Destination Edinburgh winner loves the city’s parks, museums - and the Meadows tennis courts
An American who won a prestigious contest to study in Scotland was blown away by the sights and sounds of Edinburgh – and its tennis.
Michelle Moreau was awarded a place on an MSc in International Tourism Management course after winning the Destination Edinburgh competition.
Her video love letter to the city came out top in an online public vote last year, giving her the opportunity to take up a full fees-paid scholarship to Edinburgh Napier University.
Today (October 31), as she graduated from the course, she reflected on the experience – and some of the unexpected highlights of her year-long stay in the country.
Michelle, 26, 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.
“However, 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, came out on top in a contest which attracted tens of thousands of voters, winning a scholarship valued at $16,000, by focusing on the scenic views, parks, museums, fesitvals 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.
“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.
“I also had the wonderful experience of travelling around Scotland. The Highlands take my breath away every time I go, and other gems I found include Dunbar’s Close Garden, a peaceful escape from reality on the Royal Mile, the Stramash music venue in the city centre and North Berwick, a seaside town with a beach that reminded me of home.”
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.”