Learning independence in Edinburgh Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/06/2017 to 12/22/2017 with

Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of independence and coping mechanisms while abroad, and learned a lot about the world itself as well as academically.

Review Photos

Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo

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.

The biology program in the Edinburgh Uni third year is rigorous and I had to work hard. I definitely felt as though I was at the level I was supposed to be; the classes were challenging, but not impossible. The way the classes were graded and structured are different than my home institution, but not impossible to navigate. All professors answered questions when asked.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved the location of my flat and living there was pleasant. However, the hot water was spotty, and there always seemed to be issues in the flat, and facilities people coming in and out even when there was nothing wrong. Often they did not tell us they were coming, and were always very loud.

* Food:

I made my own food in the kitchen. Only complaint was that the oven did not work properly. The availability of food in Edinburgh is extensive and good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I joined a society and attempted to immerse myself; everyone in Scotland I talked to was very nice and welcoming. It's difficult to be immersed in four months, but no one excluded study abroad students from experiences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any extensive health issues while abroad. The program did a good job outlining the steps to take if we did have an issue. The only thing I was not aware of was the difference in availability of over the counter medicine, which is something that should be outlined. I didn't know medicines like Midol (both naproxen and caffeine) and supplements like Melatonin require a prescription.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe while in Edinburgh, even while walking alone. Both the program and the school did a good job in emphasizing personal safety and safety awareness.

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

Arcadia did a great job in preparing and supporting students. The best support was given in the free rail card and things like that, which, from talking with other students who were in programs like IFSA butler, were not provided in other programs.


* 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)

In the UK, things are slightly more expensive. I spent my money solely in groceries most weeks and only spent around $100-120 per week. When I was traveling and could not cook for myself, things were more expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? safe money on food and budget your groceries. In Edinburgh, there are multiple fruit and vegetable stands that sell produce for cheap, so you can still eat healthily. Many stores have student discounts. If you drink coffee, buy a french press and save a lot of money. If you can, walk! It saves a lot of money and you see more of the city.


* 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
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • the city! Edinburgh!
  • travel accessibility (rail cards, etc.)
  • classes
* What could be improved?
  • weekend trip availability
  • accessibility to counseling services
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? the cost of things in the UK and in the EU, more facts about Scotland itself

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!