A Scottish Semester Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/17/2013 to 12/19/2012 with

USAC Scotland: St. Andrews - Undergraduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely a worthwhile experience. It was challenging to enter an entirely new environment, but I really enjoyed meeting new people, learning to cook for myself, surviving on a budget, and taking classes taught by world-renowned professors.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My courses were all wonderful. Even though I was taking first and second year courses, I had some of the best lecturers in the Divinity department, including one of the world's leading biblical scholars. The Divinity Department had its own library with great resources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I did not have much support of as a study abroad student, but with access to all normal university support, it was perfectly fine.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My dorm was undergoing construction and did not offer much in the way of community. I also was assigned to my last choice for a living arrangement. Still, my room and bathroom were clean and comfortable.

* Food:

I did all of my own cooking in a kitchen in my dorm. The kitchen had a very inconvenient set up.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to enter into life in St. Andrews as a normal student and that was really wonderful. I felt like a part of the community. The culture was very English and did not feel foreign.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care in Scotland was very accessible and I never had any issues. There were no special health concerns in travelling there and I remained healthy throughout the program.

* Safety:

I always felt safe in St. Andrews. It is a small town that really caters to students and I never felt threatened walking around at night by myself.

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)

Food was a bit expensive and I had to pay for all my own sheets, pots, pans, utensils, and many other things because I only brought one suitcase with me, that consisted mostly of clothes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? My advice would be to look in charity shops or cheaper markets and to bring two suitcases with you so that you can pack more things from home.


* 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
  • Americans
  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting new people
  • Taking classes with great professors
  • Participating in campus groups
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew to bring two suitcases to bring more warm clothing and more things from home.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Systematic Theology

Course Department: Divinity
Instructor: Alan Torrance
Instruction Language: English
Comments: My lecturer was extremely knowledgeable and active in theological issues. He had taught the course many times and knew how to present the information to students. Our tutorials were helpful in pulling in outside sources for us to critique and engage with on our own. All of the work was papers and exams.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Old Testament

Course Department: Divinity
Instructor: Tooman
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The lecturer for this course did a great job in presenting very complicated subject matter in an introductory course to the Old Testament. Tutorials helped us to engage in the issues surrounding interpreting the Old Testament. Our assessments were in the form of one long paper and a final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

New Testament

Course Department: Divinity
Instructor: Grant Macaskill and NT Wright
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was great to have two such prominent scholars as lecturers in this course. I greatly enjoyed the subject matter we covered. The tutorials included helpful reading, but our guided discussions were not very engaging. The course was challenging but enjoyable. Our assessment included a paper, a book review, and a final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: