I finally finished
my studies! In July I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a 2.1
Masters degree in Sustainable Development. In this post I’d like to share with
you my experience. I’d like to tell you what I learned, what annoyed the hell
out of me, what was wonderful, horrible and some tips on living/studying
abroad. It’s not a happy story, love story… It’s more like an adventure, an
experience, sometimes sad, desperate, but nevertheless amazing and all-worth
it.
Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye

The pictures
accompanying the post are from the roadtrip around Scotland that me and K went
on in June and from my mom’s visit in July. I’ll talk about that later here as
well. For more pics of Edinburgh click on the tag in the right sidebar —->

K the sheepshagger
How
it started
I was studying
International Baccalaureate at the British International School in Bratislava.
I received a scholarship so I didn’t have to pay tuition fees. It was a wonderful prep to get into best unis abroad.
However, that wasn’t really my plan, because I knew my family couldn’t support
me financially. So I applied for the more unis in Bratislava and Prague. Since
everyone was applying to the UK unis through UCAS, I thought I might as well
give it a try and see if I can get in. The Edinburgh Uni was my choice, because
the EU students don’t have to pay tuition there and it’s a top 10 best uni in
Europe. The degree I picked (Sustainable Development) looked like the most
interesting thing to me, that I could have possibly imagined at that time. I
guess I still had hope that maybe I could go. Maybe.
Harry Potter train (for real)
So
I got a high IB score, I got into Edinburgh uni, but I picked Prague’s Karlova
uni to study some very vague and broad humanities degree. One afternoon in June
2011, the headmistress called me to her office to tell me that the company who
owns the many British International Schools around the world (incl. the one in
Bratislava, mine) decided to offer me a scholarship to support me in Edinburgh.
They offered to pay for my rent and living costs for 4 years. I was shocked. I
had to decide within three or four days. My world was turned upside down. I
didn’t want to leave Tomáš behind
(remember him?)… It was a more difficult decision that one would have
expected. Someone’s throwing money at you so you can follow your dream and
you’re not taking it on the spot?
Fairy Pools
Fairy Pools
Despite all the
things I was worried about I still decided to go. It was just too of an amazing
offer to pass up on. So, full of excitement and hope I moved to Edinburgh in
September.
Isle of Skye
The Mermaid of the North
I
had left my boyfriend Tomáš, all
my friends and family behind to move to a city where it rains constantly,
everything’s way too expensive for me and where I’m the loneliest I had ever
been. This is what went through my mind at least a thousand times every day for
as long as the end of the year 2011. Every opportunity or holiday I got I was
on a smelly, crowded, expensive and annoying RyanAir flight home to Bratislava.
I hated RyanAir (I still do) but I loved it at the same time. I had to go home.
I had to see Tomáš, my mom. I was
spending all my money to go visit home (around £100 for a round trip + £50 for
a piece of luggage) every month at least. And yes, how could I have ever fitted
in somewhere when all I could think about was going home? I didn’t care at
first, I just wanted to go home.
The view from the Sleeperzzz
Ship Space: The Titanic museum in Inverness
The Silver Sands of Morar
The Coral Beach on Isle of Skye
The uni started and
that provided me with an ultimate way to occupy myself. I studied and read and
read, so much, every day. I loved the lectures, I loved tutorials, it was all
so interesting. It was quite hard for me to find friends at uni. I used to go
to lectures with 300 people and it was just all too impersonal. My flatmate
Camille, for example, had spent all her years at uni with one class of 30. They
were all good friends. I wasn’t as lucky and to this day I’ve only ever made 2
friends directly at uni, in my lecture/tutorial.
Ship Space
The city was so
different, vibrant and beautiful, I thought. I could walk everywhere, no need
for buses, my uni campus was really nice, the Edinburgh architecture with the
Victorian/medieval vibe, so many sights, cafes, clubs, the beach. I finally got
to see some of the bands I loved live (The Drums, Justice, Wild Beasts, yea I
used to be an indie gurl). I lived 5 minutes from the biggest shopping street,
so I indulged a lot, trying out shopping therapy. More highstreet shops,
availability of awesome second hand clothing on Ebay, Edinburgh vintage
shops…
1:10 scale model of Titanic
At
the end of the first year I decided to start this blog. Walking the streets and
on campus I was exposed to people from all around the world and their very
different styles. I was inspired and I felt like I could bring something new to
the Slovak fashion blog scene. So the first time I went home for the summer I
immersed myself fully in blogging with a huge help and support from Tomáš.
Sleeperzzz our one night in a former circus wagon
2nd
year
Having found my new
passion I felt much better about going back. I now had something more than
studying to do. I started networking a little, meeting Edinburgh- or
Glasgow-based photographers and making friends. I moved to a small flat with my
best friend Laura and Camille who was my classmate at the British school in
Bratislava. We lived in the city centre some 10 minute walk from campus and the
castle. It was £300 but I still found myself broke because of travelling home a
lot. This year was generally more fun and I started to feel more at home in
Edinburgh, less depressed. Studying got easier and even more interesting.
The Coral Beach
Portree, Skye
Sleeperzzz
3rd
year
I
had to go back to Edinburgh. This time I really really didn’t want to. I felt
like if I had gone me and Tomáš would
never work it out. That was my main purpose of my existence at that time – to
get him back. I thought I couldn’t live without him. My mom had to work hard to
make me see that I need to finish studying. I’m very grateful for that. Again I
found therapy in blogging. I worked the hardest that year shooting few times a
week and posting every other day.
Sleeperzzz
My mom and the bagpiper
Old College, my uni campus
4th
year
I had a busy summer
blogging. It was really amazing. Me and Ivan produced much of our best work. We
moved in together in Prague for 3 months. Going back to Edinburgh for the last
year I felt more hopeful than ever. I was really looking forward to it. My dissertation
was due in spring 2015, so I started working on it still in summer. Edinburgh
never looked better and never felt so amazing. And it was all because finally I
had someone there who was such an amazing support, fun, like-minded and who
gave me a positive outlook on almost everything… K. <3 Exploring
Edinburgh/Scotland was never more fun.
Edinburgh Old Town
Arthur’s Seat
We decided to go on
a roadtrip around Scotland. It was 4 days of travelling around, seeing
breath-taking sceneries, experiencing Scotland’s natural wealth and staying at
quirkiest hotels, hostels and a sleeper train. It was pretty expensive (to rent
a car if you’re under 24 costs you an additional £180 in insurance), but worth
every penny. I was so happy that I finally got to see everything, but a bit sad
that I hadn’t been undertaking these trips all along right from the start.
Clootie Well
Clootie Well
Clootie Well
Fourth year was hard
work. I’m talking 8 hours a day reading and writing for months on end. My
supervisor had me rewrite chapters of my dissertation about a hundred times.
She was so supportive, but pushed me hard, but believed in me. I wrote about
sustainable fashion in Slovakia. I learned a great deal about sociology of
fashion, consumption, fashion industry in Slovakia and fashion under socialism.
In fourth year I realized (I know, super late) that given what subject area I
studied it was always possible to spin the topics my way. I used to go for
essay topics that were safe – basic questions set as examples by the lecturers.
I wish someone had told me not to do that. Because in fourth year, discussing
the relationship of fashion blogging and feminism in one essay, I realized that
I could have been doing this all along. Choosing a broad topic and then
spinning it to suit my point of interest.
Calton Hill
Princes Street
I had politics
classes about feminism since third year, but it started to interest me
profoundly in the fourth. I focus on the topic of gender in most of my reading
nowadays. I’m not shaving again, but now I’m not worried anymore (more about
this soon).
Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness
Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness
Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness
What
annoyed me
It rains. THE.
WHOLE. TIME.
Edinburgh flats.
Small, expensive, run down, broken, unavailable, hard to land. The rigid
renting rules made my head spin almost daily.
Partying until 3AM.
Edinburgh city policy. Lights switch on at 3AM and off you go home, wherever
you are in Edinburgh. Also no alcohol after 10PM and before 10AM. Well, I
wanted to party longer…
Everything’s *dayum*
expensive. I know this is relative, but be prepared to get a part-time job.
What you pay for textbooks on average can amount to £300 a year. Mobil bills
are relatively cheap. Giffgaff only £15 for unlimited texts, calls and
Internet. Tesco food shopping for a week at least £60. Bus pass for a student
is some £40 per month.
The (non-existent)
fashion scene. Edinburgh is not a city where there are lot of people involved
in fashion. Glasgow is much better for this.
Moving at the end of
each year was a pain in the ass. I always had to send boxes of stuff home via a
transport company and it was always about £80 for 2 boxes of 20kg.
A flower bed somewhere in Edinburgh
What
was wonderful
Scotland. It is a
beautiful country and I only got to find out on the roadtrip.
The
amount of info that was thrown at me every day. With
hindsight, I learned a lot. Most parts of my subject area were fascinating.
I made friends for
life.
Haggis, neeps and
tatties (and gravy). I’ll miss it.
Laura . A pretty
wonderful Scottish lady and my best friend/flatmate.
Freedom. I could do
whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
K. I fell in love.
<3 somewhere in Scotland
N.B.: I’d like to tell you everything, but I can’t.

NEW PICS added. I realized I had forgotten to develop one of the films 😀 Standard Melisa…

Aberdeen beach

Aberdeen beach

My mom in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

One of the world’s largest (2,5m) and smelliest flowers (Amorphophallus Titanum) has blossomed for the first time

The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Lossiemouth beach

Lossiemouth beach

The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Portobello

Amazingly big water-lilies 

The Shipspace, museum of Titanic

Me and my mom used to make these poppy princesses all the time when I was little 🙂

K makes killer steaks

My Edinburgh garden