After sorting your accommodation and making the all-important Ikea trip, ‘Welcome Week’ is likely to be the first thing on every new students’ mind. At The University of Edinburgh there are hundreds of activities going on every day, and although planning and choosing events for your first week is exciting, it can also be daunting.
To help you make sure you don’t miss any of Welcome Week’s highlights, The Student have compiled a guide to your first week in Edinburgh. From yoga and baking to drag nights and jazz, there’s something for you: whatever your interests are.
First, the important stuff. Don’t forget to register with a GP: although you can do it later, surgeries fill up quickly and you don’t want to be thinking about it when deadlines are looming. From Monday to Friday between 9am – 4pm, you can head to the University Health Centre and get registered.
The Academic Fair is also an important part of your introduction to Edinburgh. On Tuesday 12 be sure to get to 50 George Square between 12.30-4.30 to explore all your options for outside subjects.
After that, the choice is yours! If you’re a coffee (or tea) lover, kick the week off with an alternative tour of Edinburgh. Join Nightline, a support line for students, as they take you on a tour of the best cafés in Edinburgh. It’s a great opportunity to meet people outside of halls and to chat to Nightline about their work: the crawl sets off every day at 1pm from Teviot.
On Monday night, if clubbing isn’t your thing, Mondays are A Drag ft. Alyssa Edwards (of Ru Paul’s Drag Race) promises to be a full on night of high heels and big wigs, with an opportunity to meet Alyssa afterwards. If you’re a jazz fan, get down to Teviot on any night of ‘Welcome Week’ for Jazz in The Lounge, a more relaxed option for your first nights as a student.
On Tuesday 12, learn how you can make a difference at university at the Liberation Lunch from 12.30 – 1.30. Here, you can meet the current Liberation officers for BME, disabled, LGBT+ and women students and learn how you can get involved in their campaigns. Re-charge your activism throughout the day as Amnesty International host a Human Rights Tour of the city from 3-5pm. Get involved with this if you want to learn more about working with Amnesty in Edinburgh.
Wednesday 13 is the first day of the Activities Fair. Be sure not to miss it, as you can sign up to mailing lists and visit stalls run by all the university’s societies. (The Student will be there, so come say hi!). The fair will be held from 11-4 on the 13th and 14th at Pleasance.
Highlights on Thursday include How To Become a Journalist, an event held in Teviot’s New Amphion to give you an introduction to Student Journalism at the University of Edinburgh. Then, to meet people from the same country as you, or if you simply have an interest in Middle Eastern culture, the Middle Eastern Society holds an Arab Style T(EA) in the park, giving you the chance to try great food and get to know other students.
That night, the Students’ Association is holding Check Yourself, a night for BME, disabled, LGBT+ and female students and their friends, hosted by the university’s Liberation campaigns. You’ll be entertained by spoken word, drag artists and musicians before a night of dancing at the Wee Red Bar, the much loved ECA Union. It’s a great venue to get to know, with lots of brilliant and accessible club nights held there throughout the year.
On Friday afternoon, nurse your freshers flu with some Hatha Yoga at 1.10pm at the Chaplaincy, or get involved with the Dance Society’s taster session for all abilities, held in Pleasance at 3pm.
For all the information about events throughout the week, including times and meeting points, download the UoE Events app, or search ‘UoE Events Guide’. This is a week you can really make as relaxed or as jam packed as you want. It’s your ‘Welcome Week’, and if none of the above is for you, there will certainly be something on offer that is!
image: Katharine Cook