Why would anyone go to Scotland…?

One of the first questions I usually get asked when meeting new people is why I decided to come to Glasgow for studying. And for anyone who has been here for a while and seen the weather this might actually be a fair question.

For me it has been quite an easy decision as I came here with my boyfriend and, out of the five universities that we were allowed to apply for, Strathclyde was the only one that offered both of us a place. All this sounds rather boring, though, and is, of course, not the whole story, I usually skip that part and go straight to the unspeakably breath-taking Scottish landscape, the top-notch teaching and research facilities at Strathclyde, the indescribable beauty of Glasgow and, of course, the indeed surprisingly low costs for studying abroad all of which convinced me to spend five years of my life here.

To be fair, there is not much of a breath-taking landscape in Glasgow. But once you get out of the city, there are a lot of great things to see from the famous Loch Lomond – not more than an hour away – to the Scottish highlands, lowlands and isles most of which can be reached within 4 hours. The prospect of being able to visit at least some of these places – along with haggis, bagpipes and men in kilts – was what sparked my interest to choose Scotland as a place to study.

Two more important factors were that Scotland is mostly English-speaking (other languages spoken at times are Scots, Glaswegian, Gaelic or any other local dialect), so that I’d be able to actually understand what I was going to study, and that I would not have to pay any tuition fees. The latter point is, I think, quite unique to Scotland. Unlike in England, Wales or Ireland, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), a government organisation, in most cases pays the tuition fees for Scottish as well as non-British EU students. While this is rather unfortunate for non-Scottish British students, I personally am very thankful for these regulations as it allows me to study abroad for about the same costs that I would have studying in Germany.

Finally, Glasgow is, despite its reputation as an industrial city, really beautiful with a huge park in the middle of the city and historic buildings distributed all over the centre. For students it is a paradise since there are several gigs and hundreds of pubs you can choose from every night (actually, according to www.myglasgow.org there are exactly 812 (!) pubs and bars in and around Glasgow). And many of them along with shops and restaurants even want to give you student discount!

So what’s still keeping you…?

The Year of Study Abroad Blog Begins…


I’m a third year Physics student who has been asked to write about my experience of participating in the study abroad programme. I began making inquiries regarding a year studying in Canada in my second year and after speaking with Dr. Papoff who was in charge of international exchanges within the department, I attended an international lunch where I had the chance to meet some previous students who had done an exchange and some students currently visiting strathclyde. The students were enthusiastic so I decided to go for it.

The application involved getting the appropriate forms from the international office, getting a reference from one of my lecturers, and choosing my possible classes at the Canadian Universities. Although a perfect match of classes wasn’t possible, it was simple enough to choose close enough classes and infact meant I could customize my studies a little more than I would have otherwise studying here! After getting my forms signed off by Dr. Papoff I handed in my application, all I can do now is await the decisions of universities…

– Calum

A bit about myself

I’m a physics undergraduate student at the University of Strathclyde, currently in my third out of five years of study. I came to Glasgow in 2009 from my hometown in Germany and have been enjoying Scottish student life ever since.

In this blog, I want to write a bit about my experiences here as an international student, but also about life in Glasgow and studying at Strathclyde University in general. Especially for anyone who is considering coming here to study I hope I’ll be able to provide a bit of useful information.