Ready to Go to Scotland
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a passport?
YES!!!! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees.
Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond your program end date. If your passport will expire within that timeframe, you must get your passport renewed immediately.
Do I need a visa?
It depends on your length of stay and your country of origin. Please click here for more information.
What about insurance?
Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a health and accident insurance plan with HTH Worldwide. The plan covers the costs of treatment for most sicknesses and injuries up to $500,000 with no deductible. Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Specific questions should be addressed to the insurance carrier. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.
Will I get the courses that I requested on my initial application or course selection form?
There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested. Because every program is different, course approval and registration processes vary. Please see your program page for details
Will my credits transfer back home?
Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe – ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need. For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.
Should I make copies of my papers?
Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to students. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.
How much money will I need initially?
About GBP100 already exchanged into pounds for the first few days. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account. If you purchase American Express checks, their offices throughout Britain will exchange them without any commission! It's a good deal considering you could be charged as much as five pounds by British banks each time you exchange dollars for pounds. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account. If it is linked to Plus or Cirrus systems, your card will work in thousands of cash machines throughout the country. Make sure you know your PIN in numbers (see Banking in Great Britain for more information).
For Cirrus customers, the Cirrus Cash Machine Locator phone number is 800-424-7787. Plus customers should visit www.visa.com for Plus cash machine locator information. Both organizations provide information for cash machines located worldwide.
Shall I take my computer?
Some students choose to bring personal laptops for convenience. All British universities will provide computer labs for your use, but you may wish to have your own laptop with you. The majority of modern laptops are dual voltage and will work in Britain with only an adapter plug. Most accommodation has either wired or wireless internet available, and connecting to the internet from your room may be free or may involve an extra cost. It is helpful to bring a small portable USB drive to transfer files to the computer lab for printing, and a Cat 5 or Ethernet cable in case you need to connect to a wired network port. Make sure that your laptop is insured.
What should I do about making phone calls?
Though your individual dorm room or dorm may have a phone for incoming and/or outgoing phone calls, most students have found that purchasing a mobile phone makes life in the UK easier. It is not necessary to sign up for a cell phone plan; minutes can be purchased on a per minute usage basis and can be replenished when depleted (like a declining balance). Our Edinburgh office can provide the most accurate information about where and how to buy cell phones during your Scottish orientation.
Is there any financial aid to study abroad?
Arcadia University has a scholarship fund for accepted students. See the Fees and Financial Aid section of our website or call our office for further details.
Ask the study abroad adviser on your campus about other financial aid possibilities and investigate the Stafford loan and the Plus loan scheme.
What's the weather like?
"Unpredictable" is probably the best answer. The weather changes quickly and can vary drastically over small distances. As some Scottish say, "If you don't like the weather, just wait for five minutes." The driest months generally are from May to September but some areas in the Highlands can get precipitation fairly regularly regardless of the time of year.
The climate in Britain is generally more temperate than most of the United States. Considering that Scotland is on the same latitude as Juneau, Alaska, you might expect a colder climate. While temperatures are generally milder as the result of winds warmed by the Gulf Stream, wintertime can yield some bitter cold temperatures when those cold winds blow in from the North Sea. Dress in layers!
Will I feel culture shock?
Britain may not be "shocking," but it will certainly be different. Returning students report feeling "out-of-it" when they arrive overseas and when they first return to the USA. Read the section on Culture Shock for more detail.
What happens when I arrive overseas?
There will be plenty of signs with instructions when you arrive inside your airline terminal. Follow the ones that say "Arrivals" and you will eventually get into a line for non-EU-nationals. You will wind your way around to immigration control officials, where you will show your passport and certification letter. Officials may ask a few questions, but nothing daunting. After the official stamps your passport and deems you fit for entry, you'll head for the luggage claim carousel. Check on the overhead monitors to see where your plane's baggage has been unloaded. The only obstacle before you now is Customs. You'll head for the green "nothing to declare" channel unless you are carrying goods that exceed the duty free limit. After passing through Customs, you're home free. If you arrive within the designated pick-up times you will be greeted by Arcadia University overseas staff and boarded onto buses that will take you to your Edinburgh orientation housing. If you're an independent traveler, you'll follow the instructions we'll send you prior to your departure.
How soon after the program concludes will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?
We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Transcripts for fall program students are usually issued by mid-March. Transcripts for academic year and spring program student are usually issued by the end of September. Transcripts for summer program students are usually issued by early September.
Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.
What is the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?
Officially you will be studying in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain includes the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. The term United Kingdom (or UK) also includes Northern Ireland.
What are the academic differences between Scotland and the United States?
Watch this video as Matthew Keliher, University of St. Thomas student studying at the University of Edinburgh discusses the differences between higher education in Scotland and the United States.