The gothic streets of Edinburgh are far from reminiscent of a Mediterranean destination, and yet enclaves of Hispanic culture can be found across the city. Edinburgh houses one of the largest Spanish expatriate communities in Europe, so students that study Spanish can count themselves lucky to live in a city with such a wealth of opportunity.
Located on Lothian Street opposite George Square, Boteco is an obvious choice for a night out, favoured by both students and Spanish natives alike. Walk in any night of the week and you are guaranteed to encounter vibrant Hispanic music and eclectic cuisine.
For more adventurous students, El Barrio on Hanover Street is a popular option. While it may be pricier, the self-described Cuban ‘home of mojitos’ offers free weekend salsa classes. Equally, through the University’s Spanish Society you can frequently find one-off ‘Latin nights’ hosted in bars throughout the city.
If you’re looking for something a little more cultural, the Edinburgh Spanish film festival will be paying homage to Spanish language films from both Spain and Latin America between 6 and 15 October. In recent years the festival has gained acclaim for screening a wide variety of documentaries and dramas. This year’s edition continues to look equally exciting with a programme promising plenty of ‘love’ ‘drama’ and ‘melodrama’.
For more politically minded Spanish students, getting involved with the Spanish Workers in Edinburgh movement offers a way to kill two birds with one stone. In the wake of the growing Spanish migration to Scotland, Spanish Workers in Edinburgh was founded to safeguard rights for migrants in low-paid jobs. Attending Spanish Workers in Edinburgh marches and campaigns is an excellent way to extend a hand to the Spanish community of Edinburgh, while interacting with native Spanish speakers.
With so many options, supplementing your studies need not be a chore. Rather, living in a city as diverse as Edinburgh makes extra-curricular activities an inevitable part of your student life.