Scotland was such an amazing experience in many ways. The staff and faculty at Oatridge College were fantastic. Sharon and Louise, the teachers, were rich with knowledge and always willing to go the extra step for us. Sharon's anatomy class was indeed more of a review, but a well needed one. I have had more experience with physiology than anatomy so I had to step it up and learn some bones and muscles. Louise's fitness class was nothing like I have ever taken in the States, and it was very interesting. I had never put much thought into what goes in to getting a horse fit until this class, but now it will never leave me. Our riding instructors, Liz and Gillian, were phenomenal. Always willing to accommodate our riding styles and levels, they truly made it a great experience.
The housing at Oatridge is a bit outdated, but all in all was perfectly fine. You have your own room and bathroom, which can come in handy when you need to escape your fellow students. We had a bit of a problem with the water heater, but it got fixed quickly once the staff was notified.
Our only real issue with Oatridge was the internet. It kept blocking facebook and Skype, our two main modes of communication with family and friends back home. They "fixed" it several times, but it kept getting blocked again and again. It was not a huge inconvenience, but I would not call it reliable at any rate.
While Oatridge College was amazing, the company that organized the program, Adelante, was not. Prior to even leaving the States, I received multiple e-mails addressed to the wrong people. When I was called for my pre-departure orientation, they called an hour later than the specified time which resulted in me being late to work. My e-mail address was copied down wrong, so I was not put on the Adelante blog site until I e-mailed enquiring about it. Communication on the Adelante side was definitely lacking. Upon arriving in Scotland, Adelante had apparently set up a pick up time for us (a group of about 8 students) but failed to tell any of us. We ended up waiting at the airport, in a foreign country, for two hours before we were picked up. While waiting we attempted to call the phone numbers given to us by Adelante, but all were proven to be invalid. We even had some nice Scottish people making sure we were entering the phone numbers correctly. Also, I don't know if anyone from Adelante has even been to Scotland. They told us in our orientation packet that everyone wore black and dull colors, which is absolutely not true. Also, I feel like Adelante did not communicate very well with Oatridge (or anyone in general) When we went to ride we were told we weren't really supposed to wear jackets with hoods, and they had expected us to come with nicer riding attire (polo shirts and nice breeches). If we had been notified of this before, it wouldn't have been an issue. Even though we were not fully prepared, the staff at Oatridge was extremely accommodating and understanding of our situation.
Oatridge College was amazing, but I suggest they find another travel company to work with. I certainly will not book another abroad experience if Adelante is involved.