Edinburgh, Scotland THE BEST PLACE TO STUDY ABROAD!! Past Review

By (Longwood University) - abroad from 01/03/2018 to 05/06/2018 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Semester in Scotland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an experience that has forever changed my life. I learned that I can conquer anything I set my mind to. I learned that life can be inspiring every single day, you just have to go out there and live. I learned that I have the confidence and courage to do things on my own in a completely foreign land and be just fine. I learned that there is so much out there in the world, and to never stop chasing sunsets and freedom. I value learning so much more than I ever have before because I was driven by my curiousity for 5 months and never wanted to stop learning and understanding new things. I try to incorporate everything I learned during my study abroad experience into my every day life back in America. My love for travel and understanding new cultures is something that I gained much more of an appreciation for, and I can't wait to continue experiencing the world around me.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved the classes that I took at Edinburgh Napier University. I was worried that they would be vastly different than my university in the US, but while there were differences, it was easy to adapt and I loved working with the professors and other students. The class work was very manageable while very invigorating and interesting. There was lots of hands on work and projects with other students which made it easy to make friends as well. I loved it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our on-site director was the warmest and most inviting woman! She took care of us the second we stepped off the plane and entered this new and exciting adventure. When I first arrived, I was pretty nervous and exhausted from the flight. She gathered us all together and took us out for our "welcome meal" and made us feel a lot more relaxed and excited again. We went on a short walking tour that gave us a taste of what our new city was like which lifted any tired spirits and made us excited for the journey ahead. She helped us through orientation in our new school and was there the rest of the semester if we needed any help. I felt so safe and taken care of having her there as an on-site director in case I ever needed her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We all were assigned communal flats, but were fortunate enough to have our own room and bathroom. It was a great way to meet new people. I actually shared a flat (kitchen and living) with a bunch of other study abroad students from all over the world. I had a great experience.

* Food:

The food in Scotland is not much different than in the US, so it was an easy transition. Everyone who comes to Scotland though MUST try haggis and blood pudding to get the full experience though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Though there will always be an adjustment period when moving to a new place, I felt that the culture was fascinating and I really tried to soak up as much as I could. I researched a lot about the history (which is still very important to the citizens of the country today) and I talked to many locals to get a true understanding. By the end, there wasn't a place in the city I didn't trek.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While I was abroad, I actually had a few eye problems. CISabroad's on-site director let me know of a few doctors I could go to. The healthcare is very easily accessible there, and my doctor cured me right away.

* Safety:

The city of Edinburgh is one of the safest cities to travel to. I never once felt scared or unsafe in any way. My only piece of advice is don't walk home too late at night alone, but that's just a rule of thumb in any city. My friends and I always felt safe walking home late at night in groups. It is a very walkable city and we never faced any incidents.

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

I felt that CISabroad was the perfect combination of guidance and trust. They had loads of experience and knowledge about the country before I left, and gave webinars that helped me truly envision what my life would be like before I left. When I got there, their on-site staff were very sweet and super helpful in the transitioning phase. Once we all got settled, we had free reign to do whatever we wanted for 5 months. There was always support when we needed it, and our on-site director made a point of making sure we experienced the true Scottish culture. She came over Burn's Day (a Scottish National holiday in celebration of their beloved poet Robert Burns) and we all prepared a traditional Scottish meal together. She informed us of all the activities we could partake in that night. She also took us on a 3-day Highland excursion (all expenses part of our enrollment fee) to all the best places in Scotland. That was the best trip of my life. I loved this program!!


* 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)

There is a lot you can see and do in Edinburgh that won't cost an arm and a leg. There are many museums and sites to explore. I mostly just got lost wandering the city in my free time. The city as a whole is very affordable and similar to the prices you would pay in America.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I got by one probably $50-100 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get to know the country that you are staying in very well before you explore new places. I was surprised at all Scotland had to offer and ended up staying and exploring Scotland for about 3 months before I ventured to new countries. My friends and I took tons of day trips to the Scottish Highlands (some of the most stunning scenery in the world in my opinion) and took trains to new towns and cities for half the cost it would have been to travel out of the country. This was a lot cheaper "traveling" to do and I felt I saw and understood so much of the country in which I called home for 5 months. This saved me lots of money so that when I did want to travel to different countries in Europe, I felt I was ready and had the expenses to do so.


* 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

  • 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 assistance from our on-site director
  • pre-departure workshops that were very helpful
  • the checklist of things to do before we left
* What could be improved?
  • More help with reverse culture shock is important
  • Guidance with what to do with our experiences
  • Careers abroad.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I wasn't so nervous on my way to Scotland because little did I know I was about to embark on the greatest journey of my life.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.