Goo aught an doo it! Past Review

By (Hoping to do English, University of New Mexico) - abroad from 09/16/2011 to 06/13/2012 with

University of Aberdeen: Aberdeen - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to keep my mouth shut a bit more, which was definitely work while. I also feel a strong connection to the highlands and Scottish way of life, I have considered moving to Scotland or at least visiting frequently. Was it worthwhile? Very good question, I suffered extreme depression and anxiety during my trip and paid a LOT to cower in a small room far away from my family. I think I'll appreciate it and love having gone more as time goes by.

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.

Some courses were better than others at not just teaching information but having us retain it. Overall there was a lot for me to learn but not a lot of it stuck.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very expensive for how small the rooms are. Very few have amenities nearby and the walls are paper thin. They are very close to uni which is a bonus, they have laundry on the dorm grounds, a corner store, and a pub downstairs in the central building. Overall this is great for younger students, social butterflies, and those who are heavy sleepers. As a 4th year student who likes to study at home and is a light sleep, the dorms were rubbish.

* Food:

You can find a decent variety of food, however for the most part you'll be eating burgers, chips, take away, and pies. The food is delicious, relatively cheap, but very unhealthy. Expect to gain weight over winter even on a soup diet.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All but one of my friends were natives to the UK, and two or three of them were Aberdonians. I felt and still feel a lot of Scottish pride despite not being Scottish at all, and I still use most of the slang I picked up. It is hard to integrate if you stick with other international students, and it's gonna be a bit hard anyways as an American. I was told straight up that American students are usually too loud and domineering for the locals who are already a bit prickly to begin with. They're polite but not friendly, until you know them. (Join a club!)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I fell in love with the health care system! I have prescriptions which were filled for free, got a free flu shot with my PCP, and if I'd gotten seriously ill the Royal Infirmary is a well equipped hospital.

* Safety:

Basically use your common sense, don't walk through parks at night or wander around Union by yourself at night. Look both ways crossing the street. Basic stuff that if you follow it you'll be perfectly safe and not even feel uncomfortable. Your mates are you buddies, walk home with as many as you can for as long as you can and avoid dangerous situations.

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)

You can make it happen but it will cost you a variety or food/healthy food, getting little extras you like (such as coffees and such), and relying mostly on what you have. Keep in mind that the pound is usually 1.6times as expensive as the dollar, so using a dryer isn't 1 buck, it's nearly two. Keep in mind that pubs are the main social hubs for gathering, meeting, or hanging out so expect to spend a lot of time in at least one of them and spending a little money to get something.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? At first I spent around 120+ a week, by the end though I'd gotten that down to roughly 20-40 dollars a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save at least half of what you think you'll need before going if possible. You will spend more than you expect for travel, trips, and pub visits. Once you get out there just do what you'd do here to save up: eat in, give up little things like coffee at the shops, and try to work a PT job.


* 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? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • N/A
* 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?
  • Activity in student club
  • Learning Scottish traditions
  • Being able to understand broad scots
* What could be improved?
  • Better networking with Americans BEFORE leaving
  • More detailed estimate of costs/more up to date
  • Brief history of the region
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The trains are easy to ride and very affordable, don't be afraid to just take one out for the day and explore a small town around the country! Actively seek out adventures even if you have to go alone, Scotland is beautiful but you won't realize how much until you go.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Gaelic

Course Department: Gaelic
Instructor: Marsili
Instruction Language: English/Gaelic
Comments: The course was challenging but designed in a way to help us learn from past course days. We had oral tutorials to help with pronunciation, and were given many different ways to hear and speak Scottish Gaelic (including joining a speaking group and a choir). We were assessed in oral tutorials through participation (TAM) and had a weekly quizes to help prepare us for the written final.
Credit Transfer Issues: This course does not transfer back to UNM, however one professor in the language department is trying to get some generic language credits available to us.
Course Name/Rating:

Arthur in Medieval and Welsh Literature

Course Department: Celtic
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was mostly reading based with two papers that we needed to write on various texts and content. I found this gave me a decent sense of historical perspective in the UK and helped explain some of the tensions currently in the UK.
Credit Transfer Issues: UNM transfered this a history course when it was actually an english course. We did not talk extensively on history, although as a new comer I felt it was somewhat covered, instead we discussed literary themes and changes. Just fill out the transfer credit work sheet and go to the English Department with ALL of your course work as proof.
Course Name/Rating:

Psychological Assessment

Course Department: Psychology
Instruction Language: English
Comments: While there was some decent information it was thrown at us far too quickly with little to no help understanding it. The tutorial assessment was stressful but the best part of the course. Overall this information didn't stick because we only had the final exam and the single tutorial meeting.
Credit Transfer Issues: This should transfer as upper division psychology credit.
Course Name/Rating:

Controversial Classics

Course Department: English
Instruction Language: English
Comments: You will need to read a novel every week, yes one full length classic novel a week. That is what makes this course hard. However you do have a weekly tutorial to help cement ideas about the books and a presentation which will prepare you for either the mid term or final (both of which are essays). Great way to learn about classics from across the UK and the history behind those periods.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not a specific course here, just general lower division credit. I'm sure you could fill out the transfer credit form, bring your course work, and have the English department help you find a specific course.
Course Name/Rating:

History of English

Course Department: Linguistics
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This is a 6week course so the work load is heavy with two separate essays to do as well as weekly tutorial. There is no final exam for this class. My lecturer was clear and humorous in his delivery, and my tutorial professor was more than happy to teach us proper pronunciation of old and middle english works. I enjoyed this course very much!
Credit Transfer Issues: Came is as English credit (lower division) instead of linguistic credit. I feel this one can be argued over if you want to, just do the transfer credit sheet and bring all your course work to them.
Course Name/Rating:

Developemental Psychology (third year)

Course Department: Psychology
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was not only difficult, it didn't focus so much on typical development as it did on Autism in children. It was very informative but rather misleading. Like other third year courses in Psychology there is the tutorial grade and a final exam. No real use of the knowledge or practice of it during the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues: Came in as generic upper division psychology when there is an upper level developmental psychology course. Fill out the transfer credit sheet, bring in your course work, and I'm sure you can get it change easily.