A LOVE letter to the city won one American student the chance to study in Edinburgh in a year she said she “wouldn’t trade for anything”.
A video she created about Edinburgh came out top in an online public vote last year in a prestigious contest, giving her the opportunity to take up a full fees-paid scholarship to Edinburgh Napier University.
And following Michelle Moreau’s graduation yesterday at the Usher Hall she said she was “blown away by the sights and sounds of Edinburgh” as she reflected on the last 12 months.
She said: “Studying in Edinburgh was incredible.
“I was able to learn about tourism in a city that never sleeps for tourists, experience first-hand events and tourism products through my course, and was able to work with others who are passionate about both the tourism industry and learning itself.”
The 26-year-old was awarded a place on an MSc in international tourism management course after winning the Destination Edinburgh competition.
The keen tennis player also made time to enjoy her hobby. “I also spent a lot of time on the tennis courts.
“I joined the Meadows City Tennis Club near to my home, and was able to play as much as I wanted.
“I volunteered to be on the committee of the club, helped them with their social media and played in leagues and tournaments.
“It provided me with an outlet and a friendship group, which I was very thankful for.”
Applicants for the Destination Edinburgh scholarship were asked to submit a 90-second video pitch explaining what made Edinburgh a successful tourism destination.
Michelle, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, won the competition which attracted tens of thousands of voters, winning a scholarship valued at $16,000, by focusing on the scenic views, parks, museums, festivals and passionate people.
She said: “Having now completed the course, I wouldn’t trade my experience in Edinburgh for anything.
“It is a world-class capital city that is buzzing with exciting events and things to do all the time, and the Masters programme at the university is enriched by what is going on at its doorstep.
“I also had the wonderful experience of travelling around other parts of Scotland. The Highlands take my breath away every time I am able to go there.”
She added: “There were people from a host of different nationalities, backgrounds and walks of life on the course, and it is was interesting to hear different perspectives and fresh ideas.”
Claire Hope, Edinburgh Napier’s International Partnership Manager for the Americas, said: “We are delighted to have provided Michelle with such a positive and enriching experience while she has been in Scotland, and in the University.
“She has spent the past year with us recording and sharing her experiences on social media and we are confident that those watching from afar will decide to make their next destination Edinburgh.”