Charming & a period of self discovery February 07, 2023

By (Neuroscience, Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/11/2022 to 12/31/2022 with

University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that there is always opportunity to explore on my own.

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.

Amazing experience that mainly depends on lecture attendance and feedback sessions. Multiple lecturers per course, all knowledgeable on their specific lecture topic and they allow you to take in the course information on your own before examination. The science courses mainly consisted of mid-semester essays and end of semester exams with heavy emphasis on written responses. This allowed great time to spend time on outside ventures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was very transparent with the application process from the beginning as they allow you to select courses to apply to in your program application. I was supported before I arrived in Edinburgh with course and early choice for housing. I had experience asking for academic and staff support which helped greatly. My advice would be to reach out to staff/student support and be communicative as the aid is greatly accessible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was in catered housing, which mostly houses first years. Please consider academic buildings such as where your courses would be. I had courses in the medical school and the college of arts. I should have considered closer housing and housing with individuals of similar age and grade experience. The catering hours were narrow and I would have preferred depending on my own cooking.

* Food:

The food was great in catered halls and options for purchasing food were affordable in grocery stores. I still lost a significant amount of weight due to narrow dining hours, a need to budget, and a loss of appetite resulting from the 2 reasons mentioned above. Catering options are sustainable too as the halls offered consistent and reliable options for dining.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The culture in Edinburgh is quite cold and rigid. I was able to enjoy it because of my personality but would not recommend it for most people. Unless you are a insular person who enjoys beautiful settings and explorations on your own, I would not recommend it for you. There are exchange group chats available that created communities of outgoing students, those were great for company when needed. Edinburgh is a gorgeous and clean city. It is charming and has many amazing museums and arts institutions to visit for free. Students are very active in societies and organize frequently whether in unions, arts events, or protest. There is little tolerance among the university students for ignorance, pretentiousness, or waste which is great. There is great appreciation for substance, expression, and meaningful connection amongst the student body.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was made easy to access through the university and its guidance. I cannot elaborate due to my lack of need for healthcare during my experience. The services the university was willing to connect students with are primary service providers and mental health counselors.

* Safety:

The city is very safe for most individuals. Occasionally, you will see primary school students commuting alone to and from home with ease. This is similar to the experience of being a university student as I am a walker and felt comfortable walking to my courses and other attractions in the city. The city is more walkable than my home in New York City and safer. I will say that there is a difference in safety for individuals that identify as women as I have heard peers that identify as such state that areas such as The Meadows park being dangerous at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would rather have lived in the city without studying at the university and instead interning.


* 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 had catering so I outside of that I would spend $50 a week on food outside of that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Purchase bulk snacks and cheap bedding from the mall.


* 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

  • Local 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Setting
  • Academic Structure
  • Student body
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have gone to the student activities fair to have had opportunity to easily join societies.

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:

Sketchbook drawing

Course Department: Illustration
Instruction Language:
Comments: The consistent use of techniques outside of the course is most challenging, but that is how you should build skill.
Credit Transfer Issues: n/a
Course Name/Rating:

Physiology 3

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Little was challenging as the course and its instructors make it clear what you must do to receive full marks and give you mandatory feedback while working on assignments.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Mechanisms of Brain Development

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Little was challenging.
Credit Transfer Issues: n/a