31 January 2020

Niscanthyni Sivasaravanabavan covers her favourite aspects of Welcome Week, the week before you officially start your academic semester.
Welcome Week Event with Umbrellas in Old College Quadrangle

Welcome Week is an opportunity to familiarise yourself with Edinburgh and the University, and start settling in. There is an app that can be downloaded from the University website which lists all the events available, including the ones that are specific to your programme. It is highly recommended that you attend Welcome Week to get essential things done such as completing your matriculation, opening a bank account, registering with a General Practitioner (GP), and all the other things necessary to prepare for the upcoming academic semester.


The events happening during Welcome Week can be a great way to get to know the University and the city. I tried to attend as many events as I could, because I was not sure how much time I would have once I started all my courses. It turns out if you organise everything and are prepared, you can make enough time for social events. Still, I wanted to hit all the tourist spots with people who knew their way around the city, and get to know the ins and outs of the University to make it easier later on.

There are so many events to choose from: some are more programme-specific, whereas others are more interest-orientated, such as sports, cooking, movies, and so on. Welcome Week also allows you to join any clubs and societies which the University offers. There are so many options to choose from that there should be something for everybody.


Another fantastic thing is that the events are all spread out around the different campuses. Therefore, you get to explore all the different buildings which you probably would not get to explore otherwise, as most of your classes will probably take place in one building. I attended all the programme-specific events, and also tried to check out the ones where you get to see more of Edinburgh, such as climbing Arthur's Seat.

I also figured this would be a great way to meet new people—and it was—although most of the people I met during these events I never saw again. So if you feel stressed about the fact that you haven't made friends during Welcome Week, don't worry, because you usually only meet your tribe once you start your classes as these are the people you'll spend the most time with, along with your flatmates.

Plan for the Unexpected

I know sometimes things don't go as planned, and issues arise such as with your visa or not being able to find accommodation, so it may be the case that some people might miss Welcome Week. In situations like that, contact the University so that they know what is happening and are aware that you will still be attending the programme. I know some people who came a day before their classes started, because of unpredictable circumstances.

I would highly recommend coming to Welcome Week, not only for the compulsory events, but also because it is a lot of fun.

Niscanthyni Sivasaravanabavan is studying for the MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation