Ecology in Scotland

Academics: 4
Support: 7
Fun: 5
Housing: 7
Safety: 9

Be prepared for cooler weather, long hikes, and manual labour. I'm not trying to scare anyone away, I just want everyone who is interested to be prepared so bring a comfortable pair of hiking boots. I think this year's program was unlike any other where we worked a lot in bogs or spraying for giant hogweed for example. This program does give you a good idea what it will be like to work in the ecology field from the several nature reserves visited and hands on activities. One day we went bird ringing (or bird banding in the US and my personal favourite thing out of the entire trip) and on other day trip we did electrofishing.

The staff here is incredibly friendly, relaxed, and will do anything they can to make the program more enjoyable for you. They're also extremely knowledgeable in their respected fields and are qualified to work somewhere more posh than the SRUC Oatridge campus. Things are a bit unorganized at times, but you will always be in for a good time. You will receive two assessments where you will get multiple chances to correct mistakes as well.

From the social aspect things are similar, but different in others. The Oatridge campus is located about a 20-30 minute walk to Broxburn. The Scottish locals are just as friendly as the staff and are easy to strike a conversation with.

If you are feeling adventurous, take an overnight trip to Aviemore and hike to the top of Cairngorm Mountain. It has a spectacular view! When you're there you can go from 32 degrees at the top of the mountain to 70s at the lake walking back from the mountain to Aviemore. We stayed at the SYHA hostel and would recommend staying's only £23 a night for one adult.

And if you find yourself in Sterling looking for dinner there is an amazing Indian restaurant called Maharaja.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would