I Want To Go Back Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/07/2016 to 12/22/2016 with

Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It soothed me, and I saw lovely places and met lovely people. Its left me with an appreciation for cities, and a realization: I grew up in an environment ruled by cruelty. Things need not be that way, even in educated, ritzy, historical places. Fuck new england.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Rigorous and intense for certain. I did a lot of work and struggled to maintain grades that were previously easy. Especially more rigorous in the humanities than at my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Not really all that helpful for getting me integrated into scottish culture, but not invasive or controlling either, so I'm perfectly satisfied.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lovely, absolutely lovely location. Marchmont is perhaps the nicest place i've lived in my life and I long for it. However, the university housing, though more than sufficient, was quite prone to malfunction. The stove was very misbehaved, the showers, the lights, and the toilets all had a tendency to go wacky or just plain fail unexpectedly. We also had a mouse problem. I loved my roommates, though, and we all did just fine.

* Food:

food is, above all, expensive. Americans may struggle not with cuisine selection -- it is very similar -- but with actually obtaining ingredients for things they are used to cooking, particularly if they are prone to cooking asian food. Tofu is not going to be easy to find; not even all the chinese or japanese grocers carry it! Don't buy japanese food in Edinburgh, it will bleed you dry and you will be dissapointed. DO, however, buy middle eastern food and scottish food. Buy everything fresh -- its actually fairly comparable in price to frozen food, and strangely, more available.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had problems with this until the end. Though I always felt welcome and free in the city I also greatly felt like a stranger. Edinburgh will open up to you, as will students, but you have to really seek them out. Nobody, however, will try to stop from joining in and many people do maintain relationships with americans who come and then leave.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

NSA will not let you register anywhere unless you do so basically the day you arrive. Many doctors will refuse to take you if you ARENT NHS. Handle things quickly or you may be in trouble.

* Safety:

Safer than nearly anywhere in the united states. Safer than the rich, white connecticut suburb I grew up in.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would just apply directly to the university.


* 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)

Like I said: Edinburgh is expensive!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably about 30 to 40 pounds.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money on travel however you can; try to find wherever alcohol is cheapest -- the money that buys two beers can feed you two full sized meals!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Friends
  • City
* What could be improved?
  • Advice on integrating
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travel early and often!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!