Edinburgh The Department of Film & Media Studies Foreign Study Program

Dear FSP-ers,

You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

The Edinburgh Film FSP promises a summer full movies, fascinating discussions with real-life directors and artists, and opportunities to work with professional filmmakers. That is, of course, when you aren't touring castles, conquering festivals, calling hairy coos, experiencing haggis, and chasing faeries on the Isle of Skye. You’ll travel the European Union, visit whiskey breweries, gaze upon the stunning Scottish Highlands, all the while coming to think of Edinburgh Castle as a local landmark and dreaming in a Scottish accent.

Okay, maybe you won’t do exactly all of that, but trust us-

this will be one of the greatest, most formative and fun experiences that you’ll have.

You’ll figure things out as you go along, but this guide – a compilation of things we learned on the 2012 and 2014 FSPs – will hopefully get you started thinking about the great summer ahead!

You might have a different daily schedule, and you might be living in a different flat, but we’ve included a few tips and tricks on how to be safe, learn a lot, and have so much fun you’ll never want to leave.

As Merida asks in Brave, “If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?”

So I ask you – are you ready to take the first steps towards achieving your goals and changing your fate? Read on! Cheers and best of luck in all of your film and adventuring endeavors!

- Alex Stockton ’15 and Olivia Powell ‘17, Edinburgh Film FSP

The Courses

Classes will be held at the Screen Academy Scotland

Located at 2A Merchiston Avenue in Edinburgh. Located within Edinburgh's Napier University, its patrons include Brian Cox, Sir Sean Connery, and Dame Judi Dench. Lynne Ramsay is a Napier alum, and Tilda Swinton has an honorary degree. Students from the Screen Academy hail from around the world and many have gone on to win BAFTAs.

The Screen Academy has several studios, editing rooms equipped with FCP and AVID and optimized for color correction, a sound mixing and Foley studio, and a huge equipment room. While your classes will not require you to use all of this, the faculty members at the Screen Academy are very willing to show you anything that interests you. And I highly recommend taking advantage of their expertise! In 2014, we had a BAFTA-nominated editor as our mentor for all of our projects at the Screen Academy. His advice was invaluable!

In your small classes of only Dartmouth students, you will learn the entire professional workflow, from conception of an idea to public screenings. The Screen Academy offers the best facilities, professionals, and equipment to help you do so.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival

As part of your Media Festivals course, you will be attending the EIFF 2018. The festival in 2014 was said by critics to place EIFF back on top as a “festival of discovery”. At the EIFF, you will navigate your way through guidebooks, attend galas and mixers, meet famous people and walk down the red carpet, wake up early to catch industry screenings, stay up late for midnight movies, and walk into some films that you know absolutely nothing about. Get ready for the biggest immersion in movies you’ve ever had in your life! (P.S. The festival is also a great way to get to know your way around Edinburgh!)

Living in Edinburgh

In 2014, students had the chance to explore two neighborhoods in the city. For the first half of the program we stayed at Hermits Croft (near the University of Edinburgh and King Arthur’s Seat), and for the second half, we lived at Warrender Park Road (near the Meadows and closer to the Screen Academy). Both are flats, or apartment-style houses, with four to five people per flat, one person per bedroom, and one kitchen and bathroom per flat. Both accommodations have free WiFi, laundry rooms, and weekly maintenance.

1 Hermits Croft
102 Warrender Park Road


You can find groceries all around town. There is a Sainsbury’s Local a block down the road from Hermit’s Croft, a Margiotta’s corner store almost directly across from your Warrender Park flat, and a Tesco groceries pretty much right next to the Screen Academy.

There are also tons of great restaurants, just make sure to ask for a student discount!


Money can be a tricky thing when traveling abroad. The general recommendation is about $4,000 or about £2500. If you are like me and are super frugal but want to still be able to pay for a few tourist attractions, our advice would be to plan on having at least $2,000 available. Otherwise, if you just want to be conscious of your money but not always worrying about it, $4,000 is a generally safe amount to bring. Either way, make a budget and only withdraw that amount from your bank account every week. But beware of international transaction fees! If you plan on using a credit card, make sure you have one with a chip, but again, be careful of international user fees. Also make sure to alert your bank of your travel dates and destinations so they don’t cancel your cards!

** One last thing: when you clear customs to enter the UK, you will need a bank statement from no more than 28 days prior to your arrival proving that you have enough money to support yourself while there. Make sure to check with the Off Campus Programs office about this requirement before you leave.

Getting Around

Edinburgh is a very walkable city. They also have a pretty decent public transportation and bus system. If you plan on using the buses, be sure to download the free Edinburgh City Bus app which has easy to use maps and bus arrival times. The map below shows the walking route from 102 Warrender Park Road to the Screen Academy.


Another great part of being on an FSP is that you get to travel! Take a day trip to Glasgow, go on a tour of the Highlands, see a concert at St. Andrews, or spend a weekend in London, the English countryside, or Europe. But don’t forget the amazing city you will be living in: Edinburgh has enough sites to keep you busy.

Use your weekends to see the Edinburgh Castle, shop on Prince’s Street, take a walk along the Water of Leith, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, hike up King Arthur’s Seat, explore old mysteries at Rosslyn Chapel, listen to music at the Jazz Bar, or see a movie at the Cameo or Filmhouse. One of the greatest parts of being in Edinburgh in the summer is the endless cycle of festivals.

In July, the city hosts a popular jazz festival, and in August, the city turns into a giant party for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The population of the city doubles, streets turn into theater stages, parks turn into bars, and an already lively city becomes a huge celebration of culture and the arts. Catch one of the 2000 plays, see a comedy show, go to the Book Festival, or see a concert. Scotland, Great Britain, and Europe are sure to provide you with many adventures.

GOOD LUCK FSP 2016 Students!

We hope you have an AMAZING trip! Don’t forget a raincoat! And don’t forget to call your parents!

Edinburgh FSP 2012
Edinburgh FSP 2014
Edinburgh FSP 2016

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