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University of Edinburgh

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

From Misery to Magnificence

Right up until the moment I got on the plane I was miserable, in tears, freaking out, and basically the picture of unhappiness. I almost didn't come abroad because I was so scared to leave the comfort of home. Hindsight is 20/20 though and I'm certainly very glad that I decided to come to the University of Edinburgh for the semester. I didn't know if I would make friends, assimilate into a different culture or succeed academically. But upon arriving and meeting the wonderful IFSA-Scotland team my fears melted away with each passing second. Their orientation which takes place a couple days before the university's orientation was really helpful in establishing an early security blanket. I was able to meet some of my best friends during orientation.

With the help of the IFSA-Scotland team I was able to figure out what environments were most conducive to studying in addition to how to balance my personal life and academics. But the best part about the program is that they definitely aren't the type of people to drop you off and leave you alone. They are very accessible (with fantastic response times as well!) and have intrinsic knowledge about pretty much anything that would be helpful to living and studying abroad. I don't know where I'd be without their fabulous handbook. I had to deal with a few strange incidents during my time abroad including needing a root canal right before finals but I was able to deal with it since they maintain very open lines of communication. I was able to get it taken care of with a bit of help and that was that.

When I think about my time abroad it is impossible not to immediately think about the quality of the program I chose. From an early orientation to their weekend excursion to Inverness where I got to play with super adorable puppies to their Thanksgiving ceilidh, these past 4 months have provided me a lifetime's worth of memories. If I've learned anything from my time in Scotland it's that life is made up of a multitude of moments and it's about cherishing the good ones that makes life so sweet. If I had to go through all the anxiety and uncertainty of coming abroad again I wouldn't have had gone about it any other way.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Not sure why I came but I stayed for the Haggis

Team #IFSA has been an extremely consistent, professional, and unbelievably helpful program provider during my time abroad. From applying past the program deadline to the endless questions about which classes I could take to the most unexpected problems like getting tonsillitis while traveling, the IFSA team has never failed to give a thorough response (and with wonderful response times too!).

We started with orientation, which they set up for us in a hotel, a few days before the actual University of Edinburgh's orientation began. This gave us plenty of time to adjust to the city (and for those who just flew in, the jet lag, which I heard was much appreciated). The series of diverse yet succinct topics (i.e. security, sports, food, nightlife, slang, grocery shopping, academic advice, travel advice), we covered had me feeling more than prepared to be living in this country.

Throughout the semester, we had a few excursions and programs as well, which were every bit as worth it and lived up to the descriptions we had been hearing about. They did a community and culture informal session a few times and each of the ones I've been to have been super interesting, and it was very nice to see how much effort was put into the presentations despite the unsurprisingly low turnouts (due to class conflicts etc.).

My favorite aspect about IFSA is that the team here doesn't feel like "my study abroad program region coordinators" and instead feel more like a "group of cool people who happen to know the answer to every question I have and are actually pretty fun too."

In conclusion, I don't think my study abroad experience would have been what it is without IFSA. I probably would've been stressing out a lot more over minor logistical things that the IFSA team had already so thoughtfully prepared for and researched ahead of time. Go with Team IFSA, you can't go wrong.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Lochs and Glens

For some people, especially what society would describe as minority groups, Scotland is really an unexpected destination. I did not expect to love it as much as I did and IFSA Butler was an integral part of my experience. They really help the assimilation process and organize wonderful trips/events.
I was lucky to live amongst a friendly group of students who welcomed me fully and without reserve. This meant that I was able to really feel like a student and not just an outsider in a temporary location. Plus it does not hurt that Edinburgh and Scotland in general is absolutely beautiful.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

UofE through Ifsa

First of all I love Edinburgh. It doesn't get better than this city. But beyond that, IFSA did a great job taking care of us and making sure we had what we needed to have a good semester in Scotland. Orientation is completely worth it. You get to spend some time wandering around and making friends on the same program - I hung out with my IFSA regularly while in Edinburgh. Andrew, Deidra, Ruth, and Jenny are absolutely awesome. I highly recommend IFSA. Some of my friends who enrolled directly through the university relied us to pass along the information that IFSA provided us with (travel documents needed, grade conversions, questions about the city, etc...).