Observation + Research Placements in Scotland

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About

Unique opportunities await you in Scotland. Valuable experience through Adelante's Observation & Research Programs allows you to participate in hands-on projects and assignments. These placements are highly curated. Fields are: Psychology, Veterinary, Equine Marketing, Agricultural Business, Horticulture and Zoological. Each summer, we can only select one or two candidates for each field.

Programs are based in Edinburgh (some Horticulture assignments based in Pitlochry) and are full-time, five days a week for six weeks. The weekends, however, are free for you to explore beautiful Scotland! A good balance of work experience and exploration is ensured with this program.

Spots are limited, so do not hesitate to apply!

For a full list of Observation & Research Assignments in Scotland click on "Visit Site" or if you're ready to fill out an application, click on "Get Started" above. Adelante's support team is excited to hear from you!
Highlights
  • Experience stunning and serene Scotland. This picturesque and green location will take your breath away. Why not enjoy one of the most beautiful places on Earth while gaining legitimate international experience!
  • Adelante's program offers the greatest value; downtown, furnished Edinburgh housing is included in the program price.
  • Assignments enhance your knowledge in your major. These programs are serious, educational and research-oriented programs intended to allow you to take the next step in the field of your choice.
  • Academic credit is available depending on your research sector (check with your university). In additional, Letters of Recommendation are available upon request.
  • A Curated Experience. Our programs are meant for the independent traveler and are not group focused. Our Director of Scotland and staff in the US are available throughout your program, and you can truly immerse yourself in the culture however you wish.

Questions & Answers

The program is not paid, unfortunately- you have to pay for the program.

Reviews

89%
based on 24 reviews
  • Growth 8.3
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8.5
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
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Taylor
9/10

Excellent for the Independent

Living and working in a new environment is definitely a good experience - provided that you are personally ready for it. This program is best suited to individuals who are self-motivated and are independent workers who can work for periods of time without supervision responsibly. I took part in the Psychology program, and found the work to be straightforward and relatively clear. The biggest challenge to future participants will be learning to adjust to a new living environment - be prepared to make mistakes and learn to problem solve for yourself.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jordan
10/10

I don't want to leave

I participated in the ecology and countryside management branches at the SRUC Oatridge campus. The lecturers that provided me with projects were so incredibly helpful. Anytime I needed help or had a question there was ALWAYS someone there who went above and beyond to make sure my question was answered. Throughout my time there, I learned a lot about the ecology of Scotland and how it differs from the environment that I am used to at home. I also made some lasting friendships with some of the locals that I met while staying in the dorms. Scotland is full of experiences for any type of person, and it was an experience that I would urge more people to take part in.

How can this program be improved?
The best improvement that I could suggest for this program is more help or detailed information on public transportation, especially at the SRUC Oatridge campus. The campus is fairly rural and it was a little stressful trying to figure out how to get places.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
DanVy
8/10

A great experience

I have an amazing time here in Scotland. I got a lot of hands-on experience in the field of psychology and it started my interest in the realm of research. I was able to conduct and create some of my own experiments. The professors were able to give me a new perspective to the way that psychology applies to everyday life. The location of the apartment was stellar and so close to the most lively parts of Edinburgh. This experience has been a super helpful and interesting. Loved it!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Keaton
7/10

Great Experience

The experience was very beneficial. It was important to be able to do things on your own and be able to meet other people. In this sense, I am in Agriculture, which is different then others. I was able to meet and talk to farmers or be in the office doing audits of farmers. It was interesting be able to talk about research since I also completed research on Anti-microbials in livestock during my internship. I have also took a step into Dairy Schemes since I currently work at my dairy at school. I got to look into several different sectors of agriculture and learned a lot from my two supervisors even though the last week was a little slower than the rest. While working 40 hours or more, I gained so much experience and got free tickets to the Royal Highland Show which I highly recommend for animal lovers, agriculture lovers, and adventure tenders.

How can this program be improved?
The program needs to be more careful about those they accept. As there are so many people who apply for these positions, it is important to make sure that those individuals are open-minded, friendly, and actually interested in experiencing the culture. It would have been lot of fun if everyone was involved doing activities outside of work.
Also I would try to include the transportation fee somehow (flight/bus/train) instead of each candidate finding the flight.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kaitlyn
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime

I owe so many thanks to Adelante Abroad for allowing me to satisfy my love for travel while also getting to fully immerse myself into living in another country. All of my previous travel experience has been with a group of other students, and this was my first time traveling abroad alone. The staff at Adelante (particularly Jeramee) was so quick to answer any questions I had, whether it be from preparing for my trip to things to do while actually in Scotland.

The housing situation was better than I could have hoped. The flat myself and two other participants lived in was fully furnished and clean. Additionally, it was extremely centrally located -- SO many grocery stores, shops, bars, and restaurants were within walking distance, it made traveling without a vehicle a nonexistent problem. However, I would definitely recommend purchasing a bus pass (the Ridacard), as this allows you to travel throughout the whole city for a reasonable price.

In regards to the program itself, the staff where I did my placement (the Edinburgh Zoo) were all extremely friendly and welcoming. They were in full support of the research project I had designed and did everything in their power to help me work on and complete the project. The zoo truly did feel like my home away from home while I was here.

The aspect that really tops off the experience is the abundance of things to do while on placement. Take full advantage of your placement in Scotland!! I spent weekends traveling to the Highlands, Iceland, and London in addition to doing some sightseeing throughout the city (such as some of the many museums, the castle, etc.). I think you don't truly get the cultural experience unless you are actively trying to immerse yourself in the city and its surroundings. I wish that the Scotland program was longer than six weeks, though, because it seems like you are just settling in to the country when it is once again time to pack up and leave.

Overall, I would recommend Adelante Abroad to any independent traveler looking to not only gain work experience, but also experience life abroad in a way that might otherwise not be possible!!

How can this program be improved?
I think that the Visa situation needs to be improved. Customs became suspicious of me when I said I was going to be in Scotland for six weeks, and even after showing them the invitation letter from the zoo stating I was not working but simply "observing," they were hesitant to allow me into the country. Another one of the students on placement with me actually got held in customs due to a similar situation. Thankfully, we both made it through, but I think this needs more looking in to.
Response from Adelante Abroad

Kaitlyn, what an important and detailed review of your Adelante program, thank you, thank you. To the Visa issue you mention:
yes, with "Brexit" and also the US's current administration, travel, especially to the United Kingdom, seems to be getting more monitored. Candidates can expect, for a while at least, to get questioned at the airport, which is why we provide the customized letter from each Scottish company (in your case, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland), inviting you to Scotland. For the past eight years, simply showing this document at the airport is enough. Lately, though there have been more and more questions to answer, as well. Everyone completed their summer programs just fine, and we here at Adelante apologize for the new rigor at customs. We will continue to educate and also to keep an eye on any new travel policy that comes out.
Team Adelante

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lindsay
8/10

Was a great time!

I had an over all awesome time here in Scotland. My favorite part how ever was the social aspect of it. I spent the majority of my time with the students at Oatridge College and girls in the study abroad Equine program. I was able to join in on some of their ridding as well which was a great addition to what I was doing. The internship was also great I learned a lot about event planning and showjumping such as course design/set up. I also learned a lot about event management and all that goes into setting up various types of shows.

How can this program be improved?
The program could improve by providing more detail with what the students will actually be doing in their internship. I was place at the Scottish National Equestrian Center originally wanting to shadow an Equine Veterinarian. I was perfectly fine with the switch but would have loved to know more details about what I was going to be doing prior to coming to Scotland
Response from Adelante Abroad

Dear L, thanks SO much for your wonderful reviews. And photos too! Our reply here is in response to your comment that you wished you knew more about your work assignment at the SNEC. In the Memorandum document, which all candidates receive and sign prior to their arrival into Scotland, here is the description SNEC provided (its long sorry!):
"The student will have the opportunity to review our state of the art venue for equestrian sports and activities at the Scottish National Equestrian Center. This includes our stabling and accommodations, feeding, training and event management. The student also will visit with our staff to discuss our approach to marketing and the use of social media. Our weekly schedule of events provides the student an excellent perspective of our equine activity for all ages. The student will observe our day-to-day activities, regarding the scheduling and management of afternoon, evening and weekend events. The student will assist with weekly showjumping, dressage training and indoor event training. An inside look at our web management, online entries, management of corporate events, and our plans to attract advertisers and sponsors will add to the students understanding of the mission of our Center."
We are thinking that since this was provided in February to you, and the program began in May perhaps you forgot? The staff at SNEC were extremely happy with you for the duration of your placement, and said so in a glowing report sent after the program ended. Good job, L!
Team Adelante

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kirby
4/10

Wasted Potential

I am a pre-vet student that was interested in gaining experience in veterinary medicine that would help boost my resume for vet school application. At first glance the Veterinary Medicine Research and Observation Program looked like everything that I could have asked for. My family and I looked up reviews like these and only saw one that was of any concern. Adelante “explained” to me that this review had no factual base. Please don’t let them do this to you about my review.
Before leaving for Scotland I received a document that outlined my responsibilities. It stated, “During your visit, you will have the opportunity to see and participate in animal research at the Welcome Trust Critical Care Laboratory for Large Animals. You will have the opportunity to observe the care of horses and other large farm animals and observe modern techniques being used in clinical case management in the large and small animals undergoing major surgery and visit with our research teams and staff and other animal care clinics.” Unfortunately, the only one of these responsibilities that we were allowed to participate in was to observe modern techniques being used in clinical case management. Even more limiting was the fact that our supervisor in-country stuck us solely in the anesthesia department with little hopes of exploring other departments. This lead to a very boring experience spent standing around in one place.
The first two weeks were very educational as we worked alongside knowledgeable fourth year students and learned a lot of valuable new information. The next four weeks were a nauseating repetition of the same introductory information as new fourth year students came to anesthesia for the first time. I did my best to contact our in-country and out-of-country supervisors to speak with them about other opportunities to see something other than anesthesia. Our in-country supervisor was very inaccessible by phone and email and our out-of-country supervisor put us into contact with another clinic but we were never allowed to go and visit it.
As it may now be clear, we were unable to make contact with anyone who could tell us where to go, what to do, or what was new to see. This frustration ran over into the foretold responsibility to participate in research. Of the fourteen days that were outlined to us by our in-country supervisor as opportunities to research only two of them were actually semi-productive research days. These two days only came about because I did the investigating MYSELF to find the research center and show up there IN HOPES that I may be able to speak with someone face-to-face. When I contacted Adelante to see what if anything we could do to not miss any more of these research days than we already had and how to better access our in-country supervisor their response was, “The ‘research days’ on the schedule you received are new to us” and “in past placements, ‘research days’ were never a part of the program.” This simply does not match up with the list of responsibilities that ADELATE gave us; it CLEARY STATES that we would get the opportunity to research!!!!!! Adelante suggested that we camp outside our in-country supervisor’s office or to ask reception where he was. What good would sitting outside his office all day do other that force us to miss observation of surgeries in the hospital next door?
Fortunately, I did enjoy getting to know the residents in anesthesia because they were incredibly nice and did their best to make our experience enjoyable. I also enjoyed all of the tourist activities that we got to do on the weekends.

No, I don't recommend
Default avatar
Melissa
10/10

Wee Observation of the Placement

When I first arrived to Edinburgh, the first thing that stroke me was how friendly and supportive the citizens were. It immediately built up the excitement I had to spending 6 weeks in the city. On top of that, the accommodation that we were assigned to couldn't have been more convenient: right off the Royal Mile; the historic heart of Edinburgh that is filled with tons of things to see and do. The landlord was also extremely helpful in terms of recommending which tours we could trust. The observation program was phenomenal: the other interns had different levels of experience and came from diverse background so it was great to share our insights and perspectives on distinct experiments that we conducted.

Additionally, since I wasn't yet familiar with the process of data analysis, the professors were very helpful in guiding us through the softwares to accurately conduct experiments, collect the data and then analyze it with specific guidelines.

Traveling around Edinburgh was quite easy and I highly recommend purchasing a bus card (Ridacard) as it significantly facilitated the daily journeys and allowed me to explore around Edinburgh. There's also a bus station that has daily trips to other cities such as Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee for decent prices.

There were tons of activities to keep me busy in the city after our days at the lab; from film festivals to free museums to dance classes...... Meeting people is then not so difficult and you can quickly feel like you belong to the city.

If you are a person that likes to walk around beautiful scenery, explore hidden gardens in addition to loving research: what are you waiting for? This is your chance to improve your skills and challenge yourself socially! Oh and keep in mind that wee means little :)

How can this program be improved?
The cost of transportation should've been included, in my opinion, as it was a daily routine that we adopted.
Yes, I recommend
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Jenni
10/10

Psyched about Scotland

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect headed into this program, but I definitely got everything out of it that I was looking for. The central living location was awesome for exploring around Edinburgh & our landlord was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The internship itself blew me away and was exactly the sort of experience I was looking for. All the interns and I had a lot of independence in planning our schedule at the University and working with the staff to create our own unique plan. Being we all came from different amounts of research backgrounds, it was nice that the professors tailored each of our experiences to be more specifically suited for our individual needs while still covering a range of the research process (running participants, coding data, learning new software, developing study ideas, etc.). Being in Edinburgh as well was phenomenal because there were plenty of easy ways to travel allowing me to visit the highlands, Glencoe, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye, Manchester, and I even took a weekend trip to Venice. I would definitely recommend this program to any individual who loves a high level of independence and is looking to further enhance their research abilities-- you will not be disappointed!

How can this program be improved?
I wish the cost of transport to and from our internship site could be included in the cost of the program (this was an extra $80 that I hadn't necessarily budgeted for). I also wish we would've had a bit more socializing opportunities-- the four interns and I worked with each other all the time, but it would've been nice to meet some more of the locals.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kelly
10/10

Great International Experience!

I had a great experience in Scotland through the Research and Observation Program Adelante offers. Living accommodations were great, the apartment provided was clean and fully furnished. It was centrally located just off of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh where there were plenty of things to do, both for tourists and the locals. My internship gave me tasks which challenged me, but helped to broaden my perspective outside of American viewpoints. The Adelante staff was easily accessible if there was ever a question or concern. They were helpful and dedicated to making the experience as good as possible.

How can this program be improved?
Internship placements could be further looked into before placing students. I wasn't sure what I was working on at my internship until I arrived and expectations weren't as clearly stated as they could have been.
Yes, I recommend
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LeAnn
10/10

Love Scotland

Edinburgh is such a wonderful town! Everywhere you look just speaks history and beauty. The people are wonderful and friendly, never once did I feel unsafe. The internship was a little out of my study realm, however, my co-workers and boss were wonderful to work with and made my experience that much better. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is considering it! It was such an amazing summer and I am so sad to be leaving!

Yes, I recommend
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cselliot
7/10

Great Experience

Getting to live in Edinburgh for six weeks was a wonderful opportunity. I learned a lot through the veterinary observation program, and I got to explore a country I had never visited before. The locals were really friendly, and the city itself felt pretty safe. Overall, I wish the veterinary program had been more involved, or maybe shortened to four weeks, but I had a great time.

Yes, I recommend
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Ashley
9/10

Wonderful Opportunity

I enjoyed my time in the UK as well as at The Royal School of Veterinary Studies. During the week, we took about a 30 minute bus ride to the hospital. Then we would observe surgery and help the anesthesiologists for about 5 or more hours a day. Professor Clutton, the program administrator, emphasized experiencing the culture. So on the weekends or when we would get an extra day off, I took trips to places such as Pitlochry, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, St. Andrews, and London. There is plenty of things to experience in the UK! This is an experience you definitely won't regret.

How can this program be improved?
The apartment management was a little frustrating due to the fact that we had to switch apartments at the end of the program because of mixed up move out days. Also, the landlord was hard to get a hold of when we needed him for apartment issues.
Yes, I recommend
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Tassa
9/10

Bonnie Scotland!

I had the best of times studying abroad in Scotland. I met and helped out students and professors studying and researching psychology like myself. From them I learned about all kinds of research being done in their university and in the UK.
Outside of work I had plenty of time to explore the gorgeous Scottish highlands and borders! I have never seen such majestic greenery and had such soft delicious scones before. I also had a great time exploring the interesting sights of both New Town and Old Town with good friends I made while living in Scotland.
Overall a memorable time I will always cherish!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, it might be for the program price to include transportation fees to and from the internship site.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sam
9/10

Amazing in every way!

Living and working in Scotland is a great way to immerse yourself in the Scottish culture, both independently and with the people you meet. I enjoyed the professional aspect of it, waking up and heading to my local bakery for my morning coffee and jumping on the train to Queen Margaret university, as well as the times going out into the city and socialising with my roommates. The main highlight of my trip was the amazing weather in Edinburgh that summer... laying in the city gardens and exploring parts of town with this sunshine was incredible. I loved my experience and would recommend it to anyone!

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing it would be to have our apartment maintained a little better by cleaning staff. The staff were absolutely great when they came, so friendly and efficient, but it would have been better if they had come every few days instead of once a week.
Yes, I recommend

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Internship, Volunteer, Semester & Summer Study Abroad Programs define Adelante Abroad's menu of offerings and expertise. Choose to intern overseas in Spain, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, or Scotland. With year round start dates, Adelante is sure...