IFSA: University of Edinburgh Partnership

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Hallo agus fàilte! Study abroad amid beauty, history and friendliness by making Scotland your home for a semester, year or summer. The country is an impressive mixture of fertile farmland, rugged cliffs and mountains, yet it also has its share of sophisticated cities and friendly towns. Scotland’s long history shows in the architecture and preserved ruins throughout the country, but Scots of all ages are also enjoying a cultural and artistic renaissance.

Edinburgh is a wonderful study abroad destination, combining the rich history of an ancient city with the modern feel of a capital city. Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is located in the heart of the city and has consistently ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world.


IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


9.67 Rating
based on 15 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 93.33%
  • 7-8 rating 6.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 15
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Yes, I recommend this program

Highly recommend studying in Edinburgh to anyone and everyone! Amazing program with IFSA!

Studying in Edinburgh with IFSA was the best decision I've ever made. I absolutely loved living in this beautiful city - every single street looks like it came straight out of a storybook. I woke up every morning simply happy that I chose to study in such a unique and amazing place.

Not only was Edinburgh incredible, but I also loved living in Scotland as a whole. Some of my favorite memories was listening to live Celtic music in pubs and learning how to Ceilidh dance with amazing friends that I had met!

One of the best parts of studying abroad with IFSA was how well organized it was and the trips included in the program. IFSA gave us the perfect amount of assistance. There was never a moment when I was unsure what was going on, and even if there was, I knew the IFSA staff was there to answer any questions I had. As for the trips, we went on three weekend adventures - to the Argyll Forest where we kayaked and rock scrambled, on a homestay weekend where we stayed with a Scottish host family, and lastly, to the Isle of Skye where we hiked to the Old Man of Storr.

I really hope to go back to Edinburgh one day - truly became my home away from home! I would choose this program all over again in a heartbeat!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do something new every chance that you get - seriously a once in a lifetime experience!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Engaging with a New Community

During my time in Edinburgh, I thought I would just get to socialize with Scottish locals, but I was surrounded by so much more. The University of Edinburgh is a much more global school than I realized, and I found friends in people from New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, Spain, and many more countries. My favorite part was getting to speak to these people and learn more about their countries and culture, and even their views on various social topics. It was even more exciting since Scotland was new for many of them as well, so we were all in the same boat of visiting and living in an entirely new country. I was even able to travel with some of them, and we were all equally thrilled to explore the country together. Traveling both in and out of Edinburgh was such a riveting experience - learning about other people and other societies is ten times as much fun when you're immersed in it, and 20x more fun with new friends. You'll be surrounded by history, fun photo spots, and something new to try everywhere you go.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing! Wouldn't want to go anywhere else or be with any other program

This program was unique because it had a perfect balance. I felt as thought I were given all the tools to succeed, yet I also was able to learn and make mistakes and gain actual confidence and not a fabricated version of it. I had all the resources to go boldly and explore everywhere I've always wanted to go, but still know that I had a program that would have my back. They were also really focused on goals, community involvement, and professional development. It was also easy to travel anywhere in the world from Edinburgh. Edinburgh, as far as the UK is concerned, is also far less expensive. This city is walkable, and the country of Scotland as a whole has so much to explore from Glasgow, to Saint Andrews, to Loch Lomond, to the Isle of Skye to Loch Ness. IFSA will also take you there as a part of the program, which is incredible seeing as how you would have to rent a car in order to get to some of these more nature oriented places in the highlands. Those trips with my program were some of the most amazing experiences. I recommend this program to everyone.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Remember that life happens when abroad. It is totally okay to watch netflix one day, and it will not ruin your experience at all. This is for you, not anyone else thats following you on your instagram or your blog. You are still human even when you're in a different country and as soon as you embrace that the better and more enriching your experience will be.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best 5 months of my life

The staff were the best program coordinators of any program I have ever completed in my entire life. They were friendly, helpful, and very personable. There were multiple excursion led by the IFSA program built into the cost of the program, and they were super well-planned and enjoyable. I had plenty of time to travel Europe and explore so many different places and cultures while also enjoying my host country and school. I could not have asked for a more perfect program in every way.

Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program


Studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is a world class university with amazing lecturers and a challenging courseload. I met my lifelong friends on my program and I’m planning on visiting them across the country this summer. The on site support was amazing, especially since I was dealing with some unexpected health problems while abroad. I changed so much while abroad and my academic understanding improved immensely. One of my favorite memories was going to a parliament session and getting to hear the First Minister speak. As someone studying International Relations and Political Science, this was an amazing experience for me. I am so glad I joined a bunch of societies that gave me this opportunity because it made my experience even more amazing. Additionally, I was able to travel all over Europe with my close friends. Overall, I wouldn’t change my experience for the world and I’m planning on returning to the University of Edinburgh for graduate school.

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Yes, I recommend this program

More than I Ever Imagined

I feel like I made a home for myself in Edinburgh, one that still means so much to me more Han a year later. I will forever be grateful for the lovely group of women at IFSA that made that possible and for all the lovely students and members of Edinburgh’s community that did the same. This is the best city I’ve ever lived in or visited and it will always be home to me. Could not recommend the city, UoE, and IFSA more!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Cool City, Make the Most of It

Edinburgh is a very cool city. From the more touristy things like the Royal Mile and the Castle, to the unique places that each person finds for themselves, I really enjoyed Edinburgh the city. The University was alright, although it was tough to get into good classes as an exchange student. I did enjoy the variety of clubs and sports available through the University. I can't say much about the programs support system, as, no matter what happens to me, I am unfortunately adverse to using such things. However, my interactions with the staff at IFSA-Butler were always pleasant. The housing was the area I feel could use the most improvement. My housing situation was a bit dodgy, nothing I couldn't handle, but I would have preferred to live with other exchange students, rather than with freshmen.

What would you improve about this program?
As I said above, I would have preferred to live with other exchange students, rather than with freshmen.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Get Out and Go With IFSA

IFSA offers great support, but you must engage and take up their offers to meet up and chat etc. Studying abroad can be isolating if you don't know anyone on your trip (or even if you do)- so do not be afraid to reach out for resources. Personally, I found a community through joining a few on campus societies (major suggestion!) and a group that was associated with the university in addition to friends I made within and outside the program. Don't be afraid to branch outside of the host program and make friends with other uni students and get involved with the community. Edinburgh has great organizations for environmental improvement and food share platforms to reduce food waste I personally found cool. The farmers markets, museums, hiking, and botanical gardens are awesome and make to explore the wonderful city of Edinburgh beyond just the Royal Mile (and honestly go explore the rest of Scotland, the Highlands are incredibly beautiful). Make friends and take trips, in and outside of Scotland and make memories that you will keep forever. Sure, classes are "important" (they are ugh) BUT the Scottish system keeps contact hours with professors and class time pretty short to what I was used to (from the American system) so I had lots of time to explore and travel. The University also hosts cool speakers and guest lectures, so find your department of interest and go give it a shot.
There are so many ways to be engaged if you wish to follow that route on campus, with IFSA, and in the community. Likewise, if your prerogative is to get out and go to as many places as possible, that is also super doable (airport shuttle on the bridge by Princes St has a great deal for round trip).
TL;DR: I like the option for autonomy IFSA gave- offering support and connection if needed while encouraging independence. Great source for telling us about on campus resources and setting up a (temporary) home abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
The housing options were kind of confusing to pick from. An overall map could help as well as the option to see reviews of past participants/ where people live.