Why Scotland?

Just over five years ago, I arrived in Edinburgh with everything packed into my two suitcases. I knew no one but Scotland had been pulling me towards it ever since I was lucky enough to visit Edinburgh for a long weekend while interning in Wales the year before.

I spent most of my teenage years, dreaming about living in the UK. Perhaps it was the Jane Austen films, the accents (Hugh Grant or Colin Firth in every 90s film), the cute princes or the sense of adventure. Probably a mixture of all of the above if I remember my 15 year old self. All I knew was that I needed to follow that pull that had followed me into my early twenties or I would wake up one day with regret. I’d rather live a life well lived than a life half lived in fear.

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So I jumped – or rather flew. I bought a one way ticket to Edinburgh where I studied for a master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh. I  knew no one but was lucky enough to find some amazing friends. I won’t say it is always easy chasing my dream – sure I had Europe on my doorstep but visas, job searches and life certainly tested and still tests my dream. I had (and sometimes still do have) my fair share of fearful moments, but I didn’t let it rule my life decisions.

When you achieve a dream – it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the “happy ever after”. It takes work to live your dream. It has its ups, downs and transitions and, like anything in life, it’s important to continue through these moments and appreciate them to live your dream. A realised dream is beautiful and sweet in all its complexity – not just a “happy ever after” dream that fades into the landscape. Living your dream carves character into your life and surrounding landscape so embrace it.

What dream(s) do you want to chase?

Video: The Lumineers – Scotland
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4 thoughts on “Why Scotland?

  1. This is my dream! I’ve thought about Edinburgh every day for 6 years. During those 6 years I’ve performed in the Fringe and spent a month there the following year. I even have pictures of my favorite places in Edinburgh here in my little cubicle in Chicago. My dream is to either pursue my Master’s at the University of Edinburgh, or to move there and live and work straight away. Would you think that emigrating as a student would help me significantly more in finding a job? To do that would I just apply or do I need a visa? Do you have any advise? I’ve looked up expat info, but I’m a bit lost.

    Thank you! This is an uplifting post.

    1. Hi Erin – thank you for your kind words! I completely understand your passion for Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh is very well respected in the UK and would definitely give you a leg up with UK employers. I would check out the UK Home Office/Border Agency’s website and look into their current policy for post-study visas for graduates of UK schools. I know they’re constantly tightening immigration control with the current Government but please don’t give up if this is your dream! Where there is a will there is a way and there are always opportunities. I know if you have a PhD, it’s easier and more flexible to get a Tier 1 visa to work afterwards. Let me know if you have anymore questions. Always happy to help. I’m currently on holiday is London and Edi with my good friend from Chicago so I may be a bit slow to respond but very happy to help. Don’t give up if it’s your dream! All the best x

  2. I’m happy to have found your blog, even if I am a bit late. I’m leaving New York to do my master’s at the Univerity of Edinburgh in the fall, and your entries about expat and post-grad life have really helped to settle some of my doubts. I’m so looking forward to my move! Cheers!

    1. Hi Gloria – thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Happy to hear that my post was able to give you a bit of peace (and excitement – I hope!) about the uncertainty.

      I’ve never regretted my decision to do my postgrad at Edinburgh. I met some amazing lifelong friends that I still see weekly. It’s a great base for traveling to Europe. Wishing you all the best with your prep – I’ll be posting more information on here soon that may help you out! Let me know how you get on!

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