UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Students in Highlands
We're thrilled you've been accepted to the Experience Scotland program, and we look forward to working with you to ensure you have the most enriching experience possible during your international sojourn. Please use the resources below to help prepare you for this incredible experience.

Wisconsin in Scotland

Participant Guide

The participant guide is designed to address common questions and concerns of Experience Scotland students, and to equip you with the information you will need to be successful as a student abroad with Experience Scotland. Please spend time familiarizing yourself with this handbook prior to your departure for Scotland.

Orientation

Pre-departure orientation 

A comprehensive pre-departure orientation is included in your online application. The orientation materials provide helpful information designed to guide you through the entire education abroad experience. 

Further, you are invited to attend an in-person pre-departure orientation specific to the Experience Scotland program. In-person orientations are offered on the following dates:

For students studying in Scotland spring 2018
Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:00-9:00pm

For students studying in Scotland summer 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018
6:00-9:00pm

For students studying in Scotland fall 2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018
6:00-9:00pm

All in-person orientations are held on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus in the Office of International Education (102 Hagestad Hall). 

This orientation is required for all UWRF participants. Participants from other campuses are welcome to attend, but are also encouraged to confirm the availability of pre-departure orientations on their home campus.

On-site orientation

All students are required to participate in on-site orientation activities. The on-site orientation is a robust schedule of activities designed to quickly acclimate you to your new surroundings, and provides plenty of opportunity to get to know program staff, faculty, and your fellow program participants. Refer to the calendars page to view on-site orientation dates for the term of your participation.

Insurance

The University of Wisconsin mandates all students studying/traveling abroad with a UW sponsored program to be enrolled in health insurance through the University's provider, Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). The policy has provisions for medical coverage, emergency evacuation and repatriation.

The Experience Scotland administrative office will make arrangements with CISI for your coverage, typically a few weeks before the start of the program. A personalized insurance card and consulate letter will be emailed to you, along with a claim form and policy documents. 

If you plan to arrive significantly earlier or travel after the program ends, you are encouraged to arrange additional coverage directly with CISI.

The 2017-18 policy details and claim form can be viewed here: CISI UW System World Class Coverage Plan 2017-18

For family and friends

Leave me behind 

FAQs

What should I pack?

Pack light! A hiking backpack is practically indispensable for travel and it can be used as one piece of luggage. Waterproof outer wear is essential. Bring clothing that can be layered; Dalkeith House can be drafty at times. Good walking shoes/boots are also a priority.

The atmosphere at Dalkeith House is quite relaxed. There are occasional "dressy" affairs, but only one or two "dress" outfits are needed. 

Many students recommend slippers for walking around the house. In addition, bathrobes and shower shoes are nice when walking to and from the community bathrooms.

In terms of electronic items, we ask that you do not bring equipment with American voltage, however laptops/mp3's/cameras are fine and usually have a voltage transformer/converter built into the power cord. You will need a plug adapter so that your plug fits in the wall. These adapters will be available for you to check out during your term in Dalkeith. If you require a hairdryer, hair straightener, or curling iron, there are several at the house that can be checked out for use during the term, or you can purchase them in the UK. No matter what type of converter you purchase from the US, it will not hold up and it will end up blowing fuses (or worse), thus American appliances other than laptops/mp3's/cameras cannot be used in the house.

You will be assigned a small cub locker for your use during the term. You will need to supply your own lock. A standard padlock or key lock fits the locker. Small luggage locks will not fit the locker.

View the full student packing list for further guidance.

Should I bring blankets, sheets, pillows, towels, etc.?

You will be provided a duvet (comforter), duvet cover, pillow, pillowcase, fitted sheet, mattress protector and two towels for your use during your term abroad. Blankets are also available for your use at Dalkeith House. You will need to care for (wash) and return these at the end of the term in reasonable condition.

Please note that flat sheets and washcloths are not traditionally used in the UK and are thus not included in the linens provided for your use. If you wish to use either of these items, you should plan to bring it from home.

If personal belongings are shipped ahead, how should they be addressed?

Personal belonging shipped ahead for you should be addressed to:

Your name (note the session you are attending - summer, fall or spring)
Experience Scotland
Dalkeith House
Dalketh Midlothian
Scotland EH22 2NA

Note: Students have experienced problems receiving packages from home that were shipped via UPS. There is a new policy that customs must require information from the individual if they have suspicions. Packages that come through the postal service have been delivered with no problems.

Does Dalkeith House have wi-fi?

Yes, Dalkeith House has wireless internet accessibility. 

Will my cell phone work in Scotland? If not, how can I communicate with home?

In the past, some students have chosen to set up an international calling plan with their cell phone provider, however, a more economical option is to utilize the mobile phone loaned to you by the program, or unlock your US smart phone for use abroad and insert a UK SIM. You will be issued a basic pay-as-you go mobile phone for use during the program. It will work in both the UK and mainland Europe. You will be responsible for setting it up and adding credit to the phone. One great thing about a UK phone number is that all incoming calls are free, so your family and friends will be able to call you directly. There are pay as you go plans that would be fine for your needs. It is your decision what you would like in terms of a plan. Don't worry, once you arrive you'll receive information about your various options and setting up a phone. Your number will be assigned by the phone company when you set it up during your orientation weekend. Please be aware that if friends and family plan to call you from their US mobile phones, it is likely that they will have to call their cell phone companies to set up an international calling plan. 

What will my address and telephone number be in Scotland?

Experience Scotland Program
Dalkeith House
Dalkeith, Midlothian
EH22 2NA Scotland

Student Payphones:
011-44-131-660-4065 (as dialed from US)

Dalkeith House Office:
011-44-131-663-5632 (as dialed from US)

Dalkeith House Duty Mobile (24 hr coverage):
07896718549 (as dialed in the UK)
011-44-7895718549 (as dialed from the US)

REMINDER: There is a 6-hour time difference (9pm in the US is 3am in Dalkeith!)

What documents should I have to facilitate going through customs?

You will need your passport and your Student Visitor Letter for the UK Border Agency from the Experience Scotland Administrative Office. Your Student Visitor Letter for the UK Border Agency will be included in a packet of information which will be sent to your permanent address before your departure. You will need to present this original letter every time you enter the UK. It is recommended that you make a copy of your passport and place the copy in a different location than where you have your original passport. The copy will expedite the process if you should misplace your original and need to obtain another. You should also bring financial documents, such as copies of loan agreements, bank statements, and credit card statements to help facilitate going through immigration/customs (to use as evidence of a student's ability to meet living costs).

If you are completing an internship, you will need to obtain an Adult Student Tier-4 Visa prior to your departure. Experience Scotland staff will provide guidance on this process.

Once I arrive in Scotland, how do I get to Dalkeith House?

As students all arrive on different flights, you will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements from the airport to Dalkeith House. Directions can be found here.

While public transportation from the airport to Dalkeith House is available, a taxi is typically most preferable for your first arrival to Edinburgh as you will likely be tired from a long day of travel, likely be carrying multiple pieces of luggage, and will likely not yet be familiar with the public transportation system. Many students find themselves on the same flight itinerary as at least one other participant in the program so can elect to share a taxi to minimize this transportation cost.

Is it possible to stay at Dalkeith House after the end of the session?

Yes, you may stay at Dalkeith House for £25 per person per night providing this does not conflict with other programming. Please consult with the Resident Director of Operations and Student Life regarding your plans. The £25 per person per night charge includes bed, sheets, and towel. Payment must be made iby credit/debit card. A self-serve breakfast is also included when program food service is in operation.