Pitt in Edinburgh (Scotland)

This program is on pause for 2022 but is expected to return in summer 2023.

Edinburgh is a city rich with history and energy. You’ll be reading literature that connects you with the history of the city and of Scotland, visiting castles, abbeys, museums, and at least one palace. You’ll be writing as well, exploring coffeehouses, bookstores, and other public spaces, keeping a traveler’s journal of your experiences which, we’ll turn into essays or poems. In the process, you’ll learn about the place where Picts, Romans, Vikings, and the English have invaded, settled, been defeated, and created contemporary Scotland. You’ll learn about ways kings, queens, politicians, inventors, philosophers, writers, and artists from Scotland have changed the world. We’ll take bus trips to both the Borders and to the Highlands to give you a sense of the different landscapes and characters in Scottish history. 

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Read classic and contemporary Scottish literature and culture in one of the world’s most beautiful cities
  • Discover yourself as a writer, using the city and the country as your subject
  • Develop a sense of Scotland’s traditional and future directions 

Edinburgh is lively and cosmopolitan. Considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful cities, you'll find attractive public parks intermingled with magnificent historic architecture and world-class cultural attractions. Scattered throughout the city are jutting craggy rocks on one of which sits the ancient Edinburgh castle. The rugged natural beauty and the more manicured city-center gardens combine with the urban sophistication of its clubs, pubs and restaurants to make Edinburgh a truly unforgettable city.

You’ll be housed near the University of Edinburgh where you'll attend classes in the morning. Your afternoons will be a mixture of visits to castles, museums, and other places of interest, and free afternoons for you to explore the city.

Where You'll Live: 

Students will be housed on the University of Edinburgh campus, which includes most of the amenities that you are already used to.

You can expect the following:

  • Single or double rooms 
  • Bedding
  • Shared bathrooms 
  • Shared kitchen
  • Dining area 
  • Wifi 
  • Laundry service – coin operated 
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 
What You'll Study: 
You will take two courses for six credits.
If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate requirement, please meet with your respective advisor to discuss the program and what the courses will fulfill for you.
Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.
Topics in British Literature: Ideas of Nation and National Character in Scottish Literature (ENGLIT1199)

While absorbing and exploring the wonderful city of Edinburgh, students in this course will read a selection of classic and contemporary literature that grapples with issues of Scottish history, national identity and cultural difference, language, customs, and sense of place.

The Travelers Journal (ENGWRT1200)

Those who travel do so for the pleasures of learning new things about the world and themselves. They find some things they recognize and also find themselves in unfamiliar places, among strangers, having to learn to speak in a new way. This will be our central subject matter. Central to the work of the class will be your ability to be messy, to trust in your creative process and to allow yourself to try out new ways of thinking. Not only will we be writing about our own obsessions, questions, and interests, we’ll also be reading contemporary work by Scottish writers, and engaging with the architecture, art, landscape, history and people around us.

The Pitt Study Abroad Office works with the Arcadia Edinburgh Center as the service provider for this program. The Arcadia Center is located in a beautiful 18th Century Georgian building on the campus of the University of Edinburgh. Your classes will take place at the Arcadia Center.

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Mark Kemp

Mark Kemp Mark Kemp has taught in the English Literature program at Pitt for more than twenty years.  He has served as an academic advisor in the English Department for the last six.  The courses he teaches include The Wild West, Satire, Detective Fiction, World Literature in English, and American Literature.  In Spring 2012 he led the Pitt MAP study abroad semester that traveled to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Prague (Czech Republic), and Beijing (China).  Edinburgh is definitely among his favorite foreign cities and he has traveled throughout Scotland many times.


Jeff Oaks

Jeff Oaks is the author of three chapbooks, Shift (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010), The Moon of Books (Ultima Obscura Press, 2000), and The Unknown Country (State Street Press, 1992). His newest chapbook, Mistakes with Strangers, is forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press. He has published poems in literary magazines including Field, Court Green, Zocalo Public Square, Poemeleon, Ploughshares, and Bloom.  His essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction and My Diva: 65 Gay Men Write about the Women Who Inspire Them.  He’s the recipient of three fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, an Individual Artist fellowship from the Pittsburgh Foundation, and the 2008 winner of the Tina and David Bellet Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.



  In- State Out-of-State
Estimated Expenses Billed by Pitt  $5,699 $5,899
Estimated Additional Expenses $2,600 $2,600
Total Estimated Cost $8,299 $8,499

Final program costs and will be available by November 15.

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your Edinburgh program fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for six credits
  • Housing in Edinburgh
  • International travel health insurance
  • Excursions to Skye, the Highlands, and Loch Ness (searching for Nessie!)
  • Cultural activities in Edinburgh


When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or visit needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an intensive summer academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on your courses abroad as you would on a course at Pitt. 
  • There are required excursions and activities outside of normal scheduled classes.