A bit rocky Past Review

By (Arcadia University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 04/29/2017 with

Arcadia: Edinburgh - Scottish Parliamentary Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A good understanding of domestic, British Politics and a slight understanding of the intricacies of British identity. I would like to live there and learn more.

Personal Information

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.

It was very strictly graded with only 5 weeks off class experience. Some of the teacher comments were rude. The style we were expected to write in was arbitrary and varied from teacher to teacher.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I wish the programme was longer. Ours was chaotic, but the coordinator tragically perished in the middle so it's hard to make a fair judgement.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a laundry list of complaints, but no living situation is perfect. Riego Street had everything that can be expected and was large and convenient.

* Food:

N/A I just went to grocery stores.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Part of our programme is mandatory tours of the city and they really deepened my connection with Scotland.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I needed a refill on prescription, went to a doctor, got it.

* Safety:

Never even felt threatened.

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

I've wanted to visit the UK since I was 10. I got an in-depth experience with the home nation I was least familiar with and had enough time to tour the whole island of Great Britain. The classes were hard and all feedback I received was disheartening. The people I worked with from Arcadia and in the Parliament were wonderful and I loved meeting them and working there. I hope to return in a few years pursuing work.


* 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)

I took out extra student loans from Discover to cover all expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I did not save well.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The mandatory immersion
  • The country
* What could be improved?
  • The teachers
  • More inclusive options for moving
  • Longer stay
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There was an Easter recess where we were free to travel for 2 weeks. I wish I had planned that and had my family visit during that period.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Scottish Politics

Course Department: Department of Governance
Instructor: David McCrone
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a dense class with a lot of graphs that was very biased towards independence. It's a course designed to prime us for working in Scottish Parliament, if you took this course and then were assigned to a Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MSP, you would have to overcome the biases this class had imbued you with.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, I'm a political science major and this counted as an elective.
Course Name/Rating:

Scottish Society and Culture

Course Department: Department of Governance
Instructor: Eberhard "Paddy" Bort
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the most informative class our programme had, I learned more Scottish history and about the Scottish people from this class than any other. The instructor died just before the finals, however, and was replaced with a different and much harder grader so most people I talked to did rather poorly.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

British Politics

Course Department: Department of Governance
Instructor: Mark Geddes
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Classes were long and boring. The intricacies of grading were nightmarish (I lost points for providing too much information). The lectures and readings managed to be very boring and basic or so in-depth one would've need to have already completed the course to understand them.
Credit Transfer Issues: No