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Regents Semester in Scotland

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Edinburgh, Scotland




Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and have sophomore standing by the start of the program.

Application Due:

September 30 for Spring 2016

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Piper on the Scottish Highlands,Photo by Tim Riess

Piper on the Scottish Highlands
Photo by Tim Riess

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

Academic Program

University of Edinburgh Law College

University of Edinburgh Law College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers degrees in Art History, Architecture, Archeology, History, Celtic & Scottish Studies, Foreign Languages (including less commonly taught ones such as Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, and Gaelic), Economics, Business, Politics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Law, Education, Divinity, and Music.

The College of Science and Engineering offers over 100 degree programs, including Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Informatics & Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, and Electronic, Chemical, Electrical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering.

What classes can I take?

Take a look at the course options open to study abroad students by exploring the University of Edinburgh's 'Course Finder' website.

One-of-a-kind internships in the Scottish parliament are also available. Contact Cory Petersen for more information!

A Note on Grading

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. This means that if you do not take the exam or turn in a required final paper, your British academic record will report a grade of 0 and you will not receive credit for the course.

The grading system in the UK is significantly different from the US 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 credit for the courses you take in the UK, you will NOT receive a typical A-F grade.

However, this does not mean that you are taking courses on a Pass/Fail basis. You will earn a final mark in the UK system, and your British academic record will always report these. 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.

Cultural Activities

The City of Edinburgh is renowned for its lively arts, theater, and music scenes. It is a cosmopolitan capital city, with national museums, theaters and galleries to rival the best in Europe. Getting out of town is easy. Whether it’s a trip to the Scottish Highlands, a train ride to London, or a direct flight to a continental European destination, students can take advantage of holidays and breaks to explore to their heart’s content.

Program Dates

The academic year at Edinburgh closely follows the University of Iowa's academic calendar. Dates for the Fall 2015 and Academic Year 2015-2016 sessions will be available in mid-April 2015:

Dates for the Fall 2015 session: (Dates are subject to change)

September 12, 2015 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
September 13- International Day
September 14 - September 18 - Fresher’s Week/Orientation
September 21 - December 4- Fall Semester classes in session
December 7 - December 21- Exams
December 21, 2015- Fall session ends

Dates for the Spring 2016 session (Dates are subject to change)

January 7, 2016 - Arrival/Accommodation Move-in/Program Begins
January 8 - January 10 - Orientation
January 11 - April 1 - Spring Semester classes in session
April 4 - April 15 - Spring break
April 18 - May 20- Exams
May 20, 2016- Fall session ends

For More Information

Gate House on the Royal Mile

Gate House on the Royal Mile

Cory Petersen
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

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.


Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh castle

Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh 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

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

Pollock Halls

Students are housed in university residence hall (most providing cafeterias and meal plans) or in apartments in the city (self-catering). Take a look at the Accommodation Services office for information about the complete range of housing options.

Pollock Hall Room

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.


Minimum eligibility requirements include sophomore standing and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale). Students must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa at the time the program begins.

Students who are not in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time the program begins will have their acceptance revoked, and will be withdrawn from the program. Students who are withdrawn for academic or disciplinary reasons will be responsible for the late withdrawal fees described in the Withdrawal Policy below.

Students who do not fit these requirements should contact their study abroad advisor for alternative options.

Application Deadline

Final applications are due on September 30 for the Spring 2016 session.


The program fee for the Spring 2016 session of the Iowa Regents’ Semester in Scotland is $13,100. The program fee includes all educational/tuition fees, orientation, and some cultural activities.

The program fee does not include the Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($968 for Iowa residents, and $2649 for Iowa non-residents), application fee ($50), round trip airfare (approximately $1500 from Cedar Rapids), passport (approx. $135), housing (approx. $4,000 per semester, but is variable depending on your specific housing arrangements), food ($2,500 per semester), textbooks (approx. $300 per semester), local transportation ($300+ per semester), immunizations (variable), CISI health insurance (approx. $140 per semester), visa fees (approx. $180 for the semester, or $550 for the academic year) or any personal expenses ($3,000+ per semester).

The program fee for the Fall 2015 session was $10,065.

Scottish Parliament Building

Scottish Parliament Building

Study Abroad Administrative Fees

University of Iowa study abroad administrative fees are included for all participants. They are based on tuition set by the Iowa Board of Regents. Please check the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information on these administrative fees.

Program cost sheet

A cost sheet detailing all estimated costs for the Spring 2016 session will be posted here during late fall 2015.

The cost sheet captures the best possible estimate for all costs a participant on this program will be responsible for, including fees paid to UI as well as out-of-pocket costs and personal expenses, although actual spending amounts may vary. This information will be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid to help determine your eligibility for aid for this program.

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with Cory Petersen, the program coordinator for the Iowa Regents’ Semester in Scotland, to determine whether this program is a good fit, and discuss the application process.

After submitting an application, your application will be sent to the University of Edinburgh for review, where final acceptance decisions are made.

Applicants are officially notified of their acceptance status by Edinburgh by late October/early November for the Spring session, and by late March/early April for the following Fall/Academic Year.

Please call the Study Abroad office (1111 University Capitol Centre) at 319-335-0353 to set up an appointment, or email Cory with any questions at

Withdrawal Policy

Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to the Study Abroad office at the University of Iowa. 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/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa (amounts based on Fall 2015- fees may be adjusted for future sessions).

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% ($968 for IA Residents, $2,649 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($968 for IA Residents, $2,649 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Portion of Study Abroad fee: 100% ($968 for IA Residents, $2,649 for IA Non-Residents)
Portion of Course Fee: 100%

Financial Aid & Scholarships

In general, financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) received to attend the University of Iowa may be applied toward the cost of studying abroad as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward his/her degree. In most cases the Office of Student Financial Aid can adjust financial aid to cover additional costs incurred by study abroad. Moreover, students are encouraged to apply for scholarships based on need, merit and/or diversity that are awarded by Study Abroad. Complete information is available on the Funding Your Study Abroad Experience page.

Before applying for any scholarship, please take a look at the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications page.

The Study Abroad office offers several scholarships and grants. The awards listed below are available to University of Iowa students studying on this program:

1- Merit-based scholarship (requires a 3.33 GPA or higher)

2- Need-based study abroad grant (for students who are eligible for financial aid, based on available FAFSA information)

3- Diversity Ambassador scholarship (see web site for details)

Other UI-affiliated awards

4- Other University of Iowa awards

Awards from organizations outside of the University of Iowa

(Note that when searching for financial aid from organizations outside of the University of Iowa, it's always best to be safe. Be sure to take a look at these tips to avoid scams before you apply!)

5- External Awards

6- NAFSA’s US Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants List

7- IIE Passport's Study Abroad Funding page

8- US Department of Labor's scholarship page


10- Or try a Google search for 'study abroad scholarships'!

Finally, if you’re having trouble writing scholarship essays, you may want to contact the UI Writing Center for a helping hand!

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.

Confirmation Materials

Once you have been accepted to the program (after the application deadline) your study abroad advisor will send you the documents you need to confirm your plans to participate in the program.

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 UK-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. While the UK is generally a very safe place, unfortunately safety cannot be guaranteed anywhere. Take a look at the Health and Safety section of the Study Abroad website for some tips on staying safe abroad.

OCAS - UK: 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.


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:

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

Those with valid passports 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 through this time then you will need to renew your passport before applying the visa you will need to enter the UK.

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


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

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find more information about funding options by clicking on the 'Application' tab above 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).


In-person orientation sessions will be scheduled late in the semester prior to the start of your program in the UK, usually in mid-November for the spring semester, and late-April for the Fall semester. Your study abroad advisor will be in touch with you about the specific dates shortly after you have been accepted into the program.


You will need to register for this course on ISIS prior to your departure for the UK. You will receive more information on the registration process from your Study Abroad advisor.

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

University of Edinburgh on Facebook

University of Edinburgh’s International Student Support page on Facebook

University of Edinburgh’s YouTube Channel

University of Edinburgh on Twitter

Scotland’s official tourism page on Instagram

UK’s official tourism page on Instagram

University of Edinburgh International Office

Website for visiting students

University of Edinburgh Accommodation Services Office and the Accommodation Service's Instagram page

Edinburgh city guide

The Scotsman newspaper online

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

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