Should 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.

Will I get the courses that I initially requested?

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 details.

What should I pack?

Whatever you bring, you carry in two checked luggage bags and one carry-on bag. Be prepared to move your luggage through airports, on and off busses during orientation, and up several flights of stairs to your room.  Here are some tips:

  • The Leave Half Behind Rule – Select what you think you’ll need and leave half of it behind. Nobody ever complains about having too little luggage.
  • Layering – with such a changeable climate layer your clothes from warm to cold so you can change them up easily. Include a rain jacket.
  • Use Duffel Bags - with wheels or an internal framed backpack. Closet space will not be as generous as what you are used to, so even if you can get it there, you won't necessarily know where to put it.
  • Be versatile - Student rooms are normally equipped with only a foot and a half of hanging space and two, three-foot bureau drawers or the equivalent shelf space, and emptied luggage is usually stored under beds. Go for multi-purpose clothing.

When 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. Program transcripts are usually issued:

  • Fall: mid-March;
  • Academic year and spring: late September.
  • Summer: 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's the weather like?

Unpredictable. The climate in Britain is generally more temperate than most of the US. Seattle is the U.S. city closest in climate. The North of Britain generally gets more rain, snow and cooler summers. Summer temperatures can reach the 80's. It gets cold and windy, rarely snows heavily in London and can snow quite a bit in other parts of the UK.

What time zone is Scotland?

Britain is five hours ahead of our Eastern Standard Time for most of the year. Britain switches to daylight savings time before we do, so for one week in March or April, Britain is six hours ahead of E.S.T. (Add one, two or three hours to these figures in the Central, Rocky Mountain or Pacific time zones, respectively.)

What happens when I arrive overseas?

When you land you’ll make your way through immigration control officials, where you will show your passport and certification letter. Officials may ask a few questions, but nothing daunting. Make your way through baggage reclaim and customs – the green channel is for Nothing to Declare if you have goods that do not exceed the duty free limit. 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 much money will I need initially?

About $150 already exchanged into pounds for the first few days. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account.

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 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 you. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.

Can I still vote while abroad?

Before you leave home, check with the Board of Elections at your County Court House about procedures for voting by absentee ballot. You may want to arrange for a member of your family to pick up the ballot and mail it to you. Visit the Federal Voting Assitance Program for more details.

What is the LGBT scene like?

The Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender scene in the UK is as substantial as it is in most cities in the U.S. and on the campuses at which Arcadia University programs run, there is plenty of support. For more information on study abroad for LGBT students please see NAFSA: Association of International Educators Rainbow Special Interest Group.

Do I need a passport?

YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for 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.

How can I phone home?

There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home.

  • Host-country mobile—Our staff will talk to you about the benefits of buying a mobile phone after arriving in Britain – it helps you integrate and while it should be cheap for in-country texts/calls, it is usually not the cheapest way to call the US.
  • International cell phone—many US cellular phone companies provide international roaming options, so you can keep your same number and contact your friends and family just as if you were home. However this is expensive for your calls and texts to/from UK phones so contact your provider for full details.
  • Skype, FaceTime or VOiP— Teach your mom to skype! Sign-up online for free internet communication tools before you leave and plan ahead about when to connect. Please remember that internet access, reliability, and strength may be different to what you are used to.
  • International calling card—often the most inexpensive and manageable way to call home – purchase either before departing or in-country.

Do I need a visa?

It depends on your length of stay and your country of origin. Find out more.