By the end of the program, Edinburgh felt like home. June 04, 2017

By (Truman State University) - abroad from 01/04/2017 to 05/31/2017 with

ISEP Direct: Edinburgh - Study Abroad at Edinburgh Napier University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about community. I learned that it is something we all need and that an authentic community doesn't have to be made up of a bunch of people who are all like-minded. In fact, I learned that the more diverse a community, the more dynamic and beautiful it is! Regardless of where we are from or what our worldviews are, humans have a lot in common including our desire to build relationships. Forming friendships with people from other cultures was truly invaluable.

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.

I was in class for only about 8 hours a week and was expected to do most of my learning outside of the classroom. However, there were no assignments during the semester to gauge my learning progress and the professors did not give specific readings that we were supposed to be completing. Also, while it was a good experience to be immersed in a different education system, the university itself was rather disorganized and did not seem well equipped for accommodating international students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people were very friendly and willing to help! The reason I gave them 3 stars was beacause of the very poor planning for our first day in Scotland. They picked us up at the airport and then dropped us off at our flats without giving us any information. It would have been helpful to have been told about the nearest grocery stores, pharmacies, or how to work the bus system. Also, I think an event should have been planned on the first day to help the international students start to get to know each other.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was recently built so it was very new and the kitchens were well equipped to accomodate 7 people. It was also very nice having our own bedrooms and bathrooms. The downsides were that the walls were quite thin and that laundry was very expensive.

* Food:

The grocery stores were easily accessible and well priced. There were also local markets on the weekends and plenty of local cafes and pubs that were very fun to explore!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The best way to get to know people is to volunteer, join societies, and join other groups in the community. I loved getting to know locals and was blown away by their kindness and hospitality!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Registering with a General Practitioner was pretty easy and thankfully, I did not need to use it during my time abroad. From what I heard about the experience of other students, however, it seemed it was hard to get in for appointments if necessary since wait times were very long.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Edinburgh! It is a very family-friendly city with lots of well lit streets. In fact, it was ranked the 3rd safest city in the world.

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

I feel in love with Edinburgh! The culture, the sights, and most importantly, the people blew me away.

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)

Food was very affordable and overall I didn't have issues sticking to my budget. The one unforeseen expense, however, was the bus pass. A bus pass was necessary because the campus buildings were very far away from the student housing (about an hour walk along a freeway) and cost almost $60 a month. It was really handy to have the bus pass and Edinburgh has a great bus system, I just wasn't expected to have to purchase one.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do your grocery shopping at ASDA!

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

  • 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 location--Edinburgh is an incredible city.
  • The friendships I made.
  • The ability to travel on weekends and during breaks to other parts of Europe.
* What could be improved?
  • More events and information sessions for international students during the first week to help them get acclimated.
  • More clarity on which classes would transfer back to my home university.
  • More information given upfront about ways to get involved on campus and in the Edinburgh community.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known to pack gloves!

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.