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5 Reasons you should study in Scotland

Have you considered giving England a miss and heading north to Scotland to study abroad? We give you a few reasons why you should, including the top education opportunities available and the cultural contributions which Scotland has brought the

Why study in Scotland


Have you considered studying in Scotland? No? Why not?

When most international students think of studying in the UK, they think of studying at Oxford or Cambridge, two of the top universities in the world; however the likelihood of gaining admission to one of these institutions is slim due to the heavy competition. Others automatically think of studying in London; yes, one of the top tourist cities in the world, but everyone heads there.


Why don’t you consider heading north to Scotland to study abroad? Here you’ll have an experience your friends who choose to study in England (or elsewhere) definitely won’t have? But don’t worry, you can still receive a qualification that’s respected by employers around the world.


Below we give you 5 belting (that’s Scottish for “brilliant”) reasons to study in Scotland:



World class education

While Scotland sits on the other side of the border of the UK’s world-renowned Oxbridge universities, the country boasts an array of top quality higher education institutions, specialising in a range of subjects. This year, four institutions ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The University of Glasgow is one shining example of the education opportunities available north of the border. Glasgow ranked no. 94 in this year’s league tables (in the top 1% of the world). Glasgow, like many UK institutions, has a far-reaching history which is evident in the stunning architecture. Furthermore, Glasgow is strong in some of the most popular subjects which international students are drawn to, including Business and Management, Medicine and Veterinary and Life Sciences.



Look who else studied in Scotland

Probably the most famous alumni of the Scottish university system is Prince William, who attended St. Andrews University. In fact it was here where he met future wife and current Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton – so you never know, love may be on the cards and you might even find a prince (literally) in Scotland. Other famous faces who can say they’ve studied in Scotland include Community and Mad Men actress Alison Brie, music icon Bob Dylan, comic legend and actor John Cleese and Hollywood superstars Michael Douglas and Gerard Butler (a native – if you like the accent, you’ll love Scotland).

Read our piece on celebrities who studied abroad



Experience winter for the first time

You might come from a country where it’s hot all year around. Expect something completely different in Scotland where the average temperature is a brisk 7 or 9 degrees, with highs of just 32 degrees! Some international students find the novelty of experiencing snow for the first time absolutely enthralling because it’s so different to what they’ve known – the closest they’ve come to a winter wonderland is through pictures and videos online.

Scotland is incredibly hilly and mountainous, which makes for excellent hiking or even short walks. These allow you to enjoy awe-inspiring views from one of Scotland’s high peaks like this one below from the University of Glasgow, which won our recent university photo contest:

The Glaswegian skyline as depicted in the University of Glasgow's entry in our university photo contest
The Glaswegian skyline as depicted in the University of Glasgow's entry in our university photo contest



Culture, sport and entertainment hub

When you think of Scotland, you might think of quiet villages in the mountains of nowhere, cut off from civilisation. However the country remains an underated  hub for culture, sport and entertainment. We’ve talked about the world famous Fringe festival which takes place in Edinburgh each summer, attracting entertainers and performers from around the world. Did you know that Glasgow is a former European city of culture? Yes, it’s true! More recently, Glasgow was awarded status as a UNESCO City of Music in appreciation of its contributions to various musical genres.

And if you’re a sports fan, look no further to find the most passionate sports fans in the world – after all Scotland is where tennis sensation and British jewel Andy Murray hails from! In 2014, Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games, demonstrating that both the country and city itself could handle hosting a global sporting event, as well as possessing the enthusiasm for athletics.



Home of Harry Potter, Sherlock and Macbeth

Scotland holds an important place in literature and the arts. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of one of the world’s most famous detectives, Sherlock Holmes, came from Scotland (Funnily enough, Stephen Moffat, who recently breathed new life into the fictional detective by creating the hit TV series Sherlock, is also a proud Scot.). J.K. Rowling wrote her early Harry Potter books in a cafe overlooking Edinburgh Castle. And of course, arguably Shakespeare's most famous work, Macbeth has Scottish blood running through its veins!

There’s clearly something in the Scottish air which gets the creative juices flowing!



Want to study in "bonnie" Scotland now? Start your search for a higher education course there today – study in the UK!

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About Author

Why study in Scotland

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


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