experience to take the shoes of our peers in other countries. It not only strengthens your academic ability, but also trigger you to test your limits in many aspects. Some of my friends asked “what’s the requirement for studying abroad, do I need to be very fluent in English, does a high GPA required?” My answer is “If you are brave enough to do it, then do it. Put ‘consequences’ behind, it’s an adventure worth taking.” And if you allow me to do some advertisement, Edinburgh is the best!
吴昆炽 Media and Communication Studies