Study Abroad in Edinburgh

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a major political, economic, and political capital of Western Europe; respectively, it is home to the Scottish parliament and monarchy, is the second largest financial center in the U.K. after London, and hosts the National Museum of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, and the Fringe, which is the largest arts festival in the world. It’s also home to the University of Edinburgh, which is ranked as a top 20 college in the world. Need any more convincing why you should study abroad in Edinburgh?

Subjects & Courses

Many international students who study abroad in Edinburgh choose to do so at the University of Edinburgh, which was established way back in the 16th century and consistently ranks among the best in the world. Being the college city that it is, however, there are also a handful of other schools in Edinburgh which can offer an equally rewarding education. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, and Queen Margaret University are all well worth looking into.

By enrolling full time at a local university while you study abroad in Edinburgh, you will usually have the opportunity to choose from a full list of courses to suit your academic interests. English, economics, philosophy, political science, and European studies, for example, are among the most popularly pursued subjects by international students. Most therein choose to study abroad in Edinburgh for either a single semester or full academic year.

There are also a variety of specialized study abroad programs in Edinburgh, which run over the summer and either focus on a single subject or take you travelling throughout several different destinations in the region, for example. Be sure to look into a wide variety of programs to discover the one that fits your ideal experience studying abroad in Edinburgh!

Life in Edinburgh

History buffs will have a time of it in Scotland’s capital city. Edinburgh has been a human settlement for at least 10,000 years, and has served as the capital of what is now Scotland for over half a millennium. Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the city boasts several more ancient attractions worth checking out, such as the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.

Today Edinburgh is Scotland’s second largest city, with nearly 1.5 million people living in the metropolitan area. It is a thriving financial center, as well as a major cultural and academic hub, which help make it the U.K.’s second most popularly visited city after London. Some other can’t-miss attractions while you study abroad in Edinburgh include the Scottish National Gallery and the Edinburgh International Festival.

As an international student in Edinburgh, however, you’ll soon enough move past the veneer of the city to immerse yourself fully in local life. Make an effort to meet as many peers as you can, both local and international, so together you can explore all the nooks and crannies of this great Scottish city. And don’t hesitate to have some major fun while abroad!

Scholarships & Costs

While tuition and costs of living can be fairly expensive while studying abroad in Edinburgh, there are many ways to help lessen the toll on your wallet. Many universities, for example, will allow you to roll over tuition so that the experience will wind up costing about the same as your home school. Our Scholarship Directory, also, can point you to many external financial aid opportunities which can help lower the costs even more.

Accommodation & Visas

There are a variety of housing options open to international students who study abroad in Edinburgh. Homestays, for example, can be a great way to immerse yourself in Scottish family life. Student dormitories, alternatively, will provide great exposure to campus life, and off-campus apartments can afford students a more autonomous lifestyle in the city. Be sure to communicate with your study abroad program in Edinburgh about what kinds of housing options they will make available.

Whether or not you will need to apply for a student visa in order to study abroad in Edinburgh depends on your home country and the duration of your stay. Students from many Western nations will only have to apply for a visa if they intend on staying longer than six months, while students from some other countries may have to apply in advance. For more information regarding your individual circumstances, check out our U.K. Embassy Directory.

Benefits & Challenges

Scottish Enlightenment. The Scottish Enlightenment may have come and passed a few hundred years ago, but the tradition of strong academics and enquiry is alive and well in its university system to this day.

Old and New. Edinburgh is a city which carries tremendous pride in its historic roots, while also serving as a hub of innovation and creativity in our modern era. Not a bad place to gain exposure to the world away from home!

Local Travel. A nice thing about studying abroad in the U.K. is how convenient travel is across the British Isles. While studying in Edinburgh, you can easily escape for a weekend getaway anywhere else you’d like to visit.

Embarking to study abroad in Edinburgh will be an opportunity to thrive academically while making connections with peers from all over the world and immersing yourself 

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A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Edinburgh

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Academic Programs International

The University of Edinburgh is considered one of the world’s top universities (17th overall according to QS World University Rankings). The university offers a varied curriculum, with specialities across disciplines such as arts, business, humanities, and the natural sciences. Some of the university’s most famous alumni include Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Gordon Brown, Peter Higgs, and ...

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Adelante Abroad

Relish in the sweeping Scottish countryside on the outskirts of the capital city of Edinburgh. This 4 week Equine Study Abroad Program includes courses in equine anatomy and physiology and equine fitness, as well as hands on experience with English style riding. Animal science and pre-veterinary students will find this program most beneficial. However, the program is open to any major and no ...

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USAC SCOTLAND: St. Andrews - Full Curriculum

The St Andrews program offers students the opportunity to live and study in a medieval city and centuries-old university, while enjoying Scottish culture and everyday life in a charming seaside college town. A wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines are offered in such diverse subjects as Astrophysics, Biblical Studies, Chemistry, Comparative Literature, Earth Science, Economics, Envi...

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KEI Abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is one of Europe's most beautiful cities. From the Old Town's medieval castle to the New Town's neoclassical architecture, the city offers a constantly changing perspective. Edinburgh is a city of pubs, cafes and restaurants filled with writers, artists and comedians. In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh is “a dream in masonry and living rock.” SEMESTER & YEAR CONCENTRAT...

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Across the Pond

Across The Pond are the official North American representative for Semester and Year long programs across Scotland, England, and Wales. Our UK Study Experts provide free one to one support and guidance on researching and applying to UK universities, and each of first-hand knowledge of studying in the UK.

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Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Queen Margaret University hosts exchange programmes that let QMU students study in another university abroad for one to two semesters. Where partnerships exist, QMU also provides students from partner universities with the opportunity to study at their campus in Edinburgh. Students can choose from two types of exchanges: - Programmes arranged through the European Union’s Erasmus programm...

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Summer School University of Edinburgh

Choose from a wide range of courses: Our courses range from economics, politics and history to energy, global challenges and innovation, all designed to offer you an unique and interesting perspective on today's and yesterday's world. Some even include an internship to make the summer in Edinburgh an unforgettable and career enhancing experience. Summer School courses can either be credi...

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Arcadia University

Located in the heart of Scotland's capital city, the University of Edinburgh is one of the most distinguished research institutions in Europe. Students will experience an amazing mix of the old and the new with ancient and modern campus buildings. With its long and storied history as a seat of learning, the lively student atmosphere and the elegance, and striking beauty of the city, make this a...

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Scotland: Literature, Language and Culture- Summer

The Literature, Language, and Culture of Scotland program will provide each student with the singular opportunity to investigate imagination and literacy connections in the environments of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Scottish coast and countryside. The class will involve a ten day trip with excursions to two universities, castles, museums, literary sites, historic sites, national parks, and an ...

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World Endeavors

Study abroad with World Endeavors at Heriot-Watt University's beautiful Scottish Borders campus! Students will have the opportunity to choose from two wonderful programs within the school of Textiles & Design: * Scottish Textiles Study Tour - Two weeks of group seminars, lecture, and workshops - One week Study Tour in London * Fashion Events Promotion Internship - Two we...

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International Internships, Edinburgh

Gain self confidence, new skills, valuable work experience and an outstanding resume while you work at an exciting and challenging internship in the field of your choice. Study academic courses taught at local universities that broaden your perspective and nurture your personal growth. Explore new ways of thinking and living that deepen your knowledge and understanding of different cultures as ...