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THE UK: Destination Guides

Glasgow city guide

Friendly, affordable and creative. We explore what makes Glasgow such an attractive city for international students...

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A vibrant and thriving Scottish city based on the banks of the River Clyde, on the western side of Scotland, Glasgow has a rich industrial heritage dating back to the pre-Roman era. Originally famous for shipbuilding and trade, the city has evolved and is now home to a booming creative scene with plenty of entertainment for lovers of music, art, theatre, and media. The city is also famed for its Victorian architecture, making Glasgow a historic, attractive, and interesting place to explore and live in for international students. 

 

Where can you study in Glasgow?

Two of Glasgow’s universities rank within the world’s top 300, namely The University of Glasgow (77th) and The University of Strathclyde (300th) (QS World University Rankings 2021). The former is home to almost 30,000 international students from over 140 countries and is ranked 2nd for student satisfaction among Russell Group universities (NSS 2020). 

 

Other universities in Glasgow include:

 

 

You can also use our course matcher tool now to find the right course and university in Glasgow.

 

How much does it cost to study in Glasgow?

At the University of Glasgow, tuition fees for international students start at GBP 17,650 per year. However, the cost increases for subjects like engineeringnursingveterinary sciences at GBP 23,000 per year. Dentistry costs GBP 46,950 per year while medicine is GBP 49,950. 

Need help with the cost of university fees? Check out our top tips on submitting a scholarship application. If you want to find out more about the student living costs in the UK check out our guide. 

 

Why choose Glasgow for your studies?

 

Entertainment

One way to soak up the history and culture of Glasgow is to explore the world-renowned galleries and museums. For example, The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has 22 galleries with displays of over 8,000 objects. This attraction is also totally free, which is perfect for students on a budget

 

There’s also the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery where you can view the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh who was a prominent architect and artist born in Glasgow but known all around the world. The Hunterian is part of the University of Glasgow, located in several buildings around the campus.

 

Nightlife 

Glasgow comes to life at night with its many popular venues for live music, comedy, film, and gigs dotted around the city. It’s also famous for its traditional pub culture and folk music which makes for an enjoyable atmosphere even if you don’t drink alcohol. Glasgow is also home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and The Royal Scottish Orchestra, which is great if you enjoy live performances.

Sport

Host of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Glasgow is notorious for its love of sport. Popular sports include golf, rugby, football, tennis, and rowing. Glasgow is also home to Scotland’s largest football stadiums including Celtic Park, Hampden Park and Ibrox stadium for an immersive, live experience.

 

Weather

Glasgow receives significant rainfall throughout the year, but the summer months can be warm and temperate. This is something to consider if you are used to a warm climate in your home country. It may take some time to adjust to at first.

 

People

Despite the hard and gritty exterior of Glasgow, it is said that “the people make the place”, being voted the friendliest city in the world (Rough Guide 2021). This makes it a welcoming and enjoyable place for international students to feel at home. You may find it difficult to understand locals with strong Glaswegian accents, but you’ll get used to it in time.

 

Transport

Glasgow is a simple city to navigate, built on a grid system, so it’s easy to get around. The subway is one of the best ways to travel within the city centre, running every five minutes at a starting cost of just GBP 1.55. You can also easily access other cities in Scotland such as Edinburgh which is just an hour train ride away. However, the city is also easily accessible on foot or bike, if you want to stay active while exploring the city. To help with the cost of travel, students can also purchase a railcard for GBP 30 to save up to 1/3 off all journeys.

 

Cost of living in Glasgow

Often voted the most affordable city to buy a house in the UK, Glasgow is comparatively cheaper than other major cities. Glasgow is 43 per cent cheaper to live in than London (Expatisan). 

 

Here’s a list of everyday items and expenses to give you an idea of the cost of living in Glasgow:

 

  • Meal at a restaurant – GBP 14.00
  • Cinema ticket – GBP 10.00
  • Cappuccino – GBP 2.82
  • 1 litre of milk – GBP 0.91
  • Loaf of bread – GBP 0.94
  • Apartment outside of city centre – GBP 477

 

(Source: Numbeo 2021)

 

Where to live in Glasgow as a student

West end

The west end is a popular and trendy part of Glasgow, attracting lots of students in particular. You’ll find quirky shops, cafés, boutiques, and delis around Hillhead, which is known to be the liveliest neighbourhood with Kelvingrove park and the botanical gardens are close by. It is also close to The University of Glasgow, making it easy to get to lectures and campus activities. Other student-centric west end neighbourhoods include Finnieston and Partick which are also ideally located close to the universities.

Now that you know more about Glasgow, do you think it’s the right city for you? If so, check out our other guides on applying to a university abroad, five reasons you should study in Scotland and applying for a student visa in the UK.

 

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