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Ecology Conservation Program in Scotland

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best way to spend your summer

Adelante's study abroad program exceeded my expectations, I received equal levels of cultural experiences and academic knowledge. The program's lecturers were beyond knowledgable about their respective subjects and wanted us to have the best time possible. This is the easiest and funnest way to earn some college credit whilst you are a in another country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

First International Experience

This study abroad trip with Adelante to Scotland was my first experience to see a completely new environment and culture. Although I have been a well versed travel in the Untied States. None of my past experiences come close to the experience I have had in Scotland this past month. For a country that is so small compared to the United States, Scotland has such a diverse landscape. From the Lowlands to the Highlands, Scotland has some of the most magnificent scenery I have ever seen. This trip has made me want to visit more places around the world, but hopefully in the near future I can come back to Scotland.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    8

Castles, Ecology, and Culture

The Ecology Conservation Program is absolutely amazing. We were given the opportunity to work in the field as well as take cultural excursions. Every activity was linked back to conservation so there was never a moment throughout the trip when we weren't learning something new. Our instructors took us to several significant historical sites that were educational and interesting all on their own but they were then able to relate the sites back to our studies. I learned so much more than I ever thought I could in just four weeks. I will forever be thankful for this amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    6

This was an amzing experience and I'm so glad I did this!

This was an incredible experience and I wish I could have stayed longer! We did so much in four weeks. We visited castles, islands, country parks, the Ediburgh Zoo, the beach, and many more places. On our down time we would go into Edinburgh and just walk around going into shops, taking tons of photos, and even went on a ghost tour.
Our classes involved learning about the habitat management and conservation efforts of Scotland. It was interesting to learn the differences between the policies and laws of Scotland and the United States, especially the environmental laws and policies.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Wonderful Study Abroad

This was an excellent study abroad. We went out in the field almost every day for our course work and almost all of the learning was done hands-on. I have learned a lot about different ecosystems and habitat management skills as well as their culture. This was my first time out of the country. I found Scotland to be a good first time experience because there was no language barrier and people were generally very nice and helpful. I loved my time here and highly recommend this program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A solid Study Abroad Experience

The accommodations weren't five star, but they were no worse than what most college students are used to. same with the food. The people are nice and the social scene in Edinburgh is awesome. What I can't say enough good about is the beauty of the land itself. The campus is in a beautiful spot and the highlands are absolutely breath-taking. Get to know the Scottish students the first two weeks when they are here, they can show you a good time and point you to some nice pubs and restaurants.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    N/A

Summer Program

Our day to day life during the four weeks was different everyday. We would spend some mornings in the field or in the classroom; this was different almost every week. All of the field trips were very educational and a lot of fun. We learned about different types of habitats in Scotland and learned how to properly manage them. We meet with different site managers and got to learn how they got their job, what they do at their job, and what they hope to see in the future for their site. This has been the best four weeks out of any summer I have ever had, I wish I didn't have to go home yet! This program taught me a lot of new skills, and it was fun and exciting at the same time. The classwork wasn't too tough, and if you sit down and do it, the work will not take you that long to do. There is a project at the end of the course that the group must participate in together, don't worry it was actually really fun! I would recommend this program to anyone who loves being outside and learning about ecology and about the culture of a new place. This program was awesome, and I am sad to be leaving.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An amazing experience that will allow you to experience the Scottish country side and cultural sites with professionals that understand and know the sites.

I really enjoyed myself on this Study Abroad Experience. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who loves the environment and learninig about different habitats and management experience. The instructors are very willing to help you and answer all your questions. I will definitely miss the beautiful hills and how green everything is in Scotland.

Academics:
This whole experience has been like a huge nature walk! Visiting different parks and nautre reserves you will learn a lot about the different flora and fauna species. I probably know more Scottish plants than I do back home!

Living Situation:
Bring an alarm clock from home. Also bring warm clothes because Scotland is much colder and wetter than I would have expected. You have you own bathroom and room to yourself which is very nice.

Cultural Immersion:
At first, you will be able to get to know and talk with the Scottish students going to the school. It was great to get to know them and the cutlural differences between growing up in Scotland versus growing up in America. The instructors will also take you to different castles and ancient neolithic sites to learn about the history and culture of Scotland. One of the best nights was "Welcome to Scotland Night." The school had a group of older men that came and played the bagpipes, read Robert Burns poems, and performed different plays. Also, we got to eat authentic food like haggis and other sweeties.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    9

Scotland

My experience in Scotland was a pleasant one. The people were very friendly and flexible, and the students on the trip were easy to talk to. Field time greatly outweighed the time we spent in a classroom, which in my opinion, is what made the experience so much fun. Every day it seemed that we would visit a new area of the Scottish lowlands and would learn about anything from the culture of the area to the conservation issues. At the beginning of the trip we received two assessment packets that we eventually completed by the end of the trip. The classwork is kept at a minimum, most of the work is hands on. I recommend this experience to anyone working toward environmental science, or ecology degrees. The program has broadened my knowledge of the ecology work field, and has given me hands on experience that I have taken back to the states.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Academics

    6

Great experience

This has been an amazing journey. I got to explore Scotland from both a cultural and natural perspective. I also got experience with several different conservation techniques, like bird banding and electrofishing. I made great friends and had an unforgettable experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    8

Four Seasons and Kilts

One of the first cultural experiences we went to was a traditional Scottish dance called a Ceilidh. I'm not a dancer by any means, but I'm glad I gave a couple dances a try. This is a good chance to meet students from the college and get to know the other students in the summer program.

The staff are extremely kind and are willing to make the program a better experience for you. One in particular is a bit intense, but they are trying to give you the hands on activity you wouldn't get somewhere else. So bring a good pair of hiking boots, wool socks, and a rain jacket. Layering is also the best way to keep warm if you tend to be cold. Scotland is a bit cooler and ranges from mid 50s to mid 60s as highs with little humidity and is usually cloudy.

One of my favorite activities that we did as bird ringing (or bird banding in the US). They had a couple licensed ringers show us how to ring birds, measure their wings, and then release them. We also did plenty of hiking "wee hills" one of which was Cairngorm.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Scotland

Overall this program provided a good amount of both education and culture. Getting to explore different nature reserves as well as get some hands on work with the land, like working in peat bogs and getting to band birds was an absolute amazing way to explore a different country. I was genuinely impressed with each site we got to explore.

Some negatives about the trip:
- The communication was poor
- Having had multiple schedule changes meant that we had little to no heads up in advance as to what we were doing
- The food was not nutritious and lacked in substitutes in protein and iron if you were a vegetarian
- Because of the students behaviour on campus and with the taxi service we were not always able to get a ride to and from campus

The positives far out way these small negatives. Had I an opportunity to do this trip again, I would.

  • Adelante Abroad responded to this review June 23, 2015 at 1:24 PM

    Dear Payton,

    Thank you very much for your detailed review as well as all the positive bullet points. To the helpful points that we can improve on: I spoke with the Environment Team Leader (who heads up our Ecology program in Scotland) to clarify the schedule changes. The staff put their heads together and built what they thought were better visits, practical and class work combinations, but neglected to advise everyone in a timely manner. I’m sure there were apologies at the time and we apologize again for those last minute changes. The feedback from these changes from your group was definitely good, so next year all will be incorporated into the program schedule well in advance. We have met with the catering manager too, and have confirmed a healthy, better balanced diet for all students in this program... independent of their dietary needs (e.g. vegetarians or kosher, for example). In regards to taxi services: if students call out for taxi services out to campus then do not come out to redeem requested services, it is unlikely taxi drivers will come out again. This is apparently what happened. The solution is to run taxi request services through the campus housing office and we will highlight this in Orientation next year. Thank you again for your excellent detail; it helps make the program better for future Ecology Program students!

    - Adelante

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Overall, an amazing experience

This was such a great and unique opportunity to see a beautiful country, as well as receive university credit for it. Since it was the first year it was offered, there is much to be improved, but not enough that I wouldn't reccomend it to other people. I saw so many areas and sites that I would not have seen if I had just been a regular tourist. There was always something to do and somewhere to see.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Studying Ecology in a Gorgeous Country

The program was really cool. This being the first year for the program, it was pretty well organized and structured. There were tons of cultural visits and sight-seeing around various areas in Scotland that made it very worth it. The experience gained about habitat management and ecological conservation from a Scottish perspective was really insightful.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

As expected for new program

This program was, overall, what I would expect from a new program. There were a couple of mishaps - intermittent internet access, limited food/dining options at times, lack of communication between adminstration - but these were miniscule in comparison to all of the cultural visits, tours, and outdoor fieldwork that we were able to experience. We were introduced to differnt regions of Scotland on guided tours, but were also given time to explore on our own. If you love all things green and growing (and don't mind rain), then the countryside scenery is a definite benefit.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Ecology

Overall, the ecology program at Oatridge University was a good learning experience for my major at the University of Arkansas in environmental, soil, and water science. The biggest aspect of the program I enjoyed was learning about the cultural heritage of many of the practices used currently in Scotland. I found it particularly interesting concerning the use of cattle and other grazing animals over strimming or mowing to control dominant vegetation and general maintence.

On campus, there were some issues that could be fixed for next year and that need to be taken into consideration. First, bring an alarm clock/phone/watch and a towel if there is room in your luggage. A towel was provided, but was never washed, although there are washers and dryers onsite for £3. The internet and printers were under a new update and were an issue for most of the trip. Hopefully this will not be an issue for later periods. Also, the campus is a 30 minute walk away from any resturants or pubs, so expect to be walking or taking a cab down to Uphall for a fun night out.

Social Life:
Not much to do on campus once the pub closes, go to city/Uphall for a night life.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Academics

    9

All the Scottish Horses

The college held a Ceilidgh the first week we were here which is a traditional Scottish end of term celebration. All the boys wore kilts and we got to dress in nicer clothes and learn a ton of traditional Scottish line and partner dances. It was truly amazing to be so immersed in a culture that is so old and well founded.

I chose this program simply because I got to ride and be instructed in a different country

We had single rooms with a desk, dresser, wardrobe, night stand, and single bed - as well as an attached bathroom.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Scotland

This was the first year for this program. There are obviously some kinks to work out. There is a lack of communication between the students and the staff as far as the technology. This is referring to the fact that the access to the internet was limited at times and that skype barely worked. There were many little things that are needed to be remerbered when studying abroad: bring an alarm clock, get used to eating bad food, the beds are not comfortable and the comforter will barely cover your feet when you sleep at ngiht.

This being said, this was a great trip. The issues are very small and not really a big issue in the grand scheme of things. They are just a part of studying abroad. Scotland has a beautiful contryside and the scenery is great. The castles here are awesome and very historical! The best thing about this program is that you get to see a lot of the countryside. You get to see a lot of cultural sites, such as prehistoric sites. The college is slightly away from the nearest town. It takes thirty minutes to get to the small town of Uphall, which really only has pubs and a convenient store. It is an hour walk to the train station in Uphall. The train is the best way to travel to Edinburgh, Glasgow or St. Andrew's. This really isn't bad you just need to get used to walking a little. You will need to walk in order to not get fat from the heavy meals that they feed you in the kitchen, or "canteen."

Everyone in Scotland is very friendly and nice! I have met so many people in Uphall, Edinburgh and St. Andrew's that it isn't even funny. If you are ever lost somewhere don't hesitate to ask someone how to get somewhere. I have never had anyone ignore me. Everyone is very helpful and polite. It is not like New York City where people are rude.

This trip is great. I would recommend that you only go if you are an Environmental Science or Ecology major. If you aren't then it will still be a neat trip, it just won't be as interesting as the other students think that it is.

Bottom line is that it is a country of beautiful scenery and the most laidback people ever! The castles are so awesome too!