5 September 2016

Miranda Carruthers- Expat in Edinburgh, Scotland

Miranda Carruthers- Expat in Edinburgh, Scotland

We’ve had the chance to talk to Miranda Carruthers, 26, a Canadian expat who has moved to Edinburgh, Scotland alone. Ms. Carruthers who has lived there for two years is an office worker.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I'm originally from Edmonton, Canada.


Q: What made you move out of Canada?

A: I've always wanted to see the world, at 23 I decided I couldn't wait to save money for an around the world trip. So instead I bought a one-way ticket to London and moved to Scotland under the Youth Mobility Visa.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: My work visa actually just expired last month, so now I'm back in Canada saving for my next adventure. I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland for the last two years.

Originally I was planning on living in London, but three months before my flight I decided I wanted to live in Scotland instead, London seemed like it would be too crowded. I picked Edinburgh purely based on photos I'd seen, and there's a castle in the middle of the city.


Q: How long have you been living in Edinburgh? What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Edinburgh?

A: I don't think any part of the move was that difficult. Although it did take a few months before finding a decent full-time job.


Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance were particularly difficult in Edinburgh? What was your experience with these?

A: I came to Scotland under the Youth Mobility Visa which is for youth under the age of 30 to move to the UK for up to 2 years. The visa itself is easy to get if you met the requirements, being under 30, having enough support funds, and being from one of the following countries-Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, or Taiwan.

Once you arrive in the UK with your visa, everything from getting a National Insurance number, opening a bank account, and registering with a doctor are easy. I've written posts on everything you need to know once you move to the UK on my blog Endlessly Changing Horizon.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I lived on my own.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Edinburgh? How did you manage to find a social circle in Edinburgh?

A: At first I found it hard to meet people, but once I started working I was able to meet people easily.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: Edinburgh is full of festivals in the summer, make sure you attend some of them, and try and get outside the city. The Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye are beautiful.


Q: How does the cost of living in Edinburgh compared to your home?

  • How much is a cup of coffee?

A: $3.00.

  • How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: $20.00 for a sit-down restaurant, you can get a meal at a fast food restaurant for about $10.00.

  • How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: $50.00 +.

  • How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: You can find cheap wine for about $6.00, and prices go up. Drinking in pubs is more expensive than drinking at home; a glass of wine in a pub will be around $6.00. A pack of cigarettes are about $11.00.


Q: How do you find the local culture and people in Edinburgh?

A: Everyone is very friendly and welcoming.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Edinburgh?

A: The negative things about living in Scotland are generally just the weather when it's not rainy it's generally gray and cloudy, and it's pretty expensive. The positive things definitely outway the negative. Edinburgh is a friendly and beautiful city full of history.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: With technology like Facebook, and Skype it's easy to get in touch with friends and family back home.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: Now that I'm back in Canada, I'm currently saving for the next year to travel. After that, I think I'll take advantage of more Working Holiday Visa's and move to New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands before I'm too old to use these visas.


Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: I think the hardest part about my experience has been away from friends and family back home.


Q: What tips can you give other expats living in Edinburgh?

A: Bring more money than you think you'll need, and don’t be afraid to move.


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Edinburgh?

A: The Chaotic Scot and Visit Scotland