Scotland: An Experience I Will Never Forget Past Review

By (Equine Science, William Woods University) for

Adelante: Edinburgh - Equine Summer Program in Scotland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better understanding of the equine industry abroad, as well as the differences in education abroad. I really liked the education that I got, but I loved the social portion and the people I was able to connect with. I made friends in this program that I intend to keep for life. I gained the understanding that educational systems abroad can be very different, and the customs may be different, but it is still possible to find connections with the local students and staff. I became more aware of the political situation in Ireland, and realized that even though I have lived a fairly sheltered, safe life, people my age still see and experience violence due to religious and cultural differences. I intend to continue with my current courses of study, but this program did make me consider much more seriously working abroad, completing a degree abroad, and/or traveling more extensively.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Oatridge College
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Different style of education, more traditional vs. new-school. Only one big project/test at the end instead of multiple quizzes or tests along the way. Overall not incredibly challenging, but still valuable educational materials and experiences. The courses I took - Equine Anatomy and Physiology and Equine Fitness - were intersting and useful for my field. I did not find the educational program particularly challenging, but it could just have been a difference in educational systems. I am more familiar with weekly or bi-weekly assignments or exams, and our summer program only included one large assignment and one large test, at the end of the courses. I did have to study, and I feel that I learned a good amount of information, but the courses were not particularly rigorous.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Helpful, generally clean facilities. Rooms provided were cleaned weekly, with the trash emptied every day. However, there were slight privacy issues due to the fact that the cleaning staff did not always comply if you asked them to not come in or to wait. Program size was very nice, although smaller than intended. The nine in our group got along quite well, and I made friends that I intend to keep for life.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Felt generally safe, with the exception that I lived on the ground floor, and there would sometimes be local students socializing a few feet from my window at night. We really only needed to buy some food, and tended to split a taxi if we wanted to go into Edinburgh. I spent most of my money on souvenirs. We lived in relatively, new, clean dorms. I have no complaints about the amenities except that the cleaning staff would sometimes enter a room depsite requests for them to wait.

* Food:

Despite the fact that I was the ONLY vegetarian on the property, I was generally treated respectfully and was provided with a vegetarian option. I did eat a lot of pasta, but I never missed a meal because of lack of accomodation by the cooks. Quality of food was better than at my university. If future program attendees are looking for a place to dine in Edinburgh, I would suggest "The Butterfly and the Pig," a fun little restaurant. Also, there is a nice but fairly inexpensive Italian restaurant in the Grass Market area of Edinburgh. I did eat a lot of pasta because it was the only option, but the cooks did their best to make sure there was almost always a vegetarian option.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We got to know several of the local students, mostly due to their friendliness, not the program. However, there were many fun outings, and nigts out sponsored by the program saved us money on taxi fare. One suggestion would be to not have "nights out" starting at 7 pm on a wednesday, as no clubs appeared to open before 10 pm, and there was an awkward period between dinner and evening festivities. Ex: There was one night when we had a "Night Out in Edinburough," which began at 7pm, but most bars or clubs did not open until 10pm. There were many fun non-academic trips planned, and our group bonded very well, making the program itself and the excursions very fun. A few could have been planned better, as there were times when our excursion times did not match up with business hours.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As with any big city, it was advisable to be careful when in Edinburgh and not travel alone, but it did not give off any atmosphere of danger. We didn't encounter any safety issues minus some stolen beverages, which were likely a prank by local students. No health problems other than allergies and colds arose. We would have had to find our own doctor if we needed one, but I am under the impression that the host college would have tried to assist with transport if possible. No safety issues. We were treated as adults and allowed to travel as we wished, which holds its own level of risk, but we didn't experience any problems.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is a fine line between packing light and being prepared for any situation. You never know where you may end up, so try to pack for what you would like to do - everything from hiking to clubbing. Also, leave space for souvenirs! Lastly, be flexible and open to new experiences - you will have so much more fun than if you never deviate from the plan! Students who are willing to be positive, make new friends, and who wish to see a good overview of the equestrain sports and the history of Scotland should definitely choose this program.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Equine Fitness

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not incredibly challenging in terms of work or studying required, but it was a very good class with great practical experience. I left the class feeling that I had a good working knowledge of equine fitness, and a much more informed and refined ability to create a fitness program for almost any kind of horse.
Credit Transfer Issues: Because my institution does not offer this class, it will transfer as electic credits instead of for any specific class.