Many Unexpected Details Past Review

By (Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/01/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

Arcadia: Glasgow - University of Glasgow

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent, more careful with budgets, how to get used to a new environment faster, how to travel more efficiently, gained more recipes, met people from all over the world and made many international friends.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I find the grading system completely unfair because most of my classes were based on the finals 100%. The tutors never taught us what they were looking for in these exams like how to answer them in the format they wanted. There was not a clear syllabus for any of the schedules nor a learning objective clearly pointed out. No homework or practice problems were given throughout the semester either. I had two projects 30% of the grade that gave us partners to work with, these were the only homework I had and I found it completely unchallenging overall. The worse part is when you translate their grade to a U.S. scale you can still pass a class with almost a 40%. And, there were no teaching assistants? If there were they never spoke nor helped out.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They are extremely unorganized with scheduling classes, many of us didn't have a schedule set in stone on the first few days of classes. They only had two people that could manipulate classes for ALL of the international students. But however Arcadia was really good with keeping up and giving suggestions to us as far as our problems are concerned.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Murano Street Student large flat. It was extremely loud and it is the Freshmen dorm that apparently allows parties to happen in very often. The facility was pretty much falling apart, the heater only turns on 6 hours of the day and the toilets never flushed right. Our stove also breaks down almost two times a day towards the end of the year. The senior residents however were all very friendly and they do try to help as much as they could. This place is also a 30 minute walk to campus, the minibuses were helpful but they only fit 12 people per ride. You must be there early to catch it, they also stop running from 11am-5pm.. Oh and the laundry machines never work right, they eat money quite often too.

* Food:

The food is bad the majority of the time in my experience unless you want to spend a lot of money at restaurants all the time. Afternoon tea, haggis, fish and chips were the more popular dishes. Other than that there weren't too many varieties. They do have a lot of pubs and cafes though to be convenient for the cold. I ended up making almost every meal with flatmates, which turned out to be a pretty pleasant experience.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I do like Scotland as a country and the Arcadia staff put together as many well priced excursions as possible. The local people that we met while traveling such as our host family or tour guides were all very friendly. Arcadia planned things like ceilidh, highland trips, and homestays in another city really did introduced the Scottish culture well. Glasgow Uni also provided us with cheaper trips with Students Tour Scotland, Gary the tour guide is extremely entertaining for students. There are also plenty organizations that were unique on campus such as the Whisky society.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

National Healthcare is pretty great.

* Safety:

I want to say Scotland is one of the safest place I've ever been to.

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

I would have chosen a less expensive program for sure.


* 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)

Each bus ride is 1.25 pounds, eating out is maybe 15 pounds per meal, if you drink and travel a lot, money will go pretty fast in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 25pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to cook for yourself, always look for cheaper trains or flights, maybe have more self control on drinking alcohol and coffee out.


* 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

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Arcadia Excursions
  • Travelling
  • International Flatmates
* What could be improved?
  • Education
  • Living
  • Budget
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would've known how bad I was at getting used to the rain, and how the sun only comes out for about 3 hours a day. I wish I would've known about the free classes that the Glasgow School of Art gives and taken advantage of the very artistic city.

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!