Summer Abroad UK - On Site

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad United Kingdom, Scottish Tales Program, Header Image, On Site Page

Scottish Tales


Participants stay in four-or-five person apartments hosted by Napier University near the city center and the Royal Mile. Students will have single rooms inside a shared apartment. Each apartment has a full bathroom and a full kitchen to prepare meals.

Students arriving early or staying after the program will need to make their own housing arrangements.

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging. Please note that elevators, air conditioners and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.

Student Voices - Study Abroad: Our Stories, Articles by Elizabeth Rowen


A welcome breakfast and farewell dinner are included in the program. All other meals are not included. Accommodations have a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing meals and they are located in an area with markets and restaurants. Breakfast and dinners are provided on the trip to the Scottish Highlands.

Excursions and Day Trips

The excursions on this program may include: 

  • Field trips and walking tours in Edinburgh 
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Holyrood Palace
  • The Royal Mile/Old Town 
  • The Museum of Scotland (a wonderful exhibit ranging from Pictish Stones to the Industrial Revolution and beyond)
  • Sunrise Hike to Arthur's Seat 
  • Mini golfing at Brunsfield Links
  • Evening ghost walk

Day Trip to Glasgow

  • You will travel to Glasgow, visiting Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis—the City of the Dead—that is featured in the film "Poor Things."

Overnight Trip to the Scottish Highlands 

  • You will spend three days/two nights visiting many castles and ruins in the Highlands, and take a cruise on Loch Ness. 

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About the United Kingdom

Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, has been nicknamed "the Athens of the North." It's famous for its beautiful buildings and public gardens and for its castle that dominates the city. Edinburgh Castle is located at the top of the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that runs the length of the "Old Town," the part of Edinburgh that dates from the Middle Ages. Below the castle is the 'New Town," the part of Edinburgh that was carefully planned and laid out in the 18th and 19th centuries. The city is Scotland's cultural capital: it's got wonderful museums and art galleries and each summer it plays host to the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe--Europe's largest arts festival. It also has lots of great cafés, restaurants, and pubs. It's a very pedestrian-friendly city and it's easy to see why visitors fall in love with Edinburgh.

CurrencyBritish Pounds (£)

Language Spoken: English

Weather and Climate

Scottish climate varies between regions and can have unpredictable climates where one experiences all four seasons in one day. June and July are normally the warmest months averaging highs of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. With a high latitude, there are extra hours of daylight to enjoy long summer days. Prepare for fluctuating weather conditions by packing layers and rain gear. Some days will be warm while others will be rainy and cooler.

Research Your Destination


Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad