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Why Edinburgh is the perfect pre-university destination

Choosing where to attend university can be an overwhelming decision. Even deciding if you want to attend can be difficult. As university study is completely different from what you’ve experienced before, you may need some help recognising what is most important to you – is it the teaching style, campus atmosphere, or the opportunities that the location provides?

If you would like a taster of the university experience before you make a final decision about your academic path, our tailored Preparing for University courses are ideal for you.   

Need some more convincing? Here are 5 reasons why Edinburgh is the perfect city for new students.

1. A small but vibrant city

With a population of around 500,000, our city is small but perfectly formed. You can walk almost anywhere in the city – it only takes minutes from the Central campus to the medieval Royal Mile – meaning you can easily explore without getting lost! It also means you can experience our unique mixture of bustling modern city, unbeatable tourism, and green spaces including the famous Arthur’s Seat, all within a short stroll.

2. Safe for students

Edinburgh is considered a very safe city. We have a low crime rate and have an open and welcoming attitude to visitors from across the world. That’s why the city visited by almost 4 million tourists per year, and our University has an exceptionally high proportion of international students, making up 43% of the total student body.

3. Connected to the world

You can travel to Edinburgh from almost anywhere in the world, either by flying directly to the city’s international airport or by travelling via London. From the airport, it is only a short tram or bus ride to the city centre and to the University’s student accommodation. Edinburgh is well connected by train to the rest of the UK, and it is also a great base to explore the rest of Europe, with low-cost flights available to many of the continent’s major cities.

4. Mix classrooms with culture

The University’s central location makes it incredibly easy to balance studying with summer relaxation. During the summer months, you can enjoy many of Edinburgh’s eight international festivals, discover our multitude of galleries and museums – most of which are free to access – or explore the nooks and crannies of the neo-classical New Town and medieval Old Town, both of which happen to be UNESCO World Heritage sites.

5. Outstanding student support

The University of Edinburgh prides itself on the level of support it can offer to students. From the University of Edinburgh Student Association (EUSA) Advice Place to the on-site doctor’s surgery and chaplaincy, as well as 24-hour staff support at our student accommodation, our staff and students will be there to help you at all times. Our Preparing for University students will also be assigned a student buddy, currently studying at the university.   


Offering a special mix of study, skills development, and social activities, our Preparing for University courses are the perfect way for high school students aged 16-18 to try out the university experience. The two courses offered focus on Humanities or Social Sciences, giving you the opportunity to learn subject-specific skills for your future university career.