Scotland is the UK’s northernmost nation - a breathtaking combination of wild, natural beauty with the best in buzzing city life. It’s a very welcoming place and you can feel it from the very first moment you arrive here. In fact, Scotland is the perfect place for you to study, build lasting relationships and create happy memories that will last for a lifetime.
Scottish universities offer an extremely high quality of education and the country has an internationally renowned reputation for producing artists, scientists and creative thinkers. It's just one of the reasons that more than 50,000 international students from 180 countries choose to study in Scotland every year. Scottish undergraduate degrees are very flexible and allow students to study a range of topics relevant to their interests and graduate with an internationally-recognised four-year degree.
English is spoken across the country, but you will come across many different languages, accents and dialects - and adapting to a Scottish way of life is both easy and fun.
The capital city Edinburgh is home to an iconic hilltop castle and the world’s biggest arts festival – the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And if you’re a fan of a certain wizard, you'll know that JK Rowling wrote her original stories in many of the city’s bustling cafés . Glasgow is another of Scotland’s major cities, and home to the country’s largest student population. With its famous School of Art and thriving music scene, the city is full of interesting ideas and exciting things to do - which is why the European Commission named it as the UK’s cultural capital in 2019.
Wherever you decide to study in Scotland, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time. Perhaps you’ll choose the UK’s most northerly university in Aberdeen, or the University of St Andrews in Fife, where Prince William first met his wife, Kate Middleton . The University of Dundee tops the charts in the UK for student satisfaction and a great place to start exploring Scotland’s rugged and beautiful coastline. Or perhaps the exciting campus life and world-class sports facilities of the University of Stirling are more your scene. Whatever you decide, one thing is certain; with such a range of top-class universities, art schools, business schools and other higher educational establishments, you are certain to find a course in Scotland that is right for you.
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Step out of your studies for a moment, and you’ll see why Scotland is considered one of the most beautiful countries on earth. It is made up of over 900 islands, and has miles of untouched beaches dotted along its coast. Move further inland and you’ll encounter the spectacular Highlands which are home to the UK’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. The Highlands are a natural wonder and full of wildlife, including the red, shaggy Highland Cow and the magnificent Golden Eagle (although you may struggle to catch sight of Scotland’s national animal, the mythical Unicorn).
Such natural habitats are very important to people in Scotland, and the country is very environmentally-focused. The Scottish government plans to phase out all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, and between 1990 and 2015 the country cut its greenhouse gases by an astonishing 41 per cent.
Living in Scotland is generally less expensive than in many other areas in the UK. Weekly household costs can be 20 per cent lower than in London and 10 per cent cheaper than the UK average. Glasgow, for example, is one of the UK’s almost affordable cities, where you can expect to pay around £300 a month for a room in a shared house.
Scotland is a very safe and exceptionally well-connected, with five international airports flying to over 150 worldwide destinations. It has excellent road and rail connections, and it’s a great place to begin exploring the UK as a whole. A monthly transport pass (which allows you to use local trains and buses) will be around £56. And as a 16-25 year old student, you'll be eligible for discounted long-distance train travel if you buy a Young Person’s Railcard. This costs £30 and gives you a 30 per cent discount on trains across the entire UK network (so not just in Scotland). You can find many more discounts in Scotland with a National Union of Student (or NUS) card, which is free once you start your studies.
Around one in ten people in Scotland were born overseas, and this is reflected in a modern cosmopolitan culture that is welcoming to all. You’ll find all kinds of world cuisines in the country, with some of the most celebrated restaurants receiving Michelin stars for serving Portuguese, French and Russian dishes. On the high street you’ll find everything from British to Mexican to Japanese meals and plenty of choice. But don’t forget to try some of the Scottish national dishes too - such as its celebrated haggis, neeps and tatties (and there’s a vegetarian version too!). A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost about £20-25 per person, with takeaway meals and other options costing a fraction of that price.
Wherever you choose to study in the UK, you’re certain to discover the very best in yourself. Could Scotland be the perfect place for you?