Wonderful Exchange in Glasgow Past Review

By (Anthropology., Truman State University) - abroad from 09/15/2015 to 12/18/2015 with

Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was so incredibly worthwhile. It's hard to explain what I learned and gained. I definitely gained an appreciation for the Scottish culture, and realized that my own culture isn't perfect. I learned how to integrate myself in another culture, and although the language was still English, I learned how to speak it the Scottish way (not accent, but different words and phrases--the language is more different than American English than I'd anticipated). Ultimately, the experience has changed me as a person.

Review Photos

Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Glasgow Caledonian University: Glasgow - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

Classes were hard to sign up for--I wasn't informed prior to being accepted in the program that the list of available classes to exchange students was drastically smaller than the classes listed as available on the GCU website. Also, I wasn't given the handbook for my major, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what was expected of me in the classes (Knowing how to cite papers, how to do footnotes properly, ect. were things the professors assumed we knew). However, although I had some trouble getting placed in classes I was happy with, the classes I ended up with were phenomenal. The classes covered a wide breadth of information about their topics all quite thoroughly, so I learned a lot without feeling rushed or like I was falling behind. The resources for the classes were very good--we were assigned readings that were available online or in the library. The academic rigor depends on what year level of classes you sign up for (1,2,3, or 4). I took two year 3 classes and a year 2 class, so the year 3 classes were noticeably more rigorous than the year 2 class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration at GCU were quite helpful and available. I did have problems with getting signed up in classes, however, and I felt that the administration didn't properly prepare us for our classes (we weren't given handbooks and information that full-time GCU students in our majors had access to).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Exchange/study abroad students are placed in flats in Caledonian Court, which is a cute village-like area directly behind the University. First of all, being so close to uni, I was able to get to my classes from my flat in under ten minutes, which was so convenient. I was placed in a flat of eight people, including me, who were all Scottish except for one from Northern Ireland. I absolutely loved the chance to live with people from the country/area I had gone to, because I got to learn so much more about the culture that way. The flat in itself was really nice--I had my own room, which was actually pretty big for a single room, and shared the bathroom, shower (there were two bathrooms and showers), and kitchen with my flatmates. Caledonian Court also had security at the entrance, which added an extra level of safety to the place.

* Food:

There weren't cafeterias at Caley like there are in the states, so I pretty much cooked my own food. However, there were multiple grocery stores within walking distance, which was really great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All my flatmates were from the area, so because I hung out with them and their friends, I felt almost completely integrated by the end of the semester, which is so awesome. I'd definitely suggest at least trying to make Scottish/British friends while there, because I knew some students who only made friends with other study abroad students, and thus didn't learn much about the culture (they did have quite a bit of fun in the country anyway, they just weren't as integrated).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues with healthcare while I was there. However, I did sign up with a GP (general practitioner) while I was there, which was a requirement of living at Caledonian Court. I was told that if I needed to visit the GP, the visit would cost little to nothing (the UK has a universal healthcare system).

* Safety:

I felt completely safe while I was there, because the areas I stayed in were mainly Buchanan and Sauchiehall streets, which are major shopping streets, so aren't creepy at all. However, if you wander further into Glasgow, particularly at night, I'd definitely suggest not going alone, because we sometimes went through areas that gave off strong creepy vibes.

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)

I'm not sure how much I spent a week, because it fluctuated, but I ended up spending about $3,500. That was mainly used for necessary things, such as groceries, toiletries (shampoo, hair dryers, etc.), and things like cooking pans, and hangers, but also for shopping (the two main shopping streets in Glasgow were so close!) and going out on the weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$3500
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? As most expenses go to groceries, I'd suggest going to Tescos or Poundland, because the food there is cheaper than at Sainsburys. For home items (laundry basket, appliances, duvet, etc.) Argos is wonderful. Also, going out late on Saturday nights is probably not a good idea, because entrance fees at clubs are really high, drinks are expensive, and everywhere is super crowded.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Flatmates/Scottish people
  • Glasgow
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • Signing up for classes
  • Preparing students for classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Even though I had been told to pack less than I thought I'd need, I didn't listen, and ended up with an extremely full suitcase. Of the clothes I brought, I only wore maybe 3/4.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Nineteenth Century Scotland

Course Department: History
Instructor: Dr. S Karly Kehoe
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class is probably one of the best classes I've taken in my entire college experience. Not only was it fascinating to learn the history of the country I was living in, but the class was formatted in a way that I received a very well-rounded understanding of the nineteenth century in Scotland. We covered a variety of topics from Scotland's involvement in the slave trade, religion and it's importance to the Scots at the time, education, crofting and the Clearances, industrialization, and the Scottish diaspora. Dr. Kehoe is obviously extremely knowledgeable on the topic, and the readings that were assigned were always incredibly interesting. We were assessed with one short essay, a major essay, and a final test (although I wasn't in the country for the test, so I turned in a second major essay).
Credit Transfer Issues: I haven't yet received my transcript from the GCU, so I don't yet know if I'll be able to transfer the credits.