Study Abroad in Scotland

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Scotland

You need a “braveheart” to study abroad in Scotland: it’s a frightening land where people eat haggis, lochs are inhabited by monsters, and all castles are haunted. Luckily, it’s also full of high-quality academics, sports, and a unique cuisine (Scots eat more than just sheep intestines). Studying abroad in Scotland is like stepping into a history book; it’s full of stories of Vikings, Romans, and Scottish kings. The noble history of the nation has left a legacy of stunning buildings, which you might be lucky enough to attend classes in. Take the leap and study abroad in Scotland and you’ll get a first-class education in how to roll your ‘r’s.

Locations

Scotland is as colorful as a tartan kilt; with every region offering something different for study abroad students, you can choose from a modern metropolis, regal architecture, or starkly beautiful landscapes for your study abroad experience. 

Edinburgh is the cradle of Scotland’s history, and beautiful to boot. Edinburgh’s tall, elegant buildings meld seamlessly into the rocky cliffs above the North Sea. The centerpiece of the city is the stunning medieval castle, which keeps watch over the town laid out below it. Don’t let the olden-day appearance put you off though; Scotland’s capital is a lively city, and allegedly has more pubs and restaurants per capita than any other UK city.  It is also a great jumping-off point for trips to the Highlands, where you can photograph stunning mountainous landscapes, historic castles, and Loch Ness, or jaunts to some of the Scottish islands, such as the Isle of Skye. 

Feisty Glasgow might not be as beautiful as Edinburgh, but it is an innovative, modern city which still retains its traditional roots. Scotland’s best live music scene takes places in earthy pubs, alongside stylish bars and world-class restaurants. The city’s industrial heritage mixes a little grit with the handsome Victorian buildings that Glasgow is famous for, making a city that is both sophisticated and down-to-earth, qualities that make it a fantastic second home for international students. 

Those familiar with the story of William Wallace, a hero during the Wars of Scottish Independence (you might know him better as the character Mel Gibson plays in Braveheart) should visit the monument to this “Guardian of Scotland” in Stirling. It is the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where Wallace helped to defeat the English army. Wander through the ages as you explore the fantastically preserved Old Town, and the cobbled streets that wind up to the ramparts of the brooding Stirling Castle.

Study Abroad Programs in Scotland

Studying abroad in Scotland will give you invaluable insight into a different culture, geography, and history than you’d ever find in your home country. Therefore, there are many subjects that are enriched simply by being immersed in Scottish culture; consequently, arts and humanities are among the most popular fields of study in Scotland. With the outstanding quality of education available, you will be able to find a course suited to every major if you study in Scotland. 

History students can immerse themselves in Scotland’s history by visiting the nation’s numerous (and free) museums, such as the National Museum, the Police Museum, and the Portrait Museum. Art history students can benefit greatly from Scotland’s artistic heritage (and yes, more free museums). Maybe it’s because Macbeth was Scottish, but theater and the performing arts are embraced wholeheartedly by the Scots, giving students the chance to experience theatrical influences in daily life. Anthropology majors will no doubt thrive in the culture-rich environment of Scotland too. With the presence of the Scottish Parliament, and an ongoing conversation about Scottish independence, Scotland is also an ideal destination for political science students. 

Course structure largely depends on the program or school you enroll in, but as the school years are more or less the same as North American term times. It is possible to study in Scotland year round, so it’s easy to slot in for a spring, fall, winter, or summer semester, or even a whole academic year.

Scholarships & Costs

Funnily enough, Scotland has its own pound (same value, different designs). You will find your sterling goes a little further in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, but is still fairly pricy to study abroad in Scotland.

Living costs are usually between £700 and £1000 per month for students, including rent, food, and expenses like stationery and mobile phone plans. Some study abroad program providers may cover accommodation and other costs in program fees, so be sure to determine what you will receive so you know what you will have to budget for when you arrive. You will want to take some savings with you, to cover outings and other social costs, so don’t forget to add this to your budget. To give you an idea of the prices of a few necessities, a student cinema ticket costs around £8, a restaurant meal is £10 to £15, and a pint of beer is around £3. 

It is always a good idea to investigate scholarships you may be eligible for when studying in Scotland. Your host institution may offer financial aid for selected foreign students or you might be able to find a more general scholarship under the GoAbroad Scholarship Directory, for starters. There are a range of scholarships available to students who plan to study in Scotland, based on demographics, athletics, academics, and needs, so DO take advantage of them.

Accommodation & Visas

Will you be living in a croft? A stone blackhouse? A medieval castle? What exactly is it like to live in Scotland, and how do you get a visa to do it? 

Don’t worry, Scottish housing has improved a lot since the days of thatched roofs and dry-stone walls. Housing for international students studying in Scotland, whether provided by your program or sourced independently, usually means living in shared flats. You will have your own sleeping space, but share a kitchen, living area, and bathrooms with flatmates, who may be other international students or locals. Either way, you will bond with your housemates while cooking meals together, making travel plans, and learning to use the well-oiled public transportation system, all of which will enhance your study abroad experience in Scotland.

Students from a country within the European Union or European Economic Area do not need a visa to study abroad in Scotland. Students from all other countries are not so lucky, and will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK legally. The type of visa you need will vary depending on your age, chosen course of study, and the length of your study abroad program in Scotland. The best way to determine the appropriate visa for your individual situation is to contact an Embassy of the United Kingdom in your home country.

Benefits & Challenges

Obviously, the best part about studying abroad in Scotland is that you can pretend you’re studying at Hogwarts. It’s no secret that J. K. Rowling was inspired by Edinburgh (if you look in the right places, you can find Tom Riddle’s grave and the turreted school that bears a striking similarity to Hogwarts) and walking through the narrow, cobbled streets it’s easy to imagine you are on your way herbology instead of biology.

On a more serious note, you will also get access to excellent quality education. University education has been available in Scotland since the 15th century, so it is safe to say they have plenty of experience educating young scholars. Today, Scotland’s universities are amongst some of the best in the world and draw students from all over the globe. You will be guaranteed an exceptional learning experience and benefit from a thriving community of fellow international students.

You can also take advantage of a multitude of outdoors activities. Small and compact, Scotland is easy to travel, with dozens of possible weekend and holiday destinations. Studying abroad in Scotland means you will be positioned to discover the unique beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Scottish Isles, and the many mysterious lochs.

Kilts, bagpipes, indecipherable accents, and deep fried Mars bars: Scotland can be confusing at times, but it is loveable always. For sure, studying abroad in the land of the Scots is an experience you cannae miss!

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A Guide To
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Adelante International Internships and Study Abroad

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USAC SCOTLAND: Stirling - Full Curriculum

Stirling, a historic fortress city in the heart of Scotland, is an exciting blend of old and new. Lately, it has emerged as one of the UK’s most liveable cities as well as a business and cultural center, what with its ongoing regeneration in industry and the arts. The Stirling program of USAC allows you to experience much of this beautiful city. You will take courses in a broad range of disc...

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Study Abroad in Scotland with ISA

Study in Scotland with ISA at the University of Glasgow or the University of Stirling. Both city locations offer a unique experience to the traditional Scottish culture whether in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and known for its music scene, or in the quaint town of Stirling, with its gorgeous campus and deep city history.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland
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Athena Study Abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland

Athena Study Abroad offers students the opportunity to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses in Scotland at the University of Aberdeen. The Old Aberdeen campus is the historic heart of the university and combines immaculately preserved buildings with modern facilities for learning, research, and recreation. The charming atmosphere is perfect for inspiring students whil...

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From Cities to the Highlands - API Study Abroad in Scotland

Come study in Scotland with API! Study in the cultural hub of Edinburgh or Stirling, often called the entrance to the Highlands. Walk the Royal Mile, explore historical castles, and see Scotland's magical landscape, inspiring works like Harry Potter, Monty Python and Outlander. API's partner universities offer courses of all kinds so you're sure to find your perfect fit in Scotland!

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Low Cost Academic Programs in Scotland with CSA !

Earn college credits while studying in Scotland with the Center for Study Abroad. Worldwide participants can pay the balance upon arrival in their destination at Dundee. Learn international languages while exploring the Scottish island through community immersion and cultural and social activities. The program offers a variety of academic courses such as Landscape Architecture, Foreign Languag...

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Arcadia University: The College of Global Studies

Develop a greater appreciation of the Scottish way of life by living and learning in Scotland with Arcadia University: The College for Global Studies. This study abroad experience allows students to broaden their horizons and gain more knowledge in their discipline through an international perspective while receiving academic credits by the end of the program.

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Oxbridge at St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland

Oxbridge at St Andrews is a 4 week academic program for students in grades 9-12. Students reside in St Salvator’s Hall in the University of St Andrews. Our students live in the same rooms as undergraduates during the year, and work with leading academics, including university lecturers, Gates and Marshal Scholars, and creative professionals. They choose two courses - a Major and a Minor - from ...

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World Endeavors

Study spring or fall term or a full academic year in Edinburgh, Scotland, a city that attracts over two million visitors every year, primarily because of the sheer beauty of the city. Choose from thousands of courses and earn academic credit while studying alongside Scottish students in this incredible location. Study in the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with World Endeavor. Offering a wi...

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Educational Programmes Abroad

Educational Programmes Abroad offers a study program in Edinburgh, Scotland that focuses on subjects such as Environmental Studies, Psychology, and Economics, among others. Program fees cover in-country orientation, housing, and academic courses, and may be taken during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.