English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

TLab: Travel and Learn Abroad

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh


Table of Contents


Email us at tlab@esuus.org or
call (212) 818-1200.

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The ESU has partnered with the University of Edinburgh through the Scottish Universities International Summer Schools program, also known as SUISS, to provide a variety of courses. These are intensive courses ideally suited for secondary school teachers. Study literature, creative writing, or theater - or all three!

Text and Context                                             Students in Edinburgh

  • Modernism (July 9-21, 2018)
    Lectures are complimented by visits to the Scottish Parliament, the National Gallery of Modern Art, and more!
  • Scottish Literature (July 23 - August 4, 2018)
    Activities include a Ceilidh dance, a Burns Supper, and a formal evening reception at the beautiful Playfair Library.
  • Contemporary Literature (August 6-18, 2018)
    This exciting course takes place during the Edinburgh festival season, and includes a performance at the Edinburgh International Festival among many other events.
The Text and Context course provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary study in Modernism, Scottish Literature, and Contemporary Literature, which examines literature from Britain and Ireland in the context of key social and cultural developments during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The dynamic and diverse characteristics of more than a hundred years of English, Irish, and Scottish texts are studied in conjunction with recent developments in literary theory.

Creative Writing (July 9 - August 4, 2018)

The Creative Writing course is one of the most exciting and diverse programmes available in Britain. The four-week course offers developing writers a supportive environment in which to further their writing skills in fiction, poetry, and drama. Students have a unique opportunity to develop their own critical analysis by attending Modernism and Scottish Literature lectures, as well as author-led masterclasses.

Theater & Performance (August 6-18)

The Theatre and Performance course offers a unique programme in the theory and practice of drama in Britain and Ireland today. This two-week course provides a challenging, dynamic and diverse introduction to contemporary theatre with a global impact. Students benefit from workshops offered by the Playwright's Studio Scotland – Scotland's only dedicated, independent development organisation for playwrights. The course takes place during the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, giving students the opportunity to attend exciting new productions alongside their study.

Download the 2018 SUISS Brochure


Hear ESU TLab SUISS Scholars Michael Mezzo and Lindsey Wrin
speak about their experiences at the University of Edinburgh.

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Program Cost

Below is a list of all the courses offered by SUISS and the ESU. The dates of each program are listed below along with the cost in British Pounds. See more than one course that interests you? You can mix and match multiple courses, provided their dates do not conflict. The prices for combined courses are listed below as well.

Text and Context Course Options (Modules) Dates Cost
Modernism July 9 - 21 £1443
Scottish Literature July 23 - August 4 £1443
Contemporary Literature August 6 - 18 £1443
Two courses combined Dates vary £2778
Three courses combined July 9 - August 18 £4190


Creative Writing Course Options Dates Cost
Creative Writing July 9 - August 4 £2994
Creative Writing & Contemporary Literature July 9 - August 18 £4230
Creative Writing & Theater and Performance July 9 - August 18 £4559


Contemporary British and Irish Theater and Performance Dates Cost
Theater and Performance August 6 - 18 £1808
Scottish Literature & Theater and Performance July 23 - August 18 £3106
Modernism & Scottish Literature & Theater and Performance July 9 - August 18 £4375

Program cost includes accommodation in the Pollock Halls of Residence, University of Edinburgh, with breakfast and dinner at the Pollock Halls cafeteria.  Housing with en-suite accommodation is available at an additional cost.

Program cost does not include travel, travel insurance, medical insurance, additional meals, or incidentals.

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The ESU scholarship application period for 2018 has ended. Please check back this fall for information on 2019 scholarship opportunities. Each year, ESU Branches provide nearly 40 full or partial scholarships to teachers throughout the US.

SUISS offers their own scholarships which are completely independent from the ESU. Please read below for more information.

You may also explore further scholarship and grant resources in our fundraising guide

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SUISS Scholarships

SUISS offers a number of scholarships to applicants. These opportunities can be explored in greater detail on their website. There are four opportunities which are open to American applicants:

  • Partial SUISS Scholarship - All applicants to SUISS programs are eligible to request a partial SUISS Scholarship, worth up to £500. Currently available for 2018.
  • The Saltire Scholarship - Open to early-career teachers and academics looking to promote Scottish Literature. May only be applied to the Text & Context: Scottish Literature course. Closed for 2018.
  • The John McGrath Scholarship - Open to aspiring playwrights and may only be applied to the Theatre & Performance course. Closed for 2018.
  • The Elizabeth MacLennan Scholarship - Open to actors, performers, and related theater professionals and may only be applied to the Theatre & Performance course. Closed for 2018.

Please note that because these scholarships are offered by SUISS, staff in Edinburgh are best equipped to answer any and all questions. You can contact them through their website. SUISS is the authoritative source for any information related to their scholarships, not the ESU.

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Professional Development Contact Hours and Credit

  • Text and Context: 34 hours
  • Creative Writing: 60 hours
  • Theater and Performance: 30 hours

All students who successfully complete their course receive a certificate of attendance verifying the number of contact hours. Academic credit is optionally available for a modest fee.


This program is comprised of rigorous, graduate-level seminars. Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the program is underway. The lectures will be pitched high, and lecturers are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts at the time of lecture. To see the reading lists for the different courses, click on the course title: Text and Context, Creative Writing, Theatre & Performance.

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Student on campus at the University of Edinburgh

Application Details

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Application Instructions:

  1. Download the application for your desired program. (If applying to multiple programs, you must apply to each.)
  2. Consult the application checklists on our partner's website here.
  3. If applying for an ESU scholarship, follow the instructions here. Scholarship applications have varying deadlines, which are earlier than the program deadlines. If applying for a SUISS scholarship, consult their web page here.
  4. Submit your application. All applications should be submitted digitally as one PDF via this form.

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival


Refund policy: Scholars will adhere to the SUISS refund and cancellation policies.  ESU Branch Scholarship recipients will sign a contract with their Branch wherein they are required to repay the entire scholarship amount (concurrent with SUISS's refund and cancellation policies) if for any reason they must cancel their course of study or are unable to complete the course.

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Return to 2018 Programs (For Reference)