Biomedical Sciences

Susanne Olsrud Hotvedt (MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement)

Susanne Olsrud Hotvedt talks vinegary chips, hillwalking, and University bees.

Susanne Hotvedt

Why did you choose Edinburgh?

First and foremost because the degree looked very interesting. The opportunity for placements during the programme made University of Edinburgh a clear choice over other places in the UK that offer similar programmes. Also, I knew Edinburgh is a city with personality and lots of history, as I’ve been here on vacation some years ago. And last but definitely not least: nature is really close! As a Norwegian used to having mountains as the view from my living room, I wanted to study in a place with great nature. What’s better than walking up to Edinburgh’s highest point, the hill Arthur’s Seat, after a long day of studying? And it’s only some minutes from the city centre!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten in Edinburgh?

It must be potato chips with gravy and vinegar. Back home we only put salt and some ketchup on our chips (French fries), so that was definitely a new experience!

Tell us about culture shock. What does it mean, and how do you beat it?

I haven’t had the biggest culture shocks, as Norway is rather close both in culture and distance. But maybe the more formal dress code and polite language is what’s most different from back home. I’ve learned to start emails with “Dear”, and include words like “Please”, “Sorry”, and “Excuse me” in sentences more often. My top tip to beat such language differences is to listen to how the locals talk to each other, and try pick up some phrases.

What’s next for your studies?

When I’m writing this, I’m in the last months of my master programme. So my plan now is to use the skills and knowledge I’ve gained here at University of Edinburgh in an interesting job or PhD. As I already have a Masters in Biomedicine from back home, I would like to combine science and science communication in some way. Let’s see where it all leads me!

Have you joined any University groups?

I’ve been to some hiking trips with the Hillwalking club. The nature here in Scotland is magnificent, and joining the club is an affordable way to experience the Scottish Highlands. The University accommodation also offers lots of events; did you know that the University holds bees? Once I visited the bee hives, that was super cool! We had to wear these suits protecting us from the bees, you know the ones that look like space suits. So there’s definitely something for everyone here in Edinburgh! 

And finally…

Tell us about your happiest memory in Edinburgh.

What I’ll remember the most from my year here in Edinburgh is the people I’ve met. I live in an accommodation with people from all over the world, and we’ve shared food, traditions and stories together. Thinking about all we’ve done always makes me happy!

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