Can't Go Wrong! September 22, 2018

By (Scripps College) - abroad from 01/07/2018 to 05/26/2018 with

IFSA: Edinburgh - University of Edinburgh

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think I gained a lot of confidence in myself and my ability to do things on my own. It was definitely worth while.

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.

Faculty at the University of Edinburgh went on strike while I was there so a lot of classes were cancelled for a few weeks in the middle of the semester, but the classes that I did have were great.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IFSA staff were incredibly welcoming, friendly, helpful and easy to work with. The orientation at the beginning of the semester was comprehensive and the excursion trips they ran throughout the semester were very high quality and worth attending.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The building itself was a little bit old and quirky but I really liked the arrangement. My flat in Darroch Court had 5 singles and a shared kitchen. It was a great way to get to know local students and very centrally located.

* Food:

Cooking for myself was a fun new challenge. Anywhere you live in Edinburgh you're never more than a 5 minute walk from the grocery store so access to food is very straightforward. I also enjoyed trying different restaurants around the city. There was a very good variety of cuisine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't make too many friends with local people and mostly spent time with other Americans on study abroad but I definitely didn't feel isolated or like an outsider. Everyone was very welcoming and I felt comfortable spending time with locals and going to social events around the city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Registering with a GP and scheduling an appointment was shockingly easy (and free!). There was a little bit of a wait time for the appointment, about 7 days, but once I was there the service was high quality and easy to use.

* Safety:

Edinburgh feels like an incredibly safe city. I never once felt unsafe walking around by myself, even at night.

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

I had a great study abroad experience. I wouldn't say there's anything that the program was lacking. It was just an all around good time.

Finances

* 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 probably spent around $70 on food every week because I did eat out a fair amount but it's definitely possible to do it for less.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Invest in cookware and basic cooking ingredients early in the semester so you aren't tempted to use that as an excuse to eat out later in the semester. I.e. if you want to try a new recipe but it requires olive oil and you aren't sure if you want to buy a whole thing of olive oil just for one recipe you will probably just end up getting thai food again.

Language

* 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

  • Local Students
  • 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 City
  • The trips to the highlands
  • Travelling
* What could be improved?
  • More ways to meet local students, especially if you go Spring semester
  • More 'get to know people' games during orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Study abroad isn't always going to be this perfect Instagram-worthy experience. There's ups and downs just like any other semester of your life. But being able to deal with those ups and downs on your own in a completely new environment gives you a confidence that you can't really get any other way.

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.