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    Hi! So I've been lurking around this forum for a while trying to figure out more information about Edinburgh. I'm 95% sure I'm going to be there in the fall (my other option is Bristol but that's a very distant second).

    Since my school doesn't have an exchange program with Edinburgh, I just applied directly to the university which is fine and all, but I don't know anyone else from my school that has gone to Edinburgh for study abroad. I have no idea where to live (self-catered vs dorms, proximities to class and social things, etc.) and want to get a better idea of what the social scene is like there.
    I plan on taking math and politics courses while I'm in Edinburgh so that also kind of complicates things since I could either choose to live closer to the math classes or the politics ones or I could pick somewhere in between.

    So what are the dorms like? The vibe I'm getting from when I've googled this stuff is that they are more expensive and the students usually come from wealthier backgrounds. That doesn't really bother me at all though because I've also heard that a good chunk of the exchange students also choose to live there.

    And what are the self-catered flats like? I'm used to living in an apartment but I'm not a huge fan of the idea of living with a bunch of first-years.

    And social life? Pubs/bars? Athletics? I'm a pretty big skiier too though I doubt I'll be able to get any skiing in this fall.

    Thanks for any information you guys could give me!

    Hi rizc22, I'll keep my response fairly brief. The social scene in Edinburgh is what you make of it. If you stay inside all day you won't meet anyone. It's not a campus university, which means it differs from a lot of US universities.

    Whichever accommodation you end up in, you'll primarily be with freshers - in the UK it's very unusual for students in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year to stay in university accommodation. The standards are fine - certainly for a semester (about 12 weeks) there's no where worth specifically avoiding - it's such a short stay. If you don't want the hassle of cooking, consider Pollock Halls. But if you'd like to keep £50-£80 per week for doing other stuff, go self-catered instead. Having lived in both, they have their ups and downs - but there isn't one that's majorly better than the other.

    You probably won't be able to take Maths and Politics. While DRPS nominally allows it (and your personal tutor may cut you some slack because you're on exchange), it's highly unusual and there may be serious timetable clashes.

    There's a dry ski slope at the ski centre in Hillend (30 minutes on the bus) - http://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/20...wsports_centre

    In terms of skiing on real snow, the season in Scotland doesn't tend to start that early. A couple of years ago all three major ski centres in the Cairngorms were open the 2nd week in December which was a record.
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