First Impressions: Ella


KIA ORA SCOTLAND! Welcome to my blog where you will get the raw details of my exchange experience!


After much deliberation about what to pack, I was finally all packed up and ready to set off on my new adventure around the world! I had never flown on a long haul flight before, so lucky for me, I had unknowingly booked myself on the longest flight in the world… Auckland to Doha @ 18 hours long!

After a 2 hour stopover and another 8 hour flight, I landed in Edinburgh at 06:20 Monday morning.


  • It literally smelt so weird! As soon as I stepped out of the airport it smelt like Maggi chicken noodles mixed with cigarettes!
  • So many people smoke cigarettes!?
  • I didn’t feel like I was in another country… it never sunk in for at least a week that I was in a strange place?

So it was 6 degrees outside but literally didn’t feel like it! I remember sweating when I was looking for my motel. I got lost by the way at 7am while it was pitch black and nobody I asked knew where I was trying to get to!

So I spent two nights in my motel in Edinburgh just doing all those cringe touristy things….


Finally, it was time to leave my motel and find platform 9 and three quarters to board the Saint Andrews express!

I had never been on a train before let alone by myself, so I literally felt like Harry Potter looking for Platform 9 and three quarters. It didn’t help that the wheel on my suitcase broke so I was dragging my suitcase along the ground all through the city!

I literally got a train, still not sure it was the right one, and took off to my new home.

Going through mainland Scotland made me appreciate the paradise I like to call home, everything was so dull and lifeless, and all the houses looked the same!!!! None the less I was still super excited…

After asking some random girl to share a taxi from the train station I arrived at Hogwarts… (Sorry uni hall, but you got nothing on this!)


Behold! Saint Salvator’s a.k.a “Sallies” is where I will be living while on exchange! May I just let everyone know this is the same place Prince William and Kate lived… literally like a few rooms down from my room!!!

Saint Andrews is an amazing little town – completely student oriented, and our campus is beautiful!



I got up early to go for a walk but it seems that everyone in this country sleeps till 8 am…


At this point, I am super excited and buzzing about everything. I don’t really have the mental capacity to process everything for what it is, but this will all come in due time.

I am looking forward to telling you what it’s like when reality finally hits…. the honeymoon period is treating me well.

Mā te wā,

Adobe Spark (4)

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