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by Andra Groza
Changing locations when studying can be a tricky thing to do. Even moving from one city to another can sometimes be difficult or challenging. Well, moving from your home country to an entirely new one is a once in a lifetime experience!
Originally from Romania, Ive been studying in Aberdeen, Scotland for two and a half years now. I decided to leave my home country and study abroad somewhere during my third year of high school (the one before the last). It was tough, but it was also the best thing I have ever done.
Coming to Scotland wasnt just about buying a ticket and taking the plane from point A to point B. It was changing a country, a language, a lifestyle. It was basically starting everything from the very first beginning. It is a challenging experience, especially if you dont know too many things about the country youre going to spend the next few years in, about what the system of the university will be like or how the new society will treat you.
For anyone starting a new life in Scotland, particularly in Aberdeen, here are a few facts, figures and tips about: accommodation, the overall costs, the university system, working part-time jobs.
The first thing you need to know about Aberdeen is the fact that it isnt a cheap place to live in, as accommodation, food and transport are all quite expensive.
In regards with finding a place to stay, the university offers all equipped rooms and flats. They are usually flats consisting of about 6 rooms, 2 bathrooms and a common kitchen (they might vary, as it depends on the price), the cost of each room being around 400 pounds. It is a comfortable choice (as all bills and internet are included in the price), but there are other cheaper alternatives as well. If looking for more privacy, there are several agencies from which you can rent a flat with someone else. It is a bit more work involved, but with a bit of luck, you can live in the comfort of your own rented flat.
Regarding university life and the system, I can say from my own experience that things arent too crowded. You usually have 3 or 4 days of school per week and sometimes even less, depending on the course youre taking. What I appreciate the most about the educational system here is the fact that the theory does never exceed the practical part of the course, which means you will always get to apply everything youve studied. Another positive thing Ive experienced is the teacher-student relationship, which is a very close and friendly one.
Being in classes just a couple of days per week, it is extremely common that students also have a part-time job. And because costs of living are so high, an extra source of income is always a great thing. Personally, I have had a part-time job ever since I started university, this allowing me to almost entirely support myself. I believe that anyone can find a job if they really want to. It might be hard at the beginning, but I assure everyone that it is 100% manageable. However, if coming from Romania or Bulgaria, students will need a special work permit in order to be allowed to work part-time, but this can be easily received by simply filling in an application and sending it along with a proof of being a student (however, it does require 2 or 3 months to receive the permit).
On top of all the mentioned cost, there are other things that have to be taken into account, such as paying for transportation. There are two universities in Aberdeen, both of them being situated quite far away from the city centre, therefore students being in need to get the bus in order to get there. With all the discounts, a day ticket costs 3.20 pounds, while a bus pass for a whole month can be up to 50 pounds.
Like I said before, studying and thus living here might be a challenge, but it definitely is something worth experiencing. The country is beautiful and despite of the weather (which can be quite whimsical), people are warm, welcoming and always happy to give you a hand. It is a very colourful city, as there are incredibly many international students, therefore being a great study destination!
Are you thinking of studying in Scotland but you have no idea where to start? Maybe one of the following universities is just the perfect one for you! Alternatively you can just start searching on your own right ahead!
The Queen Mararet University is located in beautiful Edinburgh - maybe one of the nicest places to study in Europe! The university has a widely recognised expertise in the areas of health and rehabilitation; sustainable business and creativity and culture and offers interesting programmes in that area such as International Health, MBA or Festival Management for example.
Also located in Edinburgh and founded in 1582, the University of Edinburgh is one of the largest and most prestigeous universities in the UK. In its three colleges containing a total of 21 schools, a large variety of programmes are offered covering everything in the range of a Master in Public Policy (MPP) to a Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme for Offshore Renewable Energy.
Of course Scotland does not only exist of Edinburgh! The Caledonian University is located in modern and vibrant Glasgow offering world-class facilities on a high-tech campus. It was awarded as "Best international student experience in the UK" and offers a wide range of exciting and innovative programmes such as 3D Design for Virtual Environments, Sustainable Energy Technologies or Voice Over IP and Unified Communications.
The University of Strathclyde Business School (SBS) is located in Glasgow as well and offers high quality education in the area of business and management. The university offers a large programme portfolio offering Master's degrees as well as Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates. Popular programmes are their Master in Business Administration (MBA) a Master of Science in Business Analysis and Consulting and a Master's in Human Resource Management.
We hope this article was helpful to learn more about studying in Scotland. Check out the following websites for more information!
is originally from Romania, currently studying Media Studies at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen (Scotland) and did an Erasmus exchange in Rotterdam, The Netherlands