Fall, Spring, Academic Year
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
• 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 the program begins
• Approval by UI Study Abroad
• Acceptance by host institution
• Attendance at orientation sessions
• September 17 for Spring
• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year
Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.
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, learn more about the undergraduate experience at Edinburgh, and participate in an online information session offered by Edinburgh’s Study Abroad office.
Courses are available in a huge variety of disciplines. You can find information about the courses offered at Edinburgh, including a course catalogue, course descriptions, number of credits, and more on the Study Abroad Courses and Credits website.
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. This may limit the variety of courses you can enroll in while you study abroad.
The number of credits each course provides is different that the number of UI semester hours you will receive when your transcript from Edinburgh arrives at the University of Iowa.
Foreign universities are typically unable to provide a final course catalog for the upcoming semester until shortly before the semester begins. Students usually do not know which specific classes they can take before arriving abroad, and they usually do not register for classes until they arrive in their host country- this means that there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to enroll in your preferred courses. Your final course schedule may not be finalized until you are already abroad and attending classes.
Because of these differences, all students must meet with their academic advisor before going abroad to discuss how the differences in course availability will affect their degree progress and graduation plans. It is important to develop a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive at their host university.
As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa.
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 US letter grades. While you WILL receive academic credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.
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 host university's 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 academic record from the host institution – the grades you earn for the courses you took abroad will be clear and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.
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 around 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.
Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file 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 plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process.
Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.
You can find detailed semester dates for the upcoming sessions on the Academic Year Calendar website.
Students should consider these dates tentative until they receive final dates for their session abroad from the host university prior to the start of the program.
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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.
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.
The United Kingdom (UK) refers to the four countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is in contrast to another common name, Great Britain, which excludes Northern Ireland. Each part of the UK has a distinct culture and history. Experiencing these rich traditions is what studying in the UK is all about!
The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
Students live with local British students or international students from around the world. Students work directly with the University of Edinburgh to make their accommodation arrangements, and pay for their accommodation through Edinburgh’s billing system.
Accommodation options include university residence halls (most providing cafeterias and meal plans) or in apartments in the city (self-catering). Learn more about the range of housing options available to you on Edinburgh’s Accommodation page.
Housing costs will be paid directly to your host institution. You will receive details about how to pay for your housing abroad from your host institution prior to departure. You should plan to pay a housing deposit early in the semester prior to your departure.
Estimated housing costs are provided under the Application tab above.
All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:
US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.
Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.
Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.
UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination. Students will purchase their own plane tickets to their host country, though UI Study Abroad can assist by providing advice regarding airline booking options.
You are advised not to purchase plane tickets until:
If you have questions about purchasing plane tickets, please contact your UI study abroad advisor.
Edinburgh has an excellent public transportation system, though many students navigate the main areas of the city on foot or by bike. You can find more information about public transportation options in Swansea on their Getting Around Edinburgh website. Taxis are available throughout the city. Edinburgh is also well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe by bus, train, and a major airport just outside the city.
This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:
Universities in the U.K. have recently been impacted by ongoing indistrial action. U.K. exchange/direct enrollment program applicants must understand the very real possibility of cancelled classes, independent study adaptations and/or delayed grading.
Applicants without a high degree of flexibility regarding course availability, class cancellations, and delayed grading should consider postponing an application until the situation resolves, or choose to apply to a different program.
Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.
The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.
Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.
A cost sheet for the Fall 2024 session will be available by mid-spring 2024.
The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:
Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:
Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.
The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per session.
You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc., on UI Study Abroad’s Finances page.
This is a two-part process. You apply first with the University of Iowa. If approved, you will submit a separate application to the host university abroad.
If you are accepted to your program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, as well as completing requirements for your host university.
After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and your host university. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.
Applications for the Fall and Academic Year sessions are due on February 24.
Applications for the Spring session are due on September 17.
All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.
Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.
It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.
Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.
Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.
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.
You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This orientation will be facilitated by your UI 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.
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