That’s no news that I am in love with the beautiful country of Scotland and its people. I knew very little about it when I went there, but I’ve learnt so much! It’s one of the best places to get your degree abroad or spend a semester or a year on a student exchange. Let me tell you why it’s the best to study abroad in Scotland!
Free for EU nationals
Scotland has a separate education system from the rest of the UK. And they made it much more welcoming for foreign students. This was actually the primary reason that I ended up in Scotland. While in the rest of the UK tuition fees for a year of study amount to 9000 pounds, in Scotland it is less than 2000. In addition, Students Awards Agency for Scotland offers to cover the tuition fees for all the students coming from the European Union.
What about Brexit, you should ask. Well, Deputy First Minister of Scotland announced that these conditions will not change for EU nationals at least for the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19. You can find more details about the Brexit and studying in the UK in this article by TopUnivesities. The fees for non-EU students are still the same as in the rest of the UK and come up to 17 000 pounds a year.
What if you’re not from EU?
There are still ways you can study in Scotland if you’re outside of European Union as Scottish universities collaborate with many institutions around the world for student exchanges and scholarships. This article by StudyAbroad.com offers a comprehensive list of study abroad programmes available for Scotland. Read more about the cost of studying in different EU countries here: How much does it cost to study abroad in Europe?
Academically high level
Five of the Scottish universities are in the top 200 higher education institutions in the world. Scottish higher education institutions carry out a tremendous amount of research and undergo quality assessment. During my time there I was able to attend many meetings and guest lectures by world renowned writers and researchers. You can read more about the quality of Scottish higher education here.
The most stunning nature
I have been dreaming of seeing the Scottish Highlands long before I even started thinking about studying there. It absolutely took my breath away. And for being such a beautiful place, they are very accessible from Glasgow or Edinburgh. I had the chance to see the majority of Scotland during visits from my family. It was amazing to share this experience with them and for our road trip even the weather decided to be exceptionally kind. Although we haven’t found the Loch Ness monster, Scottish landscapes are incredibly impressive. The green colour of the mountains and the blue colour of the lakes is astonishing.
The friendliest people
Both during my road trips around the highlands and my everyday life in Glasgow I noticed that Scottish people are exceptionally friendly. Especially Glaswegians are famous for being the most welcoming folk in the UK. Everybody is always up for a friendly chat. Having worked as a waitress in the heart of Glasgow’s West End I get to talk to many local customers. They’re always friendly, smiling and patient. I also have to say that after Brexit there were some racist incidents happening in England. In Scotland however I never felt unwelcomed as a foreign person. Scotland actually voted against Brexit and they do recognize what immigrants have done for their country and what they can do for them. (link do filmiku).
The adorable accent
Ok, maybe it is not adorable from the first moments you come there. I have to admit that I struggled at the beginning. But once your ears get a little used to the sound of it you come to love it. Don’t be afraid that you won’t understand the classes- the professors tend to be from different parts of the UK or the world, so they usually don’t have a strong accent.
photo courtesy of: pixabay.com
Maybe you associate Scotland with rather bad weather and dim, dark cities. It is kind of true, except that the weather is not always awful (it’s actually quite nice a lot of times!) and the architecture is fairy-tale like. With Glasgow having such beauties as the main building of the University and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, it is a charming destination for architecture lovers.
Good place to travel to other places in Europe and beyond
There are two airports in Glasgow and the Edinburgh airport is just an hour away. Each of them has links to over 100 destinations in Europe and beyond. Scotland is a great base for more travels- there are cheap airlines flights to all the main destinations in Europe and the airlines keep opening new links every year.
Lively cultural scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh
Glasgow is known for its lively music and art scene. Scotland’s economy used to be based on heavy industry and Glasgow had to reinvent itself after the collapse of this industry. It has shifted towards the creative arts. It had cheap spaces for artists to create in, the decadent atmosphere and the calmness London can’t offer. Glasgow has many venues (Barrowlands, Trongate 103, the Briggait) hosting art and music events all year round. It’s also the home to Glasgow School of Art. Once you’re there, you know what kind of atmosphere I am talking about. Glasgow just lives and breathes art, you just have to know where to look for it.
P.S. Are you worried about the bad reputation Glasgow and other Scottish cities have? No need. I’ve lived there long enough, and even in the so called “dangerous” parts and you’re as safe as in any other big city. As a student you will probably move around the city centre or West End and those are really friendly and absolutely safe areas.
feature image courtesy of: pixabay.com