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Regents Semester in Scotland

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Edinburgh, Scotland




• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 3.0 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing at the time of application

• Acceptance by host institution

Application Due:

October 2 for Spring 2018

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Piper on the Scottish Highlands

This semester or academic year program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University of Edinburgh, one of the finest universities in the United Kingdom in one of Europe's most exciting cultural centers. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Scottish peers.

Before you get started, take a quick tour of Edinburgh,take a look at ten good reasons to choose to study in Edinburgh, and learn more about the undergraduate experience at Edinburgh.

Academic Program

University of Edinburgh Law College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers course options in Economics, Business, English, Art History, History, Classics, and Archaeology, Celtic and Scottish Studies, Law, Music, and many other disciplines.

Engineering students are eligible to enroll in the College of Science and Engineering and can select courses in the fields of Chemical, Civil, Electronic/Software, and Mechanical Engineering.

A huge variety of STEM courses in the fields of Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Immunology, Informatics, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy are also taught at Edinburgh.


University of Edinburgh's Study Abroad Course Finder website.

Course restrictions

Students must take 40 of the 60 Edinburgh credits they earn each semester through a single college. They can choose the remaining credits from the same college, or from another college.

Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings

Foreign universities are typically unable to provide a final course catalog for the upcoming semester until shortly before the semester begins. Students usually do not know which specific classes they can take before arriving abroad, and they usually do not register for classes until they arrive in their host country- this means that there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to enroll in your preferred courses. Your final course schedule may not be finalized until you are already abroad and attending classes.

Because of these differences, all students must meet with their academic advisor before going abroad to discuss how the differences in course availability will affect their degree progress and graduation plans. It is important to develop a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive at their host university.

The British Grading System

As a study abroad student, you are required to undertake the same form of assessment as the local students do in order to earn transfer credit at the University of Iowa.

The grading system in the U.K. is significantly different from the U.S. system. Grades are given as 'marks', and a score of 60% is typically considered a high mark. UI does not convert British marks into U.S. letter grades. While you WILL receive academic credit for the courses you take in the U.K., you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

This does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis . In order to receive credit for the course, you must receive a passing grade in the British system and, in the future, when official transcripts of your college work are requested, you will need to provide both an Iowa transcript and the British academic record – your British grades will be clear and will influence future scholarship application and graduate school admissions decisions.

Learn more about Edinburgh’s grading system.


Edinburgh will send Fall semester transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of February, and Spring semester/Academic Year transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of July. Students can expect their grades to be applied to their UI grade reports within 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.

Program Dates

Dates for the Fall 2017 session: (Dates are subject to change)

September 11, 2017 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
September 11 - September 17 - Welcome Week/Orientation
September 18 - December 1 - Fall Semester classes in session
December 4 - December 7 - Revision
December 8 - December 21 - Exams
December 21, 2017 - Fall session ends

Dates for the Spring 2018 session (Dates are subject to change)

January 10, 2018 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
January 10 - January 14 - Welcome Week/Orientation
January 15 - April 6 - Spring Semester classes in session
April 7 - April 22 - Spring break
April 23 - April 27 - Revision
April 30 - May 25 - Exams
May 25, 2018- Fall session ends

For More Information

Cory Petersen
Sr. Advisor & Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Program
1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Tel: +319-335-0353
Fax: +319-335-0343

University of Edinburgh

George's Square, University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a venerable institution -- founded in 1580 -- and has forged a special position in academia. Its national and international reputation is excellent, and it has a large, diverse, and multinational student body. Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world. Famous alumni include Charles Darwin, David Hume, Joseph Lister, and the writers Robert Louis Stevenson and J.K. Rowling. Courses are available in most disciplines, including Humanities , Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering. Internships in the Scottish parliament are available.

The University has approximately 33,000 students, with over 11,000 international students from more than 130 countries.


Arthur's Seat from Edinburgh castle

Striking medieval and Georgian districts, overlooked by the Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano, Edinburgh is a handsome European capitol city famous for the arts, its architecture, and fine museums.

The city of Edinburgh is built around its famous castle which sits atop an extinct volcanic plug. The ‘Royal Mile’ is a long street that follows the backbone of the ridge that runs from the castle down to Holyrood Palace, where Queen Elizabeth and other royals stay when they visit. Many of the buildings in this section of the city are very old and stately. North of this area is ‘New Town’, so-named because it was a planned urban area created in the Georgian architectural style. New Town is where the main shopping district of Edinburgh is located. George Square, the center of the University of Edinburgh campus, is located a little south of Edinburgh Castle, below the volcanic plug. It's a 10 minute walk to the Royal Mile from there.

Edinburgh is home to 495,000 inhabitants. The economy is largely based on the service sector – centered around banking, financial services, higher education, and tourism.

Pipers at Holyrood Castle


Scotland is a member of the United Kingdom, which also includes England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It features a diverse landscape, friendly people, and a rich history.

United Kingdom

Some quick general facts about the UK:

• The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.

• Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.

• British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers 'n mash, steak pie, Indian curry,'neeps and tatties, haggis and more!

• The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'Chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.

• The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Living Arrangements

Pollock Halls

Students live with local British students or international students from around the world. Accommodation options include university residence halls (most providing cafeterias and meal plans) or in apartments in the city (self-catering). Take a look at the Accommodation page office for information about the complete range of housing options.

Pollock Hall Room

Travel Arrangements

Students are free to make their own travel arrangements after being officially accepted into the program. Although there is no specific 'group flight', you will receive contact information for all of the program participants which will allow students to find a travel partner to Edinburgh. You will receive information about traveling from the airport to your accommodation as part of your acceptance packet from the University of Edinburgh.

Local Transportation

Edinburgh has an excellent public transportation system, though many students navigate the main areas of the city on foot or by bike (when the weather cooperates). Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be expensive. Edinburgh is also well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe by bus, train, and a major airport just outside the city.


The Regents’ Semester in Scotland is open to students of all majors who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Preparedness and Maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibility abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A.- Students must have at minimum 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing required- Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins. First year students cannot participate in this program.
  • Approval by U.I. study abroad advisor- A student’s application must be reviewed and approved by their University of Iowa study abroad advisor.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programing presented by UI Study Abroad.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Spring 2018 are due on October 2, 2017.

Applications for the Fall 2018 and Academic Year 2017-2018 will be available by February 2018.


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa Ubill, while other costs will be out of pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Please refer to the following cost sheet for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The following cost sheet is for the Fall 2017 session. A cost sheet for the Spring 2018 session will be available by mid-fall 2017. Students can expect the course fee to increase by as much as $300 - $500 or more for the upcoming session.

PDFRegents’ Semester in Scotland- Cost Sheet- Fall 2017

The cost sheet includes the following fees:

The cost sheet does not personal travel expenses

Costs charged to the Ubill

  • Application fee- (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.
  • U.I. program course fees- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee- (charged shortly before departure.)
  • CISI Health Insurance- (charged shortly before departure.)

Out of Pocket costs (not charged to Ubill)

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids- (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.)
  • Food- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad.)
  • Housing- (charged upon arrival to the U.K.)
  • Housing Deposit- paid by student shortly before departure to the U.K., before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Visa fees- (paid by student on arrival to the U.K., or shortly before arrival/before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed. Contact Cory Petersen for more information.)
  • U.K. Police Registration fee (paid by student on arrival to the U.K.- only required for academic year students)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge- (paid by student on arrival to the U.K.- only required for academic year students.)
  • Local Transportation- (paid at student’s discretion while abroad.)
  • Cell phone- (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Passport- (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed.)
  • Textbooks- (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Medical Exam/Immunizations- (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses- (paid by student at their discretion while abroad.)
  • Personal travel expenses- (paid as needed while abroad)

Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad . The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Note: In rare cases of withdrawal due to injury, illness or other significant and verifiable extenuating circumstances, a financial appeal process exists to consider the financial aspects of late withdrawal. Contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: $400
Portion of Course Fee: $100
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100%
Portion of Course Fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100%
Portion of Course Fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100%
Portion of Course Fee: 100%

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing.

Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited.

Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

How to Apply

  • Make an appointment with Cory Petersen, to discuss the program and determine whether this program is a good fit, and discuss the application process. You can make an appointment by calling U.I. Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss how this program might fit you’re your graduation plans, and make a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive on your host university’s campus (see the Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings for more information.)
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, request an online application for your chosen program. The non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Request nomination to your host university by submitting the online application by the due date.
  • Your study abroad advisor will review your program application and, if you meet the requirements for the program, and there are available spaces for the upcoming session, your advisor will nominate you to the host university.
  • Once nominated, you will complete the application for the host university.
  • This application is reviewed by the host university where the final acceptance decision is made.
  • You will receive an acceptance decision from the host university within several weeks of submitting your application.



If you are accepted to your program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, and by completing requirements for your host university.

After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and your host university. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

First Steps

You may be able to use financial aid and scholarships, to cover some of the costs of this program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of the U.I. Study Abroad web site for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, and contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what might be available to you.

Applying for Scholarships

Before you apply for any scholarship, please review the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications section of the Study Abroad website for valuable tips on making a successful application!

Help with Scholarship Essays

If you need help writing scholarship essays, please contact the U.I. Writing Center.

Study Abroad Awards

Please explore the following links for study abroad scholarship opportunities offered through the University of Iowa, and partner organizations:

If you have any questions about funding for study abroad, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).

Predeparture Resources

UI Study Abroad has a variety of resources available to you to prepare you for your upcoming study abroad program. It is recommended that you review these materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have questions.<

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure- contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Please note that your program provider and host institution may provide you with additional predeparture materials specific to your study abroad program. Please also review those materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have any questions.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

After you have reviewed the estimated costs and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

First, read, download, complete, and return the Confirmation of Participation and Withdrawal Policy document, sign it, and submit it to the Study Abroad office no later than Monday, November 13 at 4:59pm .

Please note that if this document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline on Monday, November 13 at 4:59pm, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

Next, download the Health Preparation Guide for International Travel, and complete it with the help of your doctor. This document should not be submitted to our office.

  • PDF Health Preparation Guide for International Travel
  • Finally, thoroughly review the following sections of text:

    • Orientation
    • Vaccinations and Health/Safety
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Financial Aid & Scholarships
    • Applying credit toward a U.I. degree
    • Health Insurance and Continuation of Care
    • Flights
    • Registration
    • Information about Scotland, the City of Edinburgh, and University of Edinburgh


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online ‘Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation’ course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Vaccinations and Health/Safety

    We will address many issues related to health and safety during the orientation sessions, but until then our general advice is that before you go abroad it is best to check with your doctor about any health concerns you have. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control web site for U.K.-specific health information and visit either your doctor or the Travel Clinic at UI Student Health & Wellness for any vaccinations you might need.

    Safety, too, is vital to your study abroad experience. Take a look at the Health and Safety section of the Study Abroad website for some tips on staying safe abroad.

    OCAS - U.K.: Information from the U.S. Department of State on safety and security abroad. Anyone can subscribe for the free OSAC newsletter to receive international safety news and updates via email.


    U.S. Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one soon to ensure you receive it before the program begins. Students who are U.S. citizens can find more information about how to apply for or renew a passport on the U.S. Department of State’s web site.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport, or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the U.S. from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the U.S., you must renew your passport before applying the visa you will need to enter the U.K.

    Expedited processing service is available for U.S. passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-U.S. Citizens

    Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact Cory Petersen for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


    All program participants are required to have a visa to enter the U.K. Please contact your study abroad advisor for more information about acquiring the visa you need to enter the country.

    Please note that visas are issued by the British government based on that country's immigration requirements. Currently, the U.K.’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to acquire a visa prior to the start of the program in some cases. Please contact Cory Petersen at for more information.

    It is also essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration documents before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration documents are in order, and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration documents contain inaccurate information, please contact Cory Petersen at immediately to discuss your options.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    You can find more information about visiting the Application section of the program website, and scrolling to the Financial Aid & Scholarships section toward the bottom of the page.

    If you have any questions about funding for this program, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).

    Applying credit toward a U.I. degree

    Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file before your departure for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

    If you are hoping to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, please contact Cory Petersen at for details on the process. 

    Health Insurance and Continuation of Care

    As part of the this program, you will be enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  For more information about CISI, please visit our Health Insurance Information page.

    If you have any current health issues that you might want to receive treatment for while you’re abroad, please review the Health Preparation Guide for International TravelPDF for information about arranging accommodations while abroad.


    Students will need to make their own travel arrangements to get to their program site- Study Abroad will not be arranging a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until:

    • 1) You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
    • 2) You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
    • 3) You are aware of both the semester start date and the move-in date for your accommodations.
    • 4) You have received your Tier 4 visa (if required- contact your study abroad advisor for more information).

    Students will receive contact information for any other program participants several weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans with other students.

    If you need advice on making travel arrangements, please contact Cory Petersen at


    You will need to register for this program on MyUI prior to your departure for the U.K. You will receive more information on the registration process from your Study Abroad advisor.

    Information about City of Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh, and Scotland

    1111 University Capitol Centre
    The University of Iowa
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

    Phone: (319) 335-0353
    Fax: (319) 335-0343