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Regents Semester in Scotland

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Edinburgh, Scotland




• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 3.0 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing at the time of application

• Acceptance by host institution

Application Due:

March 21 for Fall 2017 and Academic year 2017-2018

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Piper on the Scottish Highlands

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,take a look at ten good reasons to choose to study in Edinburgh, and learn more about the undergraduate experience at Edinburgh.

Academic Program

University of Edinburgh Law College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers course options in Economics, Business, English, Art History, History, Classics, and Archaeology, Celtic and Scottish Studies, Law, Music, and many other disciplines.

Engineering students can enroll in the College of Science and Engineering and take courses in the fields of Chemical, Civil, Electronic/Software, and Mechanical Engineering.

A huge variety of STEM courses in the fields of Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Immunology, Informatics, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy are also available.

What classes can I take?

You can find more information about the course options open to study abroad students by exploring the University of Edinburgh's Course Finder website.

Course restrictions

Students must take 40 of the 60 Edinburgh credits they earn each semester through a single college. They can choose the remaining credits from the same college, or from another college.

The British Grading System

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.

The grading system in the U.K. is significantly different from the U.S. 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 academic credit for the courses you take in the U.K., you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

However, this does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis. 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 and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.

Learn more about Edinburgh’s grading system.


Edinburgh will send Fall semester transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of February, and Spring semester/Academic Year transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of July. Students can expect their grades to be applied to their UI grade reports within 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.

Program Dates

Dates for the Fall 2017 session: (Dates are subject to change)

September 11, 2017 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
September 11 - September 17 - Welcome Week/Orientation
September 18 - December 1 - Fall Semester classes in session
December 4 - December 7 - Revision
December 8 - December 21 - Exams
December 21, 2017 - Fall session ends

Dates for the Spring 2018 session (Dates are subject to change)

January 10, 2018 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
January 10 - January 14 - Welcome Week/Orientation
January 15 - April 6 - Spring Semester classes in session
April 7 - April 22 - Spring break
April 23 - April 27 - Revision
April 30 - May 25 - Exams
May 25, 2018- Fall session ends

For More Information

Cory Petersen
Sr. 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

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.


Arthur's Seat from Edinburgh 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


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

Students live with local British students or international students from around the world. Accommodation options include university residence halls (most providing cafeterias and meal plans) or in apartments in the city (self-catering). Take a look at the Accommodation page office for information about the complete range of housing options.

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.


The Regents’ Semester in Scotland is open to students of all majors who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Preparedness and Maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibility abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A.- Students must have at minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. to participate in this program. This requirement can be flexible in some cases. Please contact your study abroad advisor if you are interested in this program but do not currently have a 3.0 G.P.A..
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing required- Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins. First year students cannot participate in this program.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.
  • No language requirement- Students do not need to have any foreign language background, as courses on this program are taught in English.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Spring 2018 will be available by August 2017.

Applications are due on March 21 for the Fall 2017 and Academic Year 2017 - 2018 sessions.


The course fee for the Fall 2017 session is $11,988.

The course fee for the Spring 2018 will be available by mid-October 2017. The course fee for the Spring 2018 session is expected to be within $300-$500 of the course fee for the Fall 2017.

The course fee includes all educational/tuition fees, orientation, and some cultural activities.

The course fee is charged to the student’s University of Iowa Ubill shortly before the program begins.

The following items are not included in the course fee:

Costs charged to the Ubill in addition to the course fee

  • Application fee ($50- charged at the time of application)
  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee (Varies by year. Fees for the 2017-2018 academic year were $1018 for Iowa residents, and $2784 for Iowa non-residents- the Study Abroad Administrative Fee is subject to change- See the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information. Charged shortly before the program begins)
  • CISI health insurance (approx. $160 per semester- charged about three weeks prior to the start of the program)

Costs charged separately from the Ubill

  • Round trip airfare (approximately $1600 from Cedar Rapids- paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- by late spring or early summer)
  • Housing (approx. $3500 per semester, but is variable depending on the specific housing arrangements- charged upon arrival to the U.K.)
  • Housing Deposit (approximately $875 paid by student shortly before departure to the U.K.)
  • Food (approximately $1800 per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Visa fees (approx. $160 for one semester, or $550 for an academic year- paid by student on arrival to the U.K., or shortly before arrival for an academic year visa- amounts may vary for non-U.S. citizens. Contact Cory Petersen for more information.
  • U.K. Police Registration fee (approx. $50 only for an academic year- paid by student on arrival to the U.K.)
  • U.K. Police Registration fee (approx. $50- paid by student on arrival to the U.K.)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (approx. $250 only for the academic year- paid by student on arrival to the U.K.)
  • Passport (approx. $135- paid by student prior to departure- by mid-May)
  • Textbooks (approx. $200 per semester- paid by student as needed while abroad)
  • Local transportation ($200+ per semester- paid by student as needed while abroad)
  • UK-based Cell Phone (approx. $200 per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Medical Exam/Immunizations (approx. $50- paid by student as needed prior to departure)
  • Personal expenses ($3000+ per semester- paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
Scottish Parliament Building

Study Abroad Administrative Fees

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

The Fall 2017 cost sheet can be found below. A cost sheet detailing all estimated costs for the Spring 2018 will be posted here by mid-fall 2017.

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

PDFRegents’ Semester in Scotland- Cost Sheet- Fall 2017

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.

The application process consists of three steps:

  • Step One- Students must request nomination to the University of Edinburgh by submitting an online application U.I. Study Abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you this application.
  • Step Two- The U.I. Study Abroad application is reviewed and, if the student meets the requirements for the program, the study abroad advisor nominates them to study at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Step Three- Once nominated, the student completes the University of Edinburgh’s visiting student application. This application is reviewed by Edinburgh where the final acceptance decision is made.

Applicants are notified of their official 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

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 Fall 2017 fees- fees may be adjusted for future sessions).

Note: In rare cases of withdrawal due to injury, illness or other significant and verifiable extenuating circumstances, a financial appeal process exists to consider the financial aspects of late withdrawal. Contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

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% ($1018 for IA Residents, $2784 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% (($1018 for IA Residents, $2784 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($1018 for IA Residents, $2784 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 100%

Financial Aid & Scholarships

In general, financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) received to attend the University of Iowa may be applied toward the cost of studying abroad as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward his/her degree. In most cases the Office of Student Financial Aid can adjust financial aid to cover additional costs incurred by study abroad. Moreover, students are encouraged to apply for scholarships based on need, merit and/or diversity that are awarded by Study Abroad. Complete information is available on the Funding Your Study Abroad Experience page.

Before applying for any scholarship, please review the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications section of our website for valuable tips on making a successful application.

For help writing scholarship essays, please contact the UI Writing Center.

Study Abroad awards

The Study Abroad office offers several scholarships and grants. Take a look at the following links for Semester or Academic Year scholarships offered through our office:

1- Need-Based grants (For students in good academic standing, and who current year FAFSA has been processed by UI Office of Student Financial Aid)

2- Stanley Merit-Based Scholarship (See web page for details)

3- International Student Study Abroad Scholarship (See web page for details)

4- Diversity Ambassador Scholarship (see web page for details)

Other UI-affiliated awards

5- Iowa Abroad Scholarship (For Iowa-resident students who began studying at the University of Iowa in Fall 2015 or later- see web page for details)

6- Bijou Horizons - FilmScene (see web page for details)

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!)

7- External Awards

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

9- IIE Passport's Study Abroad Funding page

10- Federal Student Aid Grants and Scholarships page

11- U.S. Department of Labor's Career One Stop scholarship finder



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

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.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

After you have reviewed the final cost sheet and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

First, read, download, complete, and return the Confirmation of Participation document, sign it, and submit it to the Study Abroad office no later than Monday, May 1 at 4:59pm.

Please note that if this document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline on Monday, May 1, 2017, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

Next, download the Healthcare Preparation Guide, and complete it with the help of your doctor. This document should not be submitted to our office.

  • PDF Healthcare Preparation Guide
  • Finally, thoroughly review the following sections of text:

    • Orientation
    • Vaccines and Health/Safety
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Financial Aid and Scholarships
    • Applying credit toward a UI degree
    • Health Insurance and Continuation of Care
    • Flights
    • Registration
    • Information about Scotland, the City of Edinburgh, and University of Edinburgh


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online ‘Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation’ course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Vaccinations and Health/Safety

    We will address many issues related to health and safety during the orientation sessions, but until then our general advice is that before you go abroad it is best to check with your doctor about any health concerns you have. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control web site for UK-specific health information and visit either your doctor or the Travel Clinic at UI Student Health & Wellness for any vaccinations you might need.

    Safety, too, is vital to your study abroad experience. While the UK is generally a very safe place, unfortunately safety cannot be guaranteed anywhere. Take a look at the Health and Safety section of the Study Abroad website for some tips on staying safe abroad.

    OCAS - UK: Information from the U.S. Department of State on safety and security abroad. Anyone can subscribe for the free OSAC newsletter to receive international safety news and updates via email.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one soon to ensure you receive it before the program begins. Students who are U.S. citizens can find more information about how to apply for or renew a passport on the U.S. Department of State’s web site.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport, or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    Those without valid passports should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Those with valid passports should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the U.S. from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid through this time then you will need to renew your passport before applying the visa you will need to enter the UK.

    Expedited processing service is available for U.S. passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact Cory Petersen for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


    Program participants are required to have a visa to enter the UK. Please contact your study abroad advisor for more information about acquiring the visa you need to enter the country.

    Please note that visas are issued by the British government based on that country's immigration requirements. Currently, the UK’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to acquire a visa prior to the start of the program in some cases. Please contact Cory Petersen at for more information.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    You can find more information about funding options by clicking on the Application tab above and scrolling to the Financial Aid & Scholarships section toward the bottom of the page.

    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 (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).

    Applying credit toward a UI degree

    Unless Study Abroad has an approval on file before your departure for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.  If you are hoping to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, please contact Cory Petersen at for details on the process. 

    Health Insurance and Continuation of Care

    As part of the this program, you will be enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  For more information about CISI, please visit our Health Insurance Information page.

    If you have any current health issues that you might want to receive treatment for while you’re abroad, CISI can help refer you to doctors and develop a continuation of care plan.  If you would like to make arrangements for care while you’re abroad, please contact CISI using the contact information on the site above, or contact Cory Petersen at


    Students will need to make their own travel arrangements to get to their program site- Study Abroad will not be arranging a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until

    • 1) You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
    • 2) You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
    • 3) You are aware of the semester start date and move-in date for your accommodations.

    Students will receive contact information for any other program participants about six weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans.

    If you need advice on making travel arrangements, please contact Cory Petersen at


    You will need to register for this program on MyUI prior to your departure for the UK. You will receive more information on the registration process from your Study Abroad advisor.

    Information about Scotland, the City of Edinburgh, and University of Edinburgh

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

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