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Regents Semester in Scotland

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Edinburgh, Scotland




Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and have sophomore standing by the start of the program.

Application Due:

March 27 for Fall 2015/Academic Year 2015-2016

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Piper on the Scottish Highlands,Photo by Tim Riess

Piper on the Scottish Highlands
Photo by Tim Riess

This semester or academic year program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University of Edinburgh, one of the finest universities in the United Kingdom in one of Europe's most exciting cultural centers. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Scottish peers.

Before you get started, take a quick tour of Edinburgh

Academic Program

University of Edinburgh Law College

University of Edinburgh Law College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers degrees in Art History, Architecture, Archeology, History, Celtic & Scottish Studies, Foreign Languages (including less commonly taught ones such as Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, and Gaelic), Economics, Business, Politics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Law, Education, Divinity, and Music.

The College of Science and Engineering offers over 100 degree programs, including Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Informatics & Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, and Electronic, Chemical, Electrical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering.

Take a look at the course options open to study abroad students by exploring the University of Edinburgh's 'Course Finder' website.

One-of-a-kind internships in the Scottish parliament are also available. Contact Cory Petersen for more information!

A Note on Grading

As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students do in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa. This means that if you do not take the exam or turn in a required final paper, your British academic record will report a grade of 0 and you will not receive credit for the course.

The grading system in the UK is significantly different from the US system. Grades are given as 'marks', and a score of 60% is typically considered a high mark. UI does not convert British marks into U.S. letter grades. While you WILL receive credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

However, this does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis. You will earn a final mark in the UK system, and your British academic record will always report these. In order to receive credit for the course, you must receive a passing grade in the British system and, in the future, when official transcripts of your college work are requested, you will need to provide both an Iowa transcript and the British academic record – your British grades will be clear.

Cultural Activities

The City of Edinburgh is renowned for its lively arts, theater, and music scenes. It is a cosmopolitan capital city, with national museums, theaters and galleries to rival the best in Europe. Getting out of town is easy. Whether it’s a trip to the Scottish Highlands, a train ride to London, or a direct flight to a continental European destination, students can take advantage of holidays and breaks to explore to their heart’s content.

Program Dates

The academic year at Edinburgh closely follows the University of Iowa's academic calendar. The calendar for the Fall 2015 session (and the Academic Year 2015-2016) will be similar to the UI's 2015-2016 calendar. Specific dates for next year will be available in early Spring 2015, but will closely follow the dates for the 2014-2015 session, listed below:

Dates for the Fall 2014 session:

September 6, 2014 - Arrival/Program Begins
September 7- International Day/Arrival Orientation
September 8 - September 12 - Fresher’s Week/Orientation
September 15 - November 28- Fall Semester classes in session
December 1 - December 5 - Study Review Week/Break
December 8 - December 19- Exams
December 20, 2014- Fall session ends

Dates for the Spring 2015 session

January 12, 2015 - Arrival/Program Begins
May 22, 2015- Spring session ends

For More Information

Gate House on the Royal Mile

Gate House on the Royal Mile

Cory Petersen
Advisor & Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Program
1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Tel: +319-335-0353
Fax: +319-335-0343

University of Edinburgh

George's Square, University of Edinburgh

George's Square, University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a venerable institution -- founded in 1580 -- and has forged a special position in academia. Its national and international reputation is excellent, and it has a large, diverse, and multinational student body. Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world. Famous alumni include Charles Darwin, David Hume, Joseph Lister, and the writers Robert Louis Stevenson and J.K. Rowling. Courses are available in most disciplines, including Humanities , Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering. Internships in the Scottish parliament are available.

The University has approximately 33,000 students, with over 11,000 international students from more than 130 countries.


Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh castle

Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh castle

Striking medieval and Georgian districts, overlooked by the Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano, Edinburgh is a handsome European capitol city famous for the arts, its architecture, and fine museums.

The city of Edinburgh is built around its famous castle which sits atop an extinct volcanic plug. The ‘Royal Mile’ is a long street that follows the backbone of the ridge that runs from the castle down to Holyrood Palace, where Queen Elizabeth and other royals stay when they visit. Many of the buildings in this section of the city are very old and stately. North of this area is ‘New Town’, so-named because it was a planned urban area created in the Georgian architectural style. New Town is where the main shopping district of Edinburgh is located. George Square, the center of the University of Edinburgh campus, is located a little south of Edinburgh Castle, below the volcanic plug. It's a 10 minute walk to the Royal Mile from there.

Edinburgh is home to 495,000 inhabitants. The economy is largely based on the service sector – centered around banking, financial services, higher education, and tourism.

Pipers at Holyrood Castle

Pipers at Holyrood Castle


Scotland is a member of the United Kingdom, which also includes England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It features a diverse landscape, friendly people, and a rich history.

United Kingdom

Some quick general facts about the UK:

• The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.

• Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.

• British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers 'n mash, steak pie, Indian curry,'neeps and tatties, haggis and more!

• The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'Chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.

• The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Living Arrangements

Pollock Halls

Pollock Halls

Students are housed in university residence hall (most providing cafeterias and meal plans) or in apartments in the city (self-catering). Take a look at the Accommodation Services office for information about the complete range of housing options.

Pollock Hall Room

Pollock Hall Room

Travel Arrangements

Students are free to make their own travel arrangements after being officially accepted into the program. Although there is no specific 'group flight', you will receive contact information for all of the program participants which will allow students to find a travel partner to Edinburgh. You will receive information about traveling from the airport to your accommodation as part of your acceptance packet from the University of Edinburgh.

Local Transportation

Edinburgh has an excellent public transportation system, though many students navigate the main areas of the city on foot or by bike (when the weather cooperates). Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be expensive. Edinburgh is also well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe by bus, train, and a major airport just outside the city.


Minimum eligibility requirements include sophomore standing and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale). Students must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa at the time the program begins. Students who do not fit these requirements should contact their study abroad advisor for alternative options.

Application Deadline

Final applications are due on March 27 for the Fall 2015 and Academic Year 2015-2016 sessions.

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with Cory Petersen, the program coordinator for the Iowa Regents’ Semester in Scotland, to determine whether this program is a good fit, and discuss the application process.

After submitting an application, your application will be sent to the University of Edinburgh for review, where final acceptance decisions are made.

Applicants are officially notified of their acceptance status by Edinburgh by late October/early November for the Spring session, and by late March/early April for the following Fall/Academic Year.

Please call the Study Abroad office (1111 University Capitol Centre) at 319-335-0353 to set up an appointment, or email Cory with any questions at


The total program fee (a combination of Study Abroad Fees, and Course Fees) for the Iowa Regents' Semester in Scotland varies depending on residency status at the University of Iowa. Final program fees for the Fall 2015 and Academic Year 2015-2016 sessions will be available in April 2015, and will be similar to the fees listed below for the 2014-2015 sessions.

Scottish Parliament Building

Scottish Parliament Building

The program fee for Fall 2014 is $12,904 for Iowa residents and $14,548 for non-residents. The program fee includes all educational and administrative fees, orientation, and some cultural activities.

The program fee for Spring 2015 is $13,292 for Iowa residents and $14,888 for non-residents. The program fee includes all educational and administrative fees, orientation, and some cultural activities.

The program fee does not include the application fee ($50), round trip airfare (approximately $1400 from Cedar Rapids), passport (approx. $135), housing ($4,500), food ($2,500), textbooks (approx. $300), local transportation ($300+), immunizations (variable), CISI health insurance (approx. $120), or any personal expenses ($3,000+). Students staying for longer than 6 months will also be responsible for visa fees totaling around $400.

University of Iowa study abroad administrative fees are included for all participants. They are based on tuition set by the Iowa Board of Regents. Please check the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information on these administrative fees.

Program cost sheet

A cost sheet detailing all estimated costs for the Fall 2015 session will be posted here during Spring 2015.

The cost sheet captures the best possible estimate for all costs a participant on this program will be responsible for, including fees paid to UI as well as out-of-pocket costs and personal expenses, although actual spending amounts may vary. This information will be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid to help determine your eligibility for aid for this program.

Withdrawal Policy

Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to the Study Abroad office at the University of Iowa. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa (amounts based on Spring 2015 fees- fees may be adjusted for future sessions).

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: $400
Portion of Course Fee: $100
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($976 for IA Residents, $2,572 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($976 for IA Residents, $2,572 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($976 for IA Residents, $2,572 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 100%

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students may be able to use financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) to cover some of the costs of this program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of our website for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, including the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications, and contact with the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what might be available to you.

The Study Abroad office offers several scholarships and grants. The awards listed below are available to University of Iowa students studying on this program:

1- Merit-based scholarship (requires a 3.33 GPA or higher)

2- Need-based study abroad grant (for students who are eligible for financial aid, based on available FAFSA information)

3- Diversity Ambassador scholarship (see web site for details)

Other UI-affiliated awards

4- Other University of Iowa awards

5- External Awards

Awards from organizations outside of the University of Iowa

(Note that when searching for financial aid from organizations outside of the University of Iowa, it's always best to be safe. Be sure to take a look at these tips to avoid scams before you apply!)

6- NAFSA’s US Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants List

7- IIE Passport's Study Abroad Funding page

8- US Department of Labor's scholarship page


10- Or try a Google search for 'study abroad scholarships'!

Finally, if you’re having trouble writing scholarship essays, you may want to contact the UI Writing Center for a helping hand!

If you have any questions about funding for this program, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment.

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343