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Masters advice. Edinburgh, Exeter, or London.

Pilot

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This thread is for my girlfriend. I figured you guys would have some experience actually living or experiencing these places.


She is going to get her master next fall in some type of Ancient History, Archaeology, or Egyptian History.

She is looking at Exeter, Edinburgh, and London for schools.

Just wondering if yo guys could give a pros and cons to each city, personal experience, etc..

She will be living in the international dorms at whatever school she goes to. All the schools offer the field of study she wants. Shes a tennis player and could play on the school team in London. She could also study abroad in another European destination if she went to London.

I think Exeter is kind of out in the country. Edinburgh looks like a cool university


So lets hear some input.


Besides London is expensive etc...
 
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Edinburgh: Pros - Everything. Cons - Weather.
London:pros - Everything. Cons - Weather. Cost.
Exeter: Pros - Don't know. Cons - It kinda sounds like excreter. Wait. That's a pro.
 

culverwood

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Edinburgh and Exeter are small towns although Edinburgh is beautiful. London is London. Good and bad but great if you like big historic cities. If she is looking for a place to stay in London, Goodenough has an international crowd http://www.goodenough.ac.uk/ The colleges in London are more specialised and places like SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) are often the best in their field.
 

Tangfastic

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I don't know what institution she's considering in London, but anywhere I can think of that does Ancient History / Archaeology has a good reputation, no worries about Exeter or Edinburgh for academic reputation either. I'd imagine Edinburgh and London may have a higher international profile, though don't know if this is a consideration. UCL has always had a particularly good reputation for archaeology.

I disagree that Edinburgh is a small town, it's around half a million people and easy to get to Glasgow from. Culturally it punches above its weight too. Exeter is a small town, and quite remote, over an hour to Bristol and probably 3 hours to London by train. It depends on what she's looking for.
 

Pilot

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Thanks guys. This is exactly what I'm looking for. She is very much about the historical/cultural aspect of a town. She adores everything about history and wants to highly educated in a historically rich area. I believe this is the program she is looking for in London. http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/pg/egyptology/egypt.html
 

ysc

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If she can stand the weather, and the courses are about equal she should go to Edinburgh. I went to uni near Edinburgh, so I visited it fairly often and really regretted not studying there in the end, it has a lot going for it.

Exeter is a decent university, and the town is ok, but I have never really liked it and it is not nearly as nice a place as Edinburgh. It does have good sports though, so I would think she could find a tennis team there too.

London is a cool city, but it is not really a great place to be a student. Most of the things that make a big city great you can not/will not really do as a student.

Edinburgh is pretty small for a city, but as tangfastic notes punches well above its weight culturally, it is also beautiful and has pretty decent night-life. It is much cheaper than London and is small enough that you can bicycle/walk around it pretty quickly. I know a lot of people who went to university there, but not one that had a bad time, which I can not say of the other two. The weather is bad though.

Presumably she is an american? In which case tell her to be really careful/on the ball with her Visa application, I have several friends from the states who are studying in the UK and have had real trouble with their Visas, despite everything being nominally in order. One has had to delay starting at UCL by several weeks and another has had to defer for an entire year.
 

Infrasonic

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Another vote for Edinburgh here (and I'm an exiled Londoner).

London's a great place for people with lots of money, and a shit place to live if you haven't. (IMHO)
 

Pilot

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^^^ She is Canadian. I believe she is already working on getting her Visas. (not totally sure) Her mother is British so I think she is working on filling out paperwork for her British citizenship as well.


Great advice thanks
 

steezin

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Unless she needs the obvious features of massive city, I would definately choose Edinburgh.

I was born in London but have lived in Edinburgh for the majority of my life so I have first hand experience with both and Edinburgh is fantastic, particularly for a student. It is a large enough city to cater for, well, just about everything, and even if it doesn't then Glasgow is very likely to and that is under an hour on the train. London, as like most large cities can be quite daunting and it will obviously take alot longer to get a feel for the place as a whole.
Edinburgh is also full of beautiful and historical archaeolgy and in my opinion (and many others agree) is easily the most attractive city in the UK. Obviously London has alot to offer but it is not nearly as comfortable a place to live (especially on a restricted budget). Edinburgh uni also has a great reputation and the buildings tend to be very attractive and fitting with the finer parts of the city.

Hope this helps!
 

gc370

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Edinburgh gets my vote as well.

As mentioned before it has an impressive amount of cultural offerings for a city of its size. I've had a number of Canadian friends do both undergraduate and masters study there and each of them had nothing but good things to say about the place (with the exception of the weather perhaps). Another benefit over Exeter is that Edinburgh is serviced by both easyjet and Ryanair, making student friendly trips to the continent feasible.

London was a bit more hit and miss. If she's accustomed to the North American campus style, London will be a bit of a shock. Be prepared for long commutes as residences are often quite a distance from faculty buildings, let alone athletic facilities. On the plus side, London offers everything you'd expect from a world city in terms of theatre, cuisine and shopping. But as ysc and Infransonic rightly pointed out, most of these aren't accessible for your average student.
 

Not Ed Harris

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Which university in London is she looking at?

Having grown up in the Scottish borders and having lived in London since leaving university I'd say either Edinburgh or London.

London has some excellent schools for postgrad study and while it can be a bit expensive, it isn't too hard to find interesting/fun things to do that you can afford. A lot of the international halls are in Bloomsbury, which is a lovely bit of town.

Edinburgh is lovely though, and one of the few cities in the UK I'd consider moving to from London. It manages to combine being small and friendly with all the cultural and historic stuff anyone can reasonably need. There's decent enough shopping, and if you go for a short trip out of town, the coastline down past the border is beautiful. Cost-wise though, it's not necessarily that much cheaper than being in London.

I'd probably discount Exeter unless the course is very good. It's a bit of a provincial town, and if you're flying in from Canada, a pain in the ass to get to. This might not be so much of an issue for her, but if you want to go and visit her then its an additional hassle that you can do without.
 

hypostatic

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Although Edinburgh is my favourite city, I'd STRONGLY suggest she consider St Andrews, which is about an hour away, and ranked higher than Edinburgh. I did my masters there in Ancient History (I'm Canadian, too), and had the time of my life, and worked with some of the most brilliant scholars.

I'll be happy to answer any questions she may have. But from that list, definitely Edinburgh. It's not even worth debating.
 

mclean

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Edinburgh, definately! Beautiful compact city, great bars and shops and nice peeps.
 

Raxxman

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I found Edinburgh to be full of pretentious student posers who didn't make it to Oxford or Cambridge. If you can avoid them then it's nice enough, but rather small.

London, the big issue is housing costs, after that it's not actually much more expensive than any other city I've lived in (Brum, Shef, Leeds, York, Edinburgh) anymore. If you can get over the housing cost London simply has so much more to do in it than Edinburgh.

You need to have the city life style mentality to enjoy London, but anyone I know who does just thinks it's much better than anywhere else they've ever lived in.

After living in both, for me, I prefer London over Edinburgh.
 

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