API Study Abroad in Stirling, Scotland

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Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, API has decided to pause some of their upcoming programs temporarily and may be offering flexible booking options as well. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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About

Laying at the heart of the nation’s history and linked to two of its best-known heroes, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce. It is surrounded by glorious countryside and yet under an hour away from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The cobblestoned streets of the Old Town wind upwards towards the Castle, set on a craggy outcrop 250 feet above the surrounding landscape. The Wallace Monument overlooks some of the most important battle sites in Scottish history, but the city itself buzzes with a lively, cosmopolitan and student-friendly vibe. Stirling is one of the U.K.’s most attractive places to live and offers a full menu of performing arts, nightlife, and shopping.

API has partnered up with the University of Stirling to offer students the chance for direct enrollment into the school. Students will study alongside Scottish and other international students in a number of disciplines, including health & well-being, society, environment, enterprise & the economy, and sport science.

Scholarships

API Scholarships
API Scholarships and Financial Aid Information

API awards approximately $500,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 -$1,000 per student.

Value
$250 - $1,000

Popular Programs

Stirling

Students will enroll in semester or summer courses with Scottish and other international students at the University of Stirling – one of the most popular universities in Scotland. The university offers courses across five major areas, including health and well-being, culture and society, environment, enterprise and the economy, and sport.

The summer courses are offered for two 4-week blocks, and include both in-class and excursion components.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
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Photo taken in front of a waterfall while on a trip through the Scottish Highlands
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peak of my College Career!

I completely feel in love with Stirling and Scotland during the three months I was there! I spent the entire fall semester at the University of Stirling in Stirling Scotland. The campus itself is stunning. There is a castle and a loch in the middle of campus and hills behind it and so much open green space, it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. Except its really not. The historic city of Stirling is just a fifteen minute bus ride away and Edinburgh and Glasgow are about an hour away by train! Plus, it is considered "the gateway to the highlands" so getting to highlands is also super easy.
Stirling has so much history, between the castle and the Wallace Monument there's so much to learn and you get to walk through all the places it happened, which is incredible! Through API we received Historic Scotland Cards that allowed us to get into so many historic sites all over Scotland for free (so go ahead visit the castle like six times!).
Academically, it was very different than what I was used to. First, they only take three modules (classes) a semester and classes are taught in two sections. Every week there is large lectures and then smaller seminar classes for each class. I took one class that I needed for my major and two free electives. For my two electives, I took a Scottish History Class and a British literature class. I highly recommend taking classes from a Scottish perspective they were so interesting and I feel like learned so much more about Scotland! The professors were so helpful and well informed. The academic buildings are very confusing and take a bit to figure out, but don't worry because you will not be the only who gets turned around!
The University of Stirling gives international students the option to live off campus but API had us select a specific on campus housing option. I lived with six other girls, from all over the world, in a cute little flat on the edge of campus. We each had our own room, and the common area had a full kitchen and living room. I loved living in that flat and with those girls who quickly became my friends!
One of the best parts about this API program was the excursions. We had a wonderful R.D. who showed us around Stirling, helping us figure where to buy groceries and how to use the bus. She also took us on trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but my favorite was the trip to Oban and Mull. It was a three day trip through the highlands to the western Coast and out to these incredibly beautiful islands. It was wet and windy the whole time, but what else do you expect from Scotland!
Studying abroad was always something I wanted to do and I do not think I could have found a better place and program for my semester abroad. Like I said before, I feel in love with the country and I am already planing to go back. API was extremely helpful throughout the whole process, and provided us with so many opportunities and resources throughout the semester. I made some incredible memories, met wonderful people and truly had the time of my life!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to visit more the surrounding towns. The public transport system is so easy to use and there is so much history in that area of Scotland that almost every town has a story, but I did not explore that many of them. I was much more focused on seeing some the bigger attractions, like the cities and highlands.
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Scottishgal2012
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer ever

This past summer (2012), I chose to study abroad in Stirling, Scotland. The campus was absolutely stunning, and I felt like I had found the perfect place. My favorite part about campus was the loch. The loch was definitely the focal point of campus, and it was a gorgeous place to unwind and relax.

The API staff was helpful in helping us learn our way around Edinburgh and Stirling, and took our group on excursions I will never forget. We went to Edinburgh first, and we stayed pretty close to the Old Town portion, so walking to different places wasn't difficult. We also made excursions to the battlesite of the Battle of Bannockburn, where the Scots won their independence from the English nearly 700 years ago. We also saw several castles, such as Linlithgow, Edinburgh, and Stirling. We also got an unusual opportunity to tour the Scottish Parliament, and since Charlotte, our API guide, had a friend working for a representative, we were able to get an exclusive tour.

My first day in Scotland was quite interesting. I hadn't slept much on the plane ride over because I was very excited to actually go. (I'm 1/8th Scottish). The first thing that I remember is how green everything is. I knew instantly that I had chosen the right place to spend my summer. Then, we landed and went through customs. I must have been out of it or something, because I couldn't answer without stuttering when the customs official asked me questions! Then again, he was close to my grandpa's age, and had that adorable Scottish accent that causes most girls to go weak in the knees (myself included). Besides the landscape and the accent, the biggest difference was the temperature. At the time, it was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I had just come from the U.S. where the temperature was above 100. So, while the locals are dressed in shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops, I'm in jeans, tennis shoes, and my jacket zipped all the way up. Another thing that weirded me out was that to get onto the highway, we went on what I would think of as the exit ramp for the opposite direction of traffic. We got to Edinburgh itself, and we had lunch at the Elephant Cafe, where the Harry Potter books were written. As we finished lunch, the sun came out, and the sky was absolutely beautiful. We had to go shopping on that first day because for some reason, my suitcase didn't make the plane, and the only thing I needed was night wear. By doing a shopping excursion, we got a feel for the city of Edinburgh, and even though I had only been there for a few hours, I loved it already.

API also showed us how to use the public transportation, which turned out to be one of the most useful things for survival. By using the public transportation, we were able to interact with the Scottish people more than if we had our own car, or had stayed in a hotel. Publilc transportation also enabled us to go nearly anywhere in the United Kingdom, such as London.

Another thing I did while I was in Scotland is that I took a weekend trip up to the Orkney Islands. They are about six miles off the north coast of Scotland. I went with two other girls, and we had an absolute blast. Overall, it took less than 5 hours to get clear to Kirkwall from Stirling, which is not that bad when you compare that to driving distances in the U.S. You can't even reach the ocean in 5 hours from where I live! (I'm from Oklahoma, so the ocean is pretty far).

Where I had the most difficulties was the local jargon and the classes themselves. For instance, rainboots are known as "wellies", and short rainboots are "summer wellies". Also you don't rent a bike, you "hire" a bike. The classes were quite interesting; both of my professors were Scottish, so that was a definite plus. Since I attended the summer program, the classes were more about Scotland from an American's perspective. I took the classes Scotland on the Screen and Scottish History: The Covenanters. The Scotland on the Screen class talked about Scotland's presence on the international film stage, and how places such as Hollywood, portray Scotland. The Scottish History class talked about a period in Scotland's history in which the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and how that affected Scotland. My favorite part was the excursions we would take as a supplement to our classes, and I got to go to places such as St. Giles Cathedral and Doune Castle. However, I did have to write papers, and my professors asked for a certain word length, which was different, but it could be done.

Everyone I met in Scotland, they were all very welcoming and willing to help me out. One example was when I went to church on my second Sunday in Scotland. I went to the morning services at Church of the Holy Rude (Church of Scotland), which is not too far from Stirling Castle. Even though I was the only American there that morning, the couple I sat next to were very nice and gave me a warm welcome. They were quite excited to learn that I was Presbyterian, and they wanted to know if there were some differences between the services I was used to, and the service I had just attended.

Overall, Scotland was amazing. I loved every milli-second of it, and could not imagine studying abroad anywhere else. It was truly a place where I was far away from home, in a brand new culture, but not too uncomfortable for me. My time abroad in Scotland was truly the most unforgettable month of my life. API is an excellent program, and I would recommend them to anybody who wants the most for their money.

What would you improve about this program?
Better communication. We were constantly checking Facebook to make sure that we were meeting up at the correct location at the correct time to get to our API excursions.