Scotland: cold, different, and beautiful. Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Trinity University) for

Arcadia: St. Andrews - University of St Andrews

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Looking back on it I kind of wish I would have gone to a warmer and more culturally distinct country like Spain. I do not enjoy cold weather even though I am from Sweden. I am happy I studied in Scotland though, I learned a lot about myself and their educational system. I feel like I have become a more efficient student because of my time abroad. I would definitely do it again.

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 teaching method at St. Andrews was completely different from the one my professors use at my home university in the US. The professors did not really get to know you on a personal level. At the beginning of the semester you were assigned a student number and when you turned in exams or papers you did not write your name but instead wrote down you student number. There was not much structure or extensive reading lists given but most of my classes were based on independent research. Most of the assessment in a class was based on one essay or one exam so this made it difficult to improve ones grade in a class. There were not as many classes per week as I was used to in the US. I had class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The class material was very interesting and I especially enjoyed my Histories of Photography class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations were met. We were given a lot of support and if we had questions it was easy to call or email to get a quick response. I was very satisfied with the program administration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a dorm with all the freshman. The most irritating part of my living arrangement was the food. The food was not very good and I would have rather been told to take the option of cooking for myself instead. My dorm was about a 30 minutes walk away from most of my classes.

* Food:

The food was not varied and I heard most of the other study abroad students utter the same complaints. I would suggest not getting the meal plan and cooking food in the kitchens instead.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really enjoyed a weekend trip we made with Arcadia where we got to eat real Scottish food and go mountain biking and hiking. I should have gone on more outdoors field trips since Scotland is a beautiful country. I would suggest for future students to go on as many field trips as you can during your study abroad experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The healthcare was easily accessible. I felt very safe in St Andrews even though I had a long walk home from the town center to my dorm.

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


* 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? Restaurants were very expensive in St Andrews and most of the time you would spend over 20 pounds for a meal and a drink at a restaurant. There were not many shops in St Andrews so I did not spend much money every week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No spending advice was necessary.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you want to truly experience a different educational system then go to Scotland and become a more independent student. If you do not like cold weather do not go here.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Histories of Photography

Course Department: AH3121
Instructor: Dr. Luke Gartlan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I really enjoyed this course and it was the most memorable one of all the classes I took at St Andrews. Dr. Gartlan was very enthusiastic about his particular subject and the assessment allowed students to fully show their capabilities.
Credit Transfer Issues: No I did not have any credit transfer issues.