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Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of Europe’s most beautiful and vibrant cities, offering both medieval charm and the cultural amenities of a modern city. Visits around the city include the Castle, the Scotch Whiskey Experience, visits to the National Galleries, St. Giles Cathedral and for those who dare, a ghost tour to Greyfriars Cemetery, haunted by the infamous McKenzie Poltergeist. Airports in Edinburgh and Glasgow are major gateways for international travel (with plenty of low-cost airlines operating across Europe).

The town of St. Andrews is dominated by golf, ancient buildings and the prestigious University of St. Andrews, which recently celebrated its 600th anniversary. Founded in 1413, it is Scotland’s first and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. Students will be taught by local faculty and use university facilities. From St. Andrews, we will be visiting some of Britain’s most beautiful castles, go hiking in the Highlands, have a cèilidh in the local pubs and enjoy Scotland’s great outdoors, which includes kayaking in the North Sea, wild water rafting and competing in our very own Highland Games.


Visits, tours and excursions are planned across Scotland and will complement the courses. Excursions will include visits to Stirling (Castle, Wallace Monument, Bannockburn), Glamis Castle, Falkland Palace and Lomond Hills. Pack your waterproof boots for a hike in the Borders Region, Trossachs and a visit to Melrose Abbey, Loch Ness, Lin and the Highlands, Linlithgow Palace (birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots). Field trips for the Geology course at the University of St. Andrews include the Highland Boundary Fault, Siccar Point and numerous breathtaking sites across the Highlands.

You are free to leave on free weekends after all classes and scheduled events have ended. You are required to return for Monday’s classes. You should leave an itinerary with the James Madison University (JMU) professor in Edinburgh or St. Andrews, and if possible, contact information (names and phone numbers) so we can contact you in case of emergency. Students are advised to take the JMU professors’ telephone numbers when they travel and keep an emergency money supply for the last day/night of the trip.


In Edinburgh, students will live in Brea House, which is a self-catered student accommodation ideal for those who want to live close to the heart of the city. From there, students can walk to the city’s historic district and to the classrooms. The airport is only a short distance away.

In St. Andrews, students will live in University hall, which is a university owned and run student hall. Originally built as an all-female hall, it was built by the university in 1896. It is centrally located near the university gym, the Old Course and the main shopping area on Market Street.

All accommodations will include furnished bedrooms, shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Communal facilities include a library with a computer room, study rooms, a common room, and two TV rooms with one containing a piano.

For more information about the University of St. Andrews, visit the official website.

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