Considering studying abroad? Scotland is a great choice, with outstanding universities that repeatedly rank in the world’s top 100. Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling are each distinctive Scottish burghs that play host to historic and internationally-recognised universities; each offering a broad range of study programs. Of course Scotland is also much more than historic campuses, and venturing further out will land you in stark and beautiful landscapes, coastal cliffs and ancient strongholds like nowhere else on earth.
Scotland is a magical choice for everything from full undergraduate degrees, study abroad programmes and graduate studies. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Ancient History
Some of the oldest universities and cities in the world are found here – the University of St Andrews was founded in 1411-13 (and the town in the 11th century), and recently celebrated its 600 year anniversary. Edinburgh was founded in 1582 and its stone campus lies in close proximity to the majestic castle and the Royal Mile. At Stirling you’ll be in the shadows of one of Scotland’s most famous and important castles, where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned. Walking to classes and the library down cobbled streets and past ancient stone buildings is not a bad way to enjoy your studies!
2. International Friends
There is always a strong contingent of international students to be found at any Scottish university, meaning you’re guaranteed to end up with a circle of diverse friends from far-flung places across the globe. Edinburgh and St Andrews are particularly known for their large numbers of internationals at graduate level. This invaluable advantage augments your education and makes it much more than pure academics.
3. Social Events
Whether you are a fresher or a PhD candidate, Scottish universities have expansive social calendars, and a wealth of student societies means an endless array of events for any preference. Cocktail functions for graduate students, opening and graduation balls, informal dances (or “bops” at St Andrews), fashion shows, orientation mixers and more will ensure you play hard as well as work hard. Societies cover interests ranging from politics and environment to Harry Potter and Tunnocks (a local confection). Take your pick!
4. Free Health Care
Scotland has the National Health Service (NHS), and as a foreign student you are allowed to benefit from this system. Upon registration at your university you will receive a card to fill out to take to the appointed doctor in your area – once you are registered, you are eligible for doctor’s visits and certain medications free of charge!
5. Excellent Support Systems
If you’re afraid of feeling lost or in the deep end, don’t worry. Scots are nothing if not friendly and eager to help foreigners. Plus your university will have many programmes and support systems in place to help you find your way and settle in – they can assist with everything from opening a bank account, discovering the local areas, housing and making new friends quickly through orientation events. You will find that everyone from your department secretary to student advisors are willing and happy to provide help and a sympathetic ear.
And what better way to improve your speaking skills than getting used to those lilting Scottish accents all around you! Don’t be concerned if you’re a little intimidated at the idea of studying in the home of English – contact us for available courses to help get you going.