How to Study Abroad in Scotland: Programs, Cost, Scholarships, & Visa 

This article contains all the details you need to know on how to study abroad in Scotland, including the programs, costs, and requirements.

The majority of people associate Scotland with romantic notions such as tartan kilts, gloomy, foreboding landscapes, castles, mythical creatures that dwell in lochs, and ferocious Highland warriors. 

Scotland’s real life differs from the romantic, tartan-clad tourist stereotype. Instead, you have a small country with a wide range of cultural traditions, political ideologies, and regional accents that are all bound together by a strong sense of national identity.

All of this merely suggests that studying abroad in Scotland offers you much more than simply traveling there does. 

The following information will help you get started and have fun as soon as you arrive in Scotland to study abroad.

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Why study abroad in Scotland?

1. You have a lot of choices. 

People frequently think of Scotland when mentioning Edinburgh. 

In reality, Scotland has a number of top universities, including those in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews.

 St Andrews is a small, rural, and prestigious city; Edinburgh is imposing and historic; Glasgow is artistic and edgy; Dundee is picturesque and growing; and Aberdeen is industrial and prosperous. 

Each city has a unique atmosphere. This is just one of the benefits of studying abroad in Scotland.

Even within a city, educational institutions vary: the Glasgow University, my alma mater, differs significantly from nearby institutions like the Glasgow School of Art, Caledonian University, and University of Strathclyde. 

Examine each Scottish option carefully before making a choice to determine which one best serves your needs.

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2. Leave the cities

Scotland is frequently ranked among the most beautiful nations in the world, and not just because of its cities. 

Scottish highlands and islands are where the country truly shines, despite the fact that Scottish cities may be aesthetically pleasing or opulent. 

The best part is that you don’t even need to travel very far; in some cases, a quick drive from any major city will put you right in the heart of Scotland’s untamed countryside. 

This is just one of the benefits of studying abroad in Scotland. 

You shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go wild camping since it is completely free and legal across the country.

3. Respectful nightlife enjoyment in Scotland 

The Scots are known for their love of the nightlife, and Scotland has some of the best pubs in the world. 

Moderation, though, isn’t always a top priority, especially in higher education. It’s critical to establish and uphold your boundaries because, while studying abroad, you might be able to drink alcohol for the first time legally. 

This is just one of the benefits of studying abroad in Scotland. 

My best advice is to have fun and not try to keep up with any locals you may meet who are moving a little more quickly than you anticipate. 

When leaving a club or pub, drink at your own pace, keep yourself secure, and always take a taxi home.

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4. There is more to Scottish cuisine than haggis and deep-fried Mars bars. 

When you ask about Scottish cuisine, one of these two dishes will be mentioned to highlight how subpar it is. Each has a function in Scottish culture, it is a fact. 

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The annual celebration of poet Rabbie Burns, Burns Night, includes a lengthy ceremony of “Addressing The Haggis” with poetry and music. The haggis is a staple of the culture. 

It frequently appears on burgers, pizza, and breakfast sandwiches. 

Deep-fried Mars bars, or Milky Way bars as they are known in the US, are simply a reflection of the country’s insatiable desire to batter and deep-fry just about anything. This is just one of the causes.

5. The people of Scotland are an underappreciated treasure. 

You might think that spending time studying Scotland’s culture, countryside, or castles will give you the most vivid memories. 

Scots are welcoming and incredibly funny. If you have a good sense of humor, you will fit in. 

At your university, try to make friends with locals, or consider staying with a local family to fully immerse yourself. This is just one of the benefits of studying abroad in Scotland. 

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you pick up the slang quite quickly. 

The dialect can also be difficult to understand (with Edinburgh perhaps being the exception, since the local accent is more similar to an English accent).

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Scholarships and Funding

International undergraduate and graduate students studying in Scotland have access to a range of scholarships and funding options. 

  • Through Commonwealth Scholarships, people from Commonwealth nations can study in Scotland. 
  • The UK government’s international scholarship program, the Chevening Scholarships, provides funding for full- or part-time postgraduate coursework. 
  • US citizens who want to enroll in a postgraduate program in Scotland can apply for Fulbright Awards. 
  • International students who are enrolled in science programs in Scotland are supported by Royal Society Grants. 
  • Students from Canada, China, India, and the United States can apply for Saltire Scholarships, which cover one year of study at all levels in Scotland.

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What do I need to know about a Student Visa in Scotland in 2024?

A student visa in Scotland is accessible to those pursuing longer-term studies at a UK-approved university. If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS), a unique document you need to apply for a visa. 

What you should know about a student visa in Scotland is as follows: 

  • You must be sixteen or older. 
  • Students can only enroll in the college for a total of two years in Scotland while on a student visa. 
  • You must demonstrate that you have the means to support and care for yourself without a job or financial assistance from the government, or that you will have adequate support and care from family or friends. 
  • You are allowed to work part-time while you are a student. 
  • You have holidays.

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What do I need to apply for a Student Visa in Scotland?

A number of important documents must be submitted with your visa application. In your country of permanent residence, you apply for this at the nearest visa application center. 

The main documents you’ll need are: 

  • a current passport 
  • Verification of approval 
  • credentials that are real, as stated in your CAS declaration 
  • UKVI-approved secure English language testing 
  • evidence of financial support Bank letters or statements confirming the existence of funds for your tuition and living costs. For information on student visa requirements in Scotland, please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. 
  • a true letter from your sponsor, if you are a student who is recognized as being sponsored.
  • receipt for the current tuition (if applicable). 
  • utilizing a credit or debit card to immigration health surcharge and visa application expenses.

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Where are the best places to study abroad in Scotland in 2024?

1. Edinburgh University

The University of Edinburgh, which is ranked number 20 globally in the QS Rankings and number 30 in the Times Ranking, is without a doubt the best-ranked institution of higher learning in Scotland. 

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What is the reason for this university’s enviable reputation? 

To begin with, the 5-star facilities and learning environment are some of the best in the world. 

Academic journals frequently cite the university’s research because there are 180 study topics available. 

A degree from the University of Edinburgh thus opens up a variety of employment opportunities. 

In fact, when it comes to graduates’ employability after graduation, the university is ranked number 10. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here.

2. Glasgow University

The University of Glasgow is ranked 77 in the QS rankings and 92 in the Times rankings, respectively. 

People have been receiving education from the University of Glasgow for 500 years. The institution primarily grants degrees in the social sciences, business, and medicine. 

For students who prefer shorter study periods, the University of Glasgow also provides a variety of online programs, short courses, and MOOCs. 

The institution carries out top-notch research, particularly in the field of biomedicine, to find treatments for many chronic illnesses. 

During your studies, you’ll receive help figuring out your interests and selecting a potential career path. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here.

3. St. Andrews University 

The University of St. Andrews was established in Scotland and unquestionably plays a role in the town’s history by fusing the old and the new. 

The university is ranked 96 in the QS Ranking and is included in Times Ranking’s list of the top 250 universities in the world. 

St Andrews is committed to helping you find your passion and makes it a priority to engage students right away. 

The career center at St. Andrews can help you turn your passions into a rewarding career. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here.

4. Aberdeen University 

University of Aberdeen, a second Scottish university with a 500-year history, is referred to as the “global university of the north” due to its prolific concept development and influence on the world.

 It is currently ranked number 178 globally by QS Rankings and Times Higher Education. 

The University of Aberdeen welcomes all students and has a global perspective. 

The university focuses its research primarily on the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and medicine. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here.

5. Dundee University 

The University of Dundee enrolls over 16,000 students each year and grants 200 Master’s degrees. 

The school takes great pride in the unique, welcoming experiences it provides to its students, as well as the rigorous, award-winning teaching standards. 

One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

The university also provides a range of scholarships to help students with financial aid. 

Many different fields, including business, medicine, environmental studies, social sciences, and law, offer a variety of degrees. 

The University of Dundee is listed among the top 250 universities in the world by Times Higher Education and is ranked 319 globally in the QS Rankings.

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6. Heriot-Watt University 

In the world, Heriot-Watt University is ranked 400 by Times Higher Education and 301 by QS Rankings. 

The organization is committed to encouraging innovation in society and offers initiatives that cater to the needs of businesses. 

One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

As a result, it uses tactical alliances to enlist the aid of industry experts. 

The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide recognized it for its global perspective in 2018. 

The three main subject areas it focuses on in its courses are business, engineering, and computer science.

7. Strathclyde University 

The University of Strathclyde is ranked 300 out of all universities worldwide in the QS Rankings. 

The university’s business school was named the best business school in the country in 2016. 

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Also among the top 20 research-intensive universities in the UK is the institution. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

The University of Strathclyde’s career services and international emphasis aim to match each student with a career they are passionate about using the university’s connections with businesses and career counseling.

8. Stirling University 

The University of Stirling is one of the top 350 universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education. 

Teachers are dedicated to giving their students the knowledge they need to make a difference in the world. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

The university offers 100 Master’s degree programs, with the social sciences, business, and education fields receiving more than half of the attention. 

The institution conducts research on topics like culture, society, global security, and improving people’s quality of life.

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9. Edinburgh Napier University

Over 50 degrees are offered in business studies at Edinburgh Napier University, which also offers programs in the arts and social sciences. 

Six schools make up the university, each with a distinct international focus. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

Edinburgh Napier is committed to assisting students in finding employment following graduation, in part because of the career services they offer. 

The university was the first institution in Scotland to be accredited by CIEEM.

10. The University of Glasgow 

Glasgow Caledonian University is one of the largest universities in Scotland, enrolling 20,000 students annually. 

You will have the opportunity to study in the heart of Glasgow in a setting that welcomes visitors from all over the world. One of the best locations in Scotland to study abroad is here. 

The institution primarily provides education in the fields of engineering and construction as well as business, law, and health. 

Learn at a school with many connections to industry and a 97% employment rate after graduation on an award-winning, environmentally friendly campus.


Whether you’re on a campus in the countryside or one right in the middle of one of our cities, Scottish colleges offer sizable, open green spaces. 

This means that you will have access to a variety of outdoor areas where you can study, play sports, unwind, or simply enjoy the scenery. 

Some of the biggest cities in Europe surround Scotland. London is less than an hour away, and Paris is only a two-hour flight away. 

With frequent flights and airports spread out across the country, Scotland makes a fantastic starting point for exploring the best sites that Europe has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions 

A good place to study abroad is Scotland, right? 

Students choose Scotland as their study abroad destination because it is home to some of the world’s top universities. According to the Office of National Statistics, Scotland has the highest level of education in all of Europe, with three of its universities appearing in the Times Higher Education Top 200. 

Is studying abroad in Scotland expensive? 

The costs for everyone else can be quite high. Depending on the university, international undergraduate tuition costs can range from £15,000 to £30,000 per year. The cost of postgraduate courses varies greatly depending on the course’s content, the university, and the program’s length.

Is Scotland a good place for foreign students? 

Scotland is the ideal starting point for exploring the best parts of Europe because it is close to international airports and a number of European cities are accessible by short flight. Scotland is a great place for any international student to study and call home due to its stellar educational history and extensive history. 

Is going abroad to school in Scotland a good idea? 

Studying in Scotland is advised by international students! In a survey conducted by the Scottish government, 86% of Scottish students and 94% of international students in Scotland said they would recommend Scotland to others. Universities in Scotland must be doing something right!

Which is better for education: Scotland or England? 

In contrast to the rest of the UK, where undergraduate courses typically last three years, Scotland’s undergraduate programs last four years. The English higher education system adopts a more in-depth approach to learning, whereas the Scottish system is intended to be more adaptable and inclusive.



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