Loved it January 08, 2024

By (History, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/06/2023 to 12/22/2023 with

Arcadia: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I'm so glad I went abroad. I had a great time exploring a new city and hanging out with people. It confirmed for me that living in an urban environment is really important to me.

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.

The classes were mostly engaging, although it was a bit disappointing to be limited from some higher-level classes. I found the one First Year class I took very easy and generally a waste of time. Also note that there is much less class time than in American universities, which could be a good or bad thing depending on the person.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia was pretty good, and I really enjoyed the Highlands trip.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It's university housing. No better or worse than could be expected.

* Food:

N/A - I was in non-catered housing

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was really nice to be in classes with the local students, but the lack of class time makes it kind of hard to make connections without concerted effort. There are definitely ways to make more connections through university societies (clubs), depending on how much you take advantage of it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Arcadia puts all students on International SOS. I used their 24/7 phone line once and was able to speak to a doctor over the phone within 10 minutes of calling. I am reasonably confident that if I had a more serious issue I would be able to quickly receive in-person care. I was also able to get a prescription topical through the school pharmacy even though I did not register with NHS.

* Safety:

Felt quite safe as a woman, even living on a street with tons of nightlife. I wouldn't be reckless though, as in any city.

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

Mostly I loved the city. Arcadia was pretty tangential to my experience overall after the first couple of days, which for me was ideal. Edinburgh is great - some things I really enjoyed: the many museums, taking some day trips (Stirling, Dundee, St. Andrews), theater and comedy (try the Traverse Theatre, and there is lots of free or very cheap comedy), and seeing a rugby game at Murrayfield.


* 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 think that, conservatively, it would be possible to live on ~$50 per week, depending on individual food preferences. I think this is quite reasonable considering that I spent no money on a separate meal plan, but I probably spent closer to $100 per week including meals out, drinks, etc.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • city itself
  • taking classes at a local university
  • independence
* What could be improved?
  • a mid-semester event for arcadia students to reconnect
  • streamlined orientation
  • better info on sim cards
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Arcadia recommends UniKit for bedding and other necessities. I would absolutely not do this. Plan on buying bedding once you arrive. I would also do some research on sim cards and e-sims in advance (do NOT expect to find sim cards for purchase in the airport - you will have to go to Princes St.).

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!