SCOTLAND: Edinburgh & Galashiels


KEI organizes cultural activities and field trips in Edinburgh, the Highlands, London or Dublin. Transportation, lodging and admission for planed activities are included in the program fee. Academic year students participate in the field trips during the Fall semester only. KEI reserves the right to change planned excursions for destinations of equal value and interest. Excursions may change based on availability, local festivals and interest. Academic year and multiple term students participate on planned excursions during their first term of study.


The center of Edinburgh has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recognition of its stunning urban landscape in the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. In addition, the city encompasses some striking modern architecture including the parliament building and the Museum of Scotland. A city tour is organized during the orientation period. Additional activities are planned during the semester by the Onsite Director.

The Highlands & Loch Ness

The wild rugged Highlands are all about mountains, lochs, sea and moors. From the gloomy Glen Coe, eastwards passed the mysterious Loch Ness and up north to Thurso, the gateway to Orkney and Shetland Islands. The Highlands are the most wild and impressive places in Scotland.

Dublin or London

Dublin began life as a Viking settlement founded over 1,000 years ago on the banks of the river Liffey. The name “Dublin” comes from the Gaelic words “Dubh Linn” (Black River). As the political, economic and cultural center of Ireland, the city has all the amenities of a large metropolis while retaining a friendly, small town atmosphere. Dublin is a university town with one of the youngest populations in Europe. The city is rich with culture and entertainment: museums, theater, shops, clubs, cinemas, restaurants, art galleries, historic sites, sporting venues and gardens.

London, the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, is the epitome of a global city. With diverse communities, historic landmarks, world-class museums, thriving theaters and lively markets, there is a wealth of fascinating things to see and do. London’s history goes back more than 2000 years to its founding by the Romans. London has been part of many movements and phenomena throughout history, including the English Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the Gothic Revival.

A Kentuckian in ScotlandI should have started this blog awhile back, but late is better than never, right? I’m finally having some time to sit back and reflect on my first few weeks here in Scotland. First off, I’ll explain my blog title, I can’t resist a (good) terrible pun. I am staying in Galashiels, which is often referred to as “Gala”. And I’m studying fashion design here. So there you have it. :)Galashiels is a town of about 22,000 people, and it’s known for textile production. Which explains why Heriot-Watt’s design campus is here. It’s quite charming.Everyone I’ve met here has been very welcoming and willing to help with anything I need. I was told I might struggle with understanding the accents, but I haven’t had too much trouble. Except for when I call a cab. I suppose since I can’t see their lips moving it’s a bit more difficult. I just wing it, ha-ha.All of the majors on this campus are related to fashion design. Womenswear, Menswear, Textiles, Fashion Technology, Fashion Communication, you name it. Because my major at home is much broader than that, I was able to pick and choose from each of the programs to work for me.I’m so excited about my classes. I ‘ve already done so many new things. I definitely feel challenged in my classes, and I mean that in the best way. I didn’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator a week ago and now I’ve designed a collection on it! I can’t wait to bring this to life.Sometimes it randomly hits me that I’ve travelled almost 4,000 miles away from home. Which is awesome. The world is so big with so much to see. I’ve been on a few different excursions which I’ll post more about ASAP! Read more of my blog.

Krista Druen
Krista DruenEastern Kentucky University

Although I was part of the first KEI group to study in Edinburgh, I had the best time of my life and it was the epitome of my college experience. Excursions were great since I got to explore all over Scotland and Clare (KEI Director) was consistently helpful and attentive. Thank you KEI for making such a program affordable.

Victoria Lepham
Victoria LephamUniversity of Houston

The program was fantastic. Everyone was helpful and welcoming. Clare was a terrific onsite director. She helped with problems and was always available. The excursions Clare planned were wonderful. I enjoyed my time abroad and can’t wait to go back.

Kathryn Raybould
Kathryn RaybouldNew Mexico State University