Exceptional Edinburgh Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/04/2016 to 05/21/2016 with

IFSA: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live independently and travel independently. I have also gained a better understanding of UK culture, and the cultures of the other places I traveled to. It was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo IFSA-Butler: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo IFSA-Butler: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo IFSA-Butler: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo IFSA-Butler: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I enjoyed the classes that I took, however, the professors were significantly less involved with their student's learning. I do not believe this is a fault of the program, but rather a difference between the educational system in the UK and the US. Professors held office hours, but students were not regularly encouraged to go to them. Also, much of the learning happens individually. Most students do not attend lecture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I really liked the IFSA-Butler Scotland program. They frequently reached out to students both via email and by holding office hours. They also frequently provided advice, and they held numerous program events.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I truly did not like my accommodation at all. The laundry machines did not work. My clothing was always wet after I took it out of the dryer. I needed to get a drying rack for my room in order to dry my clothing, but even then I still got mold in my room due to the moisture. Also, my flat went a significant period of time (at least a full month) without hot water in the showers. We reached out to facilities, but only after several visits did they finally resolve the issue. In order to take a shower I had to walk 15 minutes to the gym. The only part of my accommodation I liked was its proximity to campus and stores.

* Food:

I either cooked for myself or went out to eat. I did not have a university meal plan, so this question does not really apply to me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated in the Scottish/Edinburgh culture. This is because the IFSA-Butler program places students in accommodation with university students. Essentially, we were treated like full-time students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never needed to utilize the healthcare in Edinburgh, but I have heard great things about it from my friends. You could easily see a doctor, and it was free for them.

* Safety:

Edinburgh is definitely the safest city I have ever been to. You can easily walk by yourself at night without feeling unsafe. Also, the IFSA-Program had a safety lecture at the start of the program with a police officer, so we knew exactly how the laws worked and how to best protect ourselves in given situations.

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

I loved Edinburgh, the IFSA-Scotland program, and the friends I made. Despite the living situation, I have gained confidence and a new sense of individuality.


* 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? I would say about 80-100 dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? On a typical day, try cooking for yourself for at least breakfast and lunch if you have the facilities 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

  • 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?
  • The people
  • The accessibility of shops
  • The accessibility of traveling to other countries
* What could be improved?
  • The accommodation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There really isn't anything I wished I knew before that I learned during the program. Learning these things during the program is what made it worthwhile.

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!