Scotland: All That & A Plate of Haggis September 03, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/08/2019 to 05/26/2019 with

Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Independence, especially since I was so integrated into the city (as opposed to being on a designated campus).

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had 3 classes 2 days/week. However, course work added up very quickly and easily, so I definitely spent a lot of time getting to know the library/uni study spaces.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia was very helpful and eager to aid, but also understood if we wanted our own space to explore. Their degree of involvement was however much/little you wanted it to be.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Robertson's Close. Not great accommodation, really great location. Housing quality varies depending where you stay, but overall what you can expect from a college.

* Food:

Housing was self-catered.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Edinburgh, even walking alone at night down the closes'. Everyone has different experiences, but as long as you're conscious of your surroundings you should be ok.

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

I wanted to study abroad in a place with stimulating academics as well as plenty of traveling opportunities. Edinburgh was the perfect solution. The city is incredibly manageable to explore, and although it feels small at times, there's always something hidden in an unexpectedly beautiful alleyway (seriously, everywhere is gorgeous, even the dodgy areas). Traveling around Scotland is also very manageable, and the Highlands are INCREDIBLE. Scotland's also a great entry point for the rest of Europe. While the University of Edinburgh itself wasn't my favorite (I felt no sense of community or support from the University itself, Arcadia was actually quite helpful), the classes I took were quite interesting despite the workload. It's a prestigious university for a reason!

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? £60-70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy what you need, not what you think you will need (specifically for food; it will perish, especially if you're traveling a lot!). Lidl was my best friend/favorite grocery, with Tesco a close second. Cook if you can/as much as you can, eating out adds up. Edinburgh is a college town, so keep an eye out for uni discounts! Also, seems obvious, but try to keep the conversion rate in mind when shopping/taking money out of the ATMs.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • Independence
  • Travel opportunities
  • Culture eduction/integgration
* What could be improved?
  • University of Edinburgh student services
  • Housing opportunities
  • University of Edinburgh orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Scotland is a small but incredibly rich country in history, culture, and nature. I was able to take a class about the history of and learn how to play the highland bagpipe, a skill I never thought I'd explore! You could easily spend a semester abroad just exploring Scotland (and should definitely take advantage of any opportunities to, especially the Highlands and Isle of Skye).

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.