The hilly capital of Scotland is known for its historical vibe which might explain the number of tourists who flood the city each year, making if the second most popular destination in the UK (after London). But, in addition, the city is also one of the major financial centres and an incredibly popular expat destination.
If you have recently made the move to Edinburgh and are looking to either meet some other international people or improve your English, the Edinburgh English International Meetup Group is meant just for you.
The Meetup group was founded in 2012 and has been uniting the international crowd in Edinburgh ever since. As we already mentioned, it has a two tier mission: help anyone improve their spoken English skills by organising language exchanges and serve as uniting force to bring together expats from all origins and cultures.
The group boasts over 3000 members and their events are usually attended by around 10-15 people – the perfect size for a cozy and fun evening for a language exchange. The events welcome everyone from beginners to native English speakers looking to help others improve their language skills.
True to the Scottish spirit, the group meets every week at the Scotch Hop Bar – a stone’s throw (granted, it’s a long throw) away from both the University of Edinburgh and Holyrood Park. The official address is 114 Causewayside.
There are currently two recurring events organised by this Meetup group, although both of them have the same basic layout.
Every Tuesday, the group organises a language exchange event (with beers) at the abovementioned Scotch Hop Bar. The events start at 8 pm and you are welcome to join any one of them. The great part is that the Tuesday events are usually alse attended by a native English teacher who can give you some tips for improving your English.
Additionally, you can attend the same event every other Sunday, starting also at 8 pm. On Sundays, there are no private teachers but you should still take part for some high quality conversation practice in a relaxed environment.
To attend any of the events, just join the Meetup group, choose the event you would like to take part in, and click RSVP. That helps the organisers to know how many people are coming and prepare better language exchanges.
You can find the best information about which events to join from the group’s upcoming events calendar.
Unfortunately, there are not many international language exchanges that currently take place in Edinburgh. Sure, you can organise your own tandem exchange but for bigger events, the choice right now is quite limited and Edinburgh International English is definitely the most active and well-organised from the options available.
In addition, some of their events are attended by professional English teachers who can help you improve. And, although you are expected to buy a drink to support the bar, the events themselves are completely free for participants.
Photo credit: Edinburgh International English photo album.