Get out of your comfort zone and move to the land of kilts and bagpipes! Joining a high school program in Scotland means entering an enchanting place, not to mention a rigorous academic experience. The romantic ruined castles and wild magnificent glens, oftentimes hidden under a melancholic mist, stand as silent witnesses of the rich history of this nation. Scotland is a little treasure you will never get tired of, where teen travelers like you will be welcomed with open arms and entertained with unrivalled heritage-themed festivals and street parties celebrating ancient customs.
Located in Northern Europe, Scotland occupies more than one third of the island of Great Britain. Its only land border is with England in the south; on the west and north side is bounded by Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the North Sea. The official language of Scotland is English, while Scot and Scottish Gaelic are minority languages.
Edinburgh. Attending a high school program in Scotland’s capital city entails getting an international education in UNESCO’s first City of Literature. Due to the intense duality between the old city, a labyrinth of narrow streets and hidden courtyards, and the new city, boasting Georgian and Neoclassical architecture, Edinburgh is shrouded in a melancholic, but tremendously fascinating, atmosphere. The city that inspired the setting of The strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be an enchanting place for an high school student to experience!
Glasgow. Awarded numerous titles, included the City of Culture, City of Architecture and Design, Capital of Sport, and UNESCO City of Music, in recent years, Glasgow offers an exceptional arts and culture scene where students will have the opportunity to meet individuals from all academic and cultural backgrounds. Its magnificent architectural legacy in red and blonde sandstone, which dates back to the 12th century, makes it a spectacularly beautiful city with the most striking cityscape in the UK.
St. Andrews. Once the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, St. Andrews is a small, but busy, town where modern facilities appear among historic buildings from the fifteenth century. The town is now famous for being the oldest university town in Scotland and a pilgrimage centre for golfers, presenting a wide array of societies, sports clubs, and recreational activities for students.
High School in Scotland
Not many students go abroad until after university begins, so no matter what high school program in Scotland you choose, you are bound to embark on an inspiring academic journey that will give you many opportunities to stand out from the crowd.
It is never too early to start thinking about your future! Cultural immersion through high school programs in Scotland will be more valuable than your school’s standard curriculum, not to mention cross-cultural experience will definitely be appreciated by university admissions officers. High school programs focused on cultural education will introduce students to Scottish arts, architecture, and history through visiting museums and ancient buildings, attending festivals, or learning about Scottish myth and folklore. In this way, teens can experience the intricacies of the origins, traditions, and hallmarks of Scotland.
Students can choose to join a subject-specific high school program in Scotland to optimize the academic side of the international opportunity. Whether focused on courses in math, literature, or business, high school study abroad in Scotland can be a great stepping stone for college prep or a quickie credit-make up session if you want to save room in schedule for your semester courses.
High school programs in Scotland usually run during the summer for two to four weeks. However, more ambitious students can choose to attend high school in Scotland for a full semester or even a whole year, truly living the eye-opening experience to the fullest. As always, high school programs in Scotland tend to be well supervised, adding security for both students and their parents.
Scholarships & Costs
The costs of high school programs in Scotland are not necessarily affordable for every student, which is why there are many scholarships that high school students can apply for in order to cover program costs. It is possible to find program-specific scholarships offered by study abroad program providers, destination-specific scholarships awarded by a specific country, or merit-based scholarships based on student’s financial capacity or academic abilities.
In any case, most high school programs in Scotland include accommodation, transportation, airport transfer, meals, and admission to museums and monuments in upfront program fees. So all students generally need to worry about upon arrival is extra spending money for souvenirs for friends and family! However, keep in mind that airfare is not included in program costs typically. If you are not flying from Europe, flights to Scotland are likely to be quite expensive, but booking in advance is a great way to save on flight costs.
As for meals out, eating out in a pub in Scotland is a must! That’s where you can probably find the best food at the cheapest price, and also, as we all know, pubs always give a true taste of Scottish culture. Be on the lookout for farmers’ markets, which take place on weekends and will suit your taste and wallet!
Accommodation & Visas
Students joining a high school program in Scotland will likely have the option to live in a homestay with a local family or in dormitories with other students. Living with a host family will allow students to live as the locals do; not to mention, homestays typically cook for their guests, so students will have a chance to taste the local cuisine too. Homestay will become a second home for students, and they’ll gain a second family to share everyday difficulties and delights with during their time in Scotland. Living in a homestay also opens students’ minds, because chances are things will be done differently than what they are used to so students will learn to be more flexible. On the other hand, living with other international and local students will have the advantage of increasing students’ independence and social relationships with their peers.
The United Kingdom generally welcomes international students with open arms! Students from European Union countries or those from the European Economic Area don’t need a visa to attend high school in Scotland. However, high school students coming from outside of Europe will need a visa, which they’ll have to apply for up to three months in advance. Students between the ages of four and 17 can apply for a Tier 4 Child visa, which can make the process a bit easier than the typical college study abroad student. Check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to learn more about documentation requirements and the right visa for you.
Benefits & Challenges
English is not the same everywhere. Some regions in Scotland have their own distinct accents, dialects, and vocabulary that can be difficult to understand, even for native English speakers. For this reason, you will probably experience a bit of trouble grasping what locals are saying at first (for instance, if people call you “hen,” don’t worry, they are just calling you “friend!”). Have no fear: you will get the hang of it!
There is more to the UK than England. Rather undervalued, the city life in Scotland can be as exciting as any other big cities in England, but at a lower cost. Discovering Scotland’s world-class education, cherishing its magical landscape, and living the vibrant nightlife will be an adventure in which you will gain a much wider perception of the world and of yourself.
With extraordinarily easy travel around Great Britain as well as travel throughout Europe, numerous opportunities to attend high school in Scotland await you!