Study abroad in Edinburgh

Why choose Edinburgh? The student perspective

Hear what our students like most about studying here in our latest video about Study Abroad in Edinburgh, along with our top five reasons for choosing Edinburgh.

What’s it like in Edinburgh?

Let our current visiting students tell you about their experiences of the city as we follow the highs and lows of their year abroad in Edinburgh.

Study Abroad Blog 

Why choose Edinburgh?

Our visiting students reveal the top 5 reasons they chose to study with us here in Edinburgh:

1. The city

The University of Edinburgh is located in the very heart of Scotland’s capital; a capital which is consistently considered one of the most desirable places to live in the world, and is also ranked the greenest in the UK.

Wherever you are in Edinburgh you’re never far from nature.

The beauty of studying abroad in Edinburgh is that you’re not even close to being alone. 33.4% of the University’s students are international, and over five hundred people study abroad every semester. You know people are out there. The key is to start saying yes more often, because who knows? You might end up on a weekend trip that earns you a friend.

Aidan, Stumbling Upon Friends (Study Abroad Blog, November 2022)

Take a virtual tour

2. Tourism

Despite its small size (and population of around only 550,000 people), Edinburgh has all of the social and cultural assets of a city. It’s no surprise that Edinburgh is one of the UK’s leading tourist destinations, coming second only to London.

Studying in Edinburgh gives our students a chance to live in the Old and New towns of Edinburgh and explore them for themselves.

Nearly every day, I scour through the city, venturing to places I haven’t been yet. My curiosity is always rewarded with views of gorgeous structures, both man-made and natural. Everywhere I look, there is something that stops me in my tracks, making me question if my eyes are worthy to behold such magnificence!

Marko Mavrovic, Getting Lost in Edinburgh (Study Abroad Blog, January 2017)

With a wide range of museums, art galleries, theatres and cinemas, and playing host to 12 festivals each year (including the world’s largest arts festival) Edinburgh offers plenty to see and do all year round.

Our international airport and centrally located railway station ensure that we’re well connected to the UK and the rest of the world.

3. Reputation and ranking

The University of Edinburgh has been at the forefront of knowledge since it was founded in 1583.

Today, we’re proud to be one of the world’s top 50 universities*, ranked 19th among the world’s most international universities (44% international students).**

* QS World University ranking 2024

** THE Impact Ranking 2022

We welcome over 2000 visiting students every year and we’re pleased to say that each year over 90% of students say they would recommend the University of Edinburgh to others.

My experience at UoE was transformative: I learned so much about myself and the world around me.

Study Abroad student, Semester 1, 2020/21

4. Social life

We encourage our students to get involved with as many clubs and societies as possible whilst in Edinburgh, and there are over 300 to choose from: from Harry Potter to astrobiology, from chocolate to the Tango, there is a society out there for everyone!

Student societies

The University’s sport and exercise facilities are considered some of the very best in the UK, and with over 70 sports clubs to choose from at the University of Edinburgh it’s easy to keep fit and healthy whilst studying here.

Edinburgh also has a great nightlife and all of the bars, clubs and venues you might expect from a vibrant capital city.

We’re really proud of our student-run Erasmus Student Network Edinburgh, which is a great place to socialise and have a coffee with fellow students. The Erasmus Student Network Edinburgh also organises events and subsidised trips for international students, which are a great way to explore Scotland and parts of the UK.

Erasmus Student Network Edinburgh

It was an amazing and unforgettable time! Interesting and useful lectures, friendly international students, supportive tutors… I miss it all so much!

Erasmus Exchange student, Semester 2,  2020/21

5. Personal safety and security

Edinburgh is generally considered to be a very safe student city, with a low crime rate.

The University of Edinburgh regularly receives very high satisfaction ratings for safety and security in the International Student Barometer survey.

Regardless, we are not complacent about safety and security and provide a variety of guidance and advice to our new visiting students.

Student Safety and support

One more thing…

The University of Edinburgh is proud to have a diverse student body, including over 11,000 international students from more than 180 countries.

To find out more about what Scotland has to offer international students then please see the ‘Scotland Welcomes the World’ campaign website, established to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of Scottish education across all 19 of the country’s higher education institutions.

Scotland Welcomes the World