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…?

This entry was posted in Incoming, Physics, Science, Strathclyde by Maria Weikum. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maria Weikum

I’m a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Strathclyde studying for an integrated master’s degree in physics. I originally come from Germany, but decided to get out into the exciting, big world and so ended up in Glasgow. At the moment I'm doing an exchange year at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

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