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SCOTLAND Edinburgh
I had the best time of my life and it was the epitome of my college experience. Excursions were great since I got to explore all over Scotland and the KEI Onsite Director was consistently helpful and attentive. Thank you KEI for making such a program affordable.

  Victoria Lepham
University of Houston
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Student life

Edinburgh is one of the world's great cities and renowned as a center of learning and discovery; studying here is a stimulating and inspirational experience. It's culturally diverse, historically significant, socially alive, environmentally aware, politically central and visually stunning. Students make up one fifth of the city's population, so there is a diverse social scene with live music at local pubs and festivals, restaurants and cafes, theaters and galleries, and museums and architectural wonders. Edinburgh also offers abundant outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing and much more.

Heriot-Watt has an active Student Union, lots of student clubs and excellent sport facilities. Students are encouraged to become active participants in campus life.

Housing & meals

Students live at the university residences on the Main Campus in Edinburgh or Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels. Students must live on the campus where they are taking courses. The Scottish Borders campus is for students taking fashion design and textile courses. The Main Campus is for all other students.

Most residences are organized into suites with a shared kitchen, bathroom and single and double-occupancy bedrooms. Most rooms have a telephone and Internet. A coin operated laundry is available in the residence halls.

The campuses offer several cafes. Edinburgh and Galashiels also has many restaurants, pubs and cafes. Most students take the opportunity to learn how to shop and cook regional cuisine by making their breakfast and dinner in the residence kitchen. Grocery stores and markets are in the surrounding neighborhood.

Getting around town

Edinburgh is one of Scotland's best connected areas with transport networks linking the city with the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond. The city is compact, making it easy to get around on foot. Biking is very popular. The center is cycle friendly: at peak times, cyclists are allowed to share the bus lanes and there is an extensive network of traffic free cycle routes.

Public transportation consist of buses and tram. Lothian Buses and First Buses are the main bus service operators. A new tram network is being created for the city, scheduled to be running by 2012.

There are two mainline train stations: Edinburgh Waverley in the city center and Haymarket in the West End. First ScotRail is the main operator of train services from Edinburgh to the surrounding areas and across Scotland. There are 50 daily train services between Edinburgh and London and the fastest route takes 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Galashiels is a busy town located between Edinburgh and Carlisle. Galashiels' history is closely tied to the textile industry. Some of the earliest textile mills were established in Galashiels during the Industrial Revolution. Today, it serves as the capital of the Scottish Borders.

Galashiels is connected to Edinburgh via the Borders Railway. A typical commute between the Borders and Main campus takes around 1 hour.

Phones & internet

KEI will provide a prepaid mobile phone shortly after arrival in Edinburgh. The KEI Onsite Director will explain how to use the phone. The phone will have a small amount of credit to get you started. Additional minutes can be purchased at numerous convenience stores. Internet service is available on campus.

Regional Director Onsite Director Olwyn Mannix
Edinburgh, Scotland


Hello. I was born and raised in Ireland. I earned an Honours Degree in History and Politics from the University College Dublin, and a Diploma in Law from the Dublin Institute of Technology. For 17 years I managed Over The Top Tours, a tour operator focusing on Ireland and the UK.

Although I am based in Dublin, I make regular visits to Edinburgh and work closely with the HWU international office to organize the orientation and field trips, provide advice about academic and social issues, and support students during the program.

I hope to see you soon.