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Scotland Study Abroad Program at the University of Stirling

University of Stirling

  • Minimum GPA: 2.9 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: March 15 for fall and full year
    October 1 for spring
  • Program advisor: Kendall Hook
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Program Snapshot

University of Stirling is an Instant Response program
What is this?

Hallo agus fàilte! We're excited you're considering studying at the University of Stirling. As The


The University of Stirling offers a unique setting for students to immerse themselves in Scottish culture.

What the University of Stirling has to offer

  • A liberal arts institution that ranks high in teaching and research quality assessments in the U.K.
  • An academic system familiar to American students, including a true semester calendar
  • Ranked high among the world's new universities
  • A true campus environment with 310 acres of parkland and woods
  • Study on the shores of a loch by an 18th-century castle
  • Modern, well-equipped buildings and student residences
  • An arts center that offers excellent performances in drama, film, music and dance
  • Excellent recreational and athletic facilities, including an on-campus golf course!
  • Easy access to central Stirling, two miles away
  • The second-lowest cost of living of Scotland's universities


  • Housing is mainly in student flats within easy walking distance of teaching, sports and dining areas
  • Off-campus housing also is available for those who wish to live in Stirling and make the short commute to the campus
  • Students prepare their own meals or purchase them in campus restaurants
  • IFSA-Butler fees cover housing during semester breaks


  • Great flexibility in choosing from a wide range of courses across subject areas
  • Students take three courses per semester 

We look forward to working with you! You can learn more about the University of Stirling by visiting their website here.



Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
You can find the University of Stirling's online course catalog here.

What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.

What do the different class levels mean?
The system of higher education in Scotland is more specialized than the U.S. liberal arts curriculum. Therefore, while it is possible and typical for visiting students to register in courses across disciplines or departments, you must be realistic about the courses you choose. Please pick your classes according to the requirements listed in the following table:

SCQF Value 8 = First-year courses; no background knowledge required
SCQF Value 9 = Second-year courses; some background knowledge required (i.e. one to two classes in the subject area)
SCQF Value 10 = Third-and fourth-year classes; three to four classes in the subject area required as background

Course Restrictions

Are there any course or departmental restrictions?
You may take any combination of courses in any combination of departments at Stirling as long as you have the appropriate qualifications. See below for additional information:

Film & Media Studies: Most study abroad students can take only theory courses (SCQF levels 8 and 9 in Film & Media Studies). There are very limited spaces in the production classes, and students must have a substantial background to qualify to take these courses.


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the University of Stirling. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select.  A full course load at Stirling is 60 credits for the semester (equivalent to 15 U.S. semester credit hours) and 120 Stirling credits for the year (equivalent to 30 U.S. semester credit hours). For more information on the credit weight, please see below:

10 University of Stirling SCQF Credits = 2.5 U.S. Semester Credit Hours
20 University of Stirling SCQF Credits = 5 U.S. Semester Credit Hours
40 University of Stirling SCQF Credits = 10 U.S. Semester Credit Hours


The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Accepted students will receive their provisional schedule shortly after an admissions decision is made. This schedule will be based on the courses listed on the course preference form.

What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full University of Stirling course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade appeal or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at the University of Stirling. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad.

Residence halls: Residence halls consist of mostly single rooms with a sink. Twelve to 15 students in a hall share a kitchen and a large bathroom. Off-campus housing is a 30- to 40-minute walk from campus.

Flats: Flats house three to six students; each student has their own bedroom and often their own sink in their bedroom. All members of the flat share a kitchen and bathroom.

Additional information about particular residence halls and flats is available via Stirling's website.

Bedding (a pillow, duvet cover and sheet) is provided in your accommodation, and housekeeping regularly cleans bed linens. Students are responsible for supplying their own towels and kitchen items (pots, pans, cutlery, etc.) These items can be purchased easily after your arrival in Scotland.


Even though all accommodation includes kitchen facilities, an independent company that works with the university offers several meal plan options for those wishing to budget their money more closely or not cook for themselves. You can register for a meal plan once you arrive on campus; please see more about costs and details here. For those who do not wish to purchase a meal plan, the town of Stirling has a wide variety of restaurants and the student center houses several small, affordable restaurants and cafes.

Housing FAQ

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals (whether a meal plan or self-catered) and any commuting costs you may incur. Some university housing requires students to move out during winter and spring breaks. If you wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during university breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Scotland for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Population: 45,000
Location:Central Scotland

City features

  • "Gateway to the Highlands"
  • Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most historically and architecturally important castles in Scotland
  • A center for local government, retail and light industry
  • Home of the National Wallace Monument, honoring William Wallace (Braveheart)

Do more!

  • Learn about the Scottish battles for independence reflected in the Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and the field of Bannockburn
  • Visit both the Highlands and the Lowlands and hike in the Trossachs, a beautiful set of peaks that form the boundary between them
  • Take a bus or train to Glasgow or Edinburgh, both less than an hour away

Visit Stirling
Stirling Tourism Association
Scottish Highlands
Stirling News

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Scotland, exams are taken under formal examination conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Scotland program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15
Summer Payment Due: May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

*Student Visa: Some students will be required to obtain a student visa for the U.K. These include all full year students, any student participating in an internship and citizens of certain countries. U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) can enter the country as a student visitor at no cost but are not allowed to undertake an internship, paid work or unpaid volunteer activities. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Academic year students also have to pay a healthcare surcharge of £150 in addition to visa costs.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Scotland:

kendallProgram Advisor Kendall Hook assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Kendall studied abroad twice during her undergraduate career, in Florence, Italy for a summer term, and London, England for a semester internship program. In addition, she has personally traveled all over Europe and the U.K. She graduated from Baylor University and completed a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University, specifically concentrating on International Education Policy Management. She is very excited to help students find their fit, plan their own study abroad adventures and help them step outside of their comfort zone. She can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4205.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office in Edinburgh. Click here to read more about Resident Director Ruth Casey.

abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Summer Program

The University of Stirling offers a summer program.


  • Two four-week sessions available
  • Students may attend the first session or both sessions
  • Students take 1 to 2 courses per session
  • Each course is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours


  • Single study-bedroom in a six-person, self-catering flat on campus
  • You may cook for yourself or eat at one of the restaurants on or near campus
  • Housing is located just a two-minute walk from classes and entertainment

Internship Option

  • Places a student with a local employer for four weeks
  • Interns undertake a project of benefit to the employer
  • Internships are available in the areas of sports, environment, politics, marketing and charity/not for profit organizations
  • Internships are supplemented with classroom teaching sessions, review days and online tutorials
  • The internship replaces one course

Please click here for more information!

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.