Gaming in Scotland

Study abroad with Penn State — in Scotland!

Course: IST 497/PSYCH 497 

In the United States, video games have created an $18 billion industry centered on leisure and entertainment, but that is not the only use for such technology. This course, Gaming in Scotland, will give you the opportunity to design your own game while also seeing novel applications for gaming that include police training or designing for special populations. 

Abertay university

You will collaborate with students majoring in game development at Abertay University – the UK’s premiere video game program – to develop a prototype game as part of a multiple team competition.

You will visit ancient castles, historic battlefields, and beautiful highland villages while developing stories, characters, and themes for use with your Scottish partners. 

No prior game development experience is necessary and a variety of skills, including artist, musical, creative writing, programming, and game experience, are used in the development process. Priority registration in this course is given to Abington students and to junior or senior students with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Doune Castle

Upon completion of this course, students should:

  1. understand the varied roles within the video game development industry
  2. appreciate the challenges of effective, player accessible game development
  3. view game development more broadly as it pertains to non-entertainment applications
  4. possess increased global awareness and travel competence
  5. receive a stronger sense of Scottish history, culture, and landscape 


March 2 - Wednesday: Departure / Travel Day

March 3 - Thursday: Arrival | Camera Obscura Museum & Edinburgh Castle

March 4 - Friday: Holyrood House & Scottish Parliament

March 5 - Saturday: Scavenger Hunt

March 6 - Sunday: Group Highlands Tour | Transfer to Dundee

March 7 - Monday: Dundee| Class at University of Abertay

March 8 - Tuesday: Class at University of Abertay | Discovery Point

March 9 - Wednesday: Class at University of Abertay | Dunnottar Castle

March 10 - Thursday: Class at University of Abertay

March 11 - Friday: Class at University of Abertay | Return to Edinburgh

March 12 - Saturday: Return Home


International program costs will be applied to your bursar account upon enrollment in the course, and are charged in addition to tuition paid.

Grants and scholarship monies may be retroactively available through Penn State. Underwriting for each program is provided by Penn State Abington to maximize opportunities for our students to study abroad.

Program costs include round-trip airfare, local ground transportation, all lodging, and some meals.

A valid passport is required for international travel. Non-U.S. citizens may require a visa in addition to their passport. Non-U.S. citizens should consult their embassy for information and may ask the Office of Global Programs for guidance.

About Embedded Courses

Traditionally, “study abroad” meant that students spent a semester in another country and attended classes at an accredited university. Short-term, faculty-led courses with an international travel component are viable alternatives as they offer solid academic international experiences at a reasonable cost with a reduced time commitment.

Students who are enrolled in a course within a faculty-led embedded course are taking an internationally focused class that includes a ten-day travel component. These study abroad programs are anchored on Penn State Abington’s campus with travel occurring over fall or spring break. Course material and lectures prepare students both academically and culturally for the short international excursion to the country of focus in the program.

Penn State Abington is committed to providing meaningful opportunities to study abroad. Exposure to other cultures is a vital step toward becoming a global citizen.

The goal of the courses with an international travel component is to embed the students into the life and culture of the university and the country they visit. Therefore, including international faculty and students at the host institution in academic and cultural activities is a highly regarded and critical component of all of Abington’s faculty-led programs.