Edinburgh - CIEE London Study Tour
Study tours are an integral part of the learning experience at the CIEE London Open Campus Block program. Specially designed excursions are built into the curriculum of every academic track so you can take your coursework out of the classroom and into the host community.
About the Destination
Edinburgh is Scotland’s compact, hilly capital. Edinburgh is located in central eastern Scotland, near the Firth of Forth, close to the North Sea. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park with sweeping views, and Calton Hill is topped with monuments and memorials. The city is one of the most popular destinations in the UK. The old town retains a medieval character with narrow streets and ancient buildings contrasting with the Georgian terraces that line the streets of the New Town. In 1995, the Old Town was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Edinburgh is a city of literature – it was the first city to be called the UNESCO City of Literature. Visit the National Library of Scotland, the Museum of Writers, the Scottish Center of Storytelling, the Library of Poetry and many other libraries. The list of famous Scottish authors is very long including Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Allan Ramsay, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Liz Lochhead, James Kelman, Alasdair Grey, Dorothy Dunnett, Muriel Spark, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Neil M. Gunn, John Buchan, and Hugh MacDiarmid.
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TRAIN TRIP TO EDINBURGH
Meet as a group and board our train from King’s Cross station to Edinburgh.
WALKING TOUR OF EDINBURGH
Expert guides will take you around the Old Town, including The Royal Mile (Castle Hill, Lawnmarket and High Street), the George IV Bridge, The Mound, Grassmarket, Victoria Street, as well as an introduction to the New Town, addressing the people, places, and events that have shaped Scottish history.
DAY OUT: SCOTTISH COUNTRYSIDE
This group will travel from the hostel by coach and enjoy a day out exploring the surrounding Scottish countryside. The day will include a visit to Stirling Castle, a whisky distillery, Loch Lomond and time to walk and explore Balmaha. You will have time to find lunch in Aberfolye.
DAY OUT: IN EDINBURGH
This group will enjoy a day in Edinburgh to get to know the city better. This group will visit Edinburgh Castle, walk up Calton Hill and have a guided visit to the Scottish Parliament. They will also visit a kilt factory and find out the history of and how Scotland’s national dress is made. There will also be free time to walk up Arthur’s Seat or
explore some of the great museums in Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament, often referred to simply as “Holyrood” is the seat of devolved political power in Scotland. Created in the wake of the Scotland Act of 1998, which granted Scotland a range of powers and significant political autonomy after years of centralized government in Westminster, the Parliament handles a wide range of legislation. It is at the heart of an ongoing heated, divisive and emotional public debate concerning the future of the United Kingdom’s constitutional settlement and Scotland’s future within the Union.
After you have enjoyed breakfast, you have free time to enjoy Edinburgh.
Free Time Suggestions
SITES TO SEE
One of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks in the heart of Princes Street, the Scott Monument was constructed in 1846 to commemorate Edinburghborn writer Sir Walter Scott, renowned for his historical novels. Rising sharply, the views from its summit overlooking the capital and surrounding countryside are tremendous and well worth the climb — 287 steps to be climbed.
ST GILES’ CATHEDRAL
Open all year round, this magnificent crown-spired cathedral on the High Street contains memorials to around 200 distinguished Scots, as well as some incredible stained glass windows. Parts of the structure date back to the 12th century and you’ll also find Scotland’s chivalric company of Knights, the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, located here too. Entry is free.
Directly across the road from the National Museum, you’ll find a small statue commemorating one of Edinburgh’s best loved residents – a little Skye terrier known as Greyfriars Bobby. Made famous by numerous books and a Disney film, Bobby faithfully guarded over his owners grave in the nearby Greyfriars Kirkyard for fourteen years.
ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA
Built on Clydeside, the former Royal Yacht Britannia was the British royal family’s floating holiday home during their foreign travels from the time of her launch in 1953 until her decommissioning in 1997, and is now moored permanently in front of Ocean Terminal. The tour, which you take at your own pace with an audioguide (included in the admission fee and available in 20 languages), lifts the curtain on the everyday lives of the royals, and gives an intriguing insight into the Queen’s private tastes.
One of the most popular vantage points for photo ops (and included in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage site distinction), Calton Hill affords a majestic panorama of the city below — so don’t forget to bring your camera, or make sure your phone is charged. Located east of New Town, Calton Hill is one of the country’s first public parks, founded in 1724. Today, the hill supports several iconic buildings and monuments, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Athens of the North. Some of these structures include the Burns Monument, erected in honour of Scottish writer Robert Burns, the Nelson Monument, designed by Robert Burns, and the National Monument, modelled after the Parthenon but given the name “Edinburgh’s Disgrace” for never having been completed. With Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the sea in sight, some visitors say the best time to go is during sunset or sunrise. Calton Hill is less than a mile from the Royal Mile and less than a half-mile from Edinburgh Waverly train station.
With amazing views to start your day set off early to enjoy the spectacular vistas from Arthur’s Seat. For walkers, this 251m high extinct volcanic summit is an easy 30 minute climb from Dunsapie Loch but can be accessed by bike or car for a quick circuit around the steep hillside. A superb location to watch the sun rise, but be sure to wrap up warm to make the most of this experience.
GARDENS & GALLERIES
PRINCES STREET GARDENS
Resting at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, this splendid public park divides the Old and the New Town. Take your time and explore the gardens with their seasonal floral displays, monuments and statues.
NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND
The National Galleries of Scotland reside at the foot of the The Mound. Comprising the Royal Scottish Academy building and the National Gallery of Scotland, these majestic neo-classical buildings were designed by William Henry Playfair. Home to the artworks of many old masters they feature Titian, Da Vinci, Raphael and Vermeer, as well as otherpre-eminent artists such as Monet, Degas, Constable, Turner and Cezanne. Open daily, entry is free and exhibitions and events are held on a regular basis. Art enthusiasts can also visit the other three galleries which make up the NGS — the Dean Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in the West End, and the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street.
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN EDINBURGH
It’s free to enter, although there is a small charge for the Glasshouses and donations are always appreciated. The Botanics have a huge range of plants and flowers, ever changing throughout the year so no two visits are ever quite the same. You could spend an entire day soaking up the relaxing surroundings, but try and tear yourself away to explore more of the city centre in the afternoon.
WHAT ARE THE STUDY TOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?
The intercultural learning objectives of the study tour curriculum—delivered in two parts, pre- and post-tour—are to promote cultural self-awareness, cultural literacy, and the ability to bridge cultural gaps. Through activities and exercises, students are encouraged to consider issues of culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, students develop competencies to experience new and unfamiliar experiences without relying on stereotypes and heuristics.
Each study tour should achieve learning objectives in each academic track whereby students can:
ARTICULATE some of their own values and beliefs, and explain how these values and beliefs, as well as their experiences, have shaped their own views surrounding politics and international relations in general.
RECOGNIZE diversity and difference within the local cultural context, and be able to compare and contrast this with the diversity that exists in other contexts with which they may be familiar.
IDENTIFY at least two ways in which practices surrounding media in the host environment are culturally-influenced and/or ways that media practices in the host environment impacts culture.
EVALUATE at least two ways in which social and cultural factors in the host environment have influenced values, beliefs, assumptions, or practices surrounding local healthcare.
DECONSTRUCT their own assumptions and values and analyze how these shape their views on international business. In addition to achieving learning objectives in the academic tracks a study tour presents opportunities to support students understanding the cultural beings of Self and Other. These include developing abilities to self-reflect and become more self-aware, increase their understanding of the salient values in their previous and current environment, and develop their capacity for the awareness of others in their previous and current cultural context.