I decided to break up my Scotland Bound: Studying Abroad entry up into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces for those who found the original entry a bit too daunting. I’ve broken it up into three different entries; this is the second, Choosing a University and Major is first, and Visas is third. This post is on:
This step in the Study Abroad process will follow after you Choose a University and Major. In this entry, I will also dip into the topic of university accommodation.
There are two ways that I know to go about doing this. The first time I earned a Master’s in Scotland, I worked with Study Across the Pond to apply. Study Across the Pond was a great asset to me when I was starting applications. I had no idea where to start, and their experts were able to keep me in line and calm while walking me through the entire process.
Study Across the Pond
Using Study Across the Pond made everything less daunting. They told me the documentation I would need for applying; put me in touch with different people at the universities; and even sent all of my application documents to the schools. They really simplified everything, and I’ve heard they have even more resources for students today.
In looking at their website today, Study Across the Pond only assists with applications for four Scottish Universities. If you’re looking to apply to one of those four—or any of the English or Welsh universities they’re associated with—then there should be no issues.
With other Scottish schools, you’ll have to apply through the university website itself. Luckily, that’s not too big a challenge either. Honestly, if it was, universities would have an issue because no one would apply!
Applying with the University
Now, I can’t say what the process is for each individual university—simply because I haven’t applied to each one. But I do know the for the University of Glasgow. If most other universities are the same, then it’s rather simple.
With the University of Glasgow, after you open your application, you’ll have a month to gather all the documentation you’ll need and apply. This documentation will include things like transcripts; letters of recommendation; a personal statement on why you wish to study with the university and in the programme.
It’s a lot of standard stuff that you’d expect a university to want if you’re planning on attending. You’ll also need to provide some information on how you plan to fund your studies. You don’t have to have all the finer details hammered down. Don’t worry if you’re planning on getting a student loan, but haven’t gotten that ironed out yet. Just make sure you declare your intentions.
Note: the above detail on not loan information also depends on when you apply. For example, if you apply in January, you may still be fuzzy on loan applications. That should be fine for simply declaring your intentions about a student loan. However, if you’re applying closer to the start of the school year, you may need more concrete funding details.
All of this documentation will need to be added to the application portal. You can add documentation as you get it and save the application, or you add all the documentation at once and apply. Once you’ve gotten all of your documentation together and it’s been added to your application, double check that you’ve provided everything you need, and hit that Apply button! After that, it’s just waiting to hear back.
I decided to include accommodation along with the Applying to University. This is something to consider along with your application.
For most students, you’re likely to get your accommodation from the university, but it’s still good to research it. When I attended the University of Stirling, I had a few accommodation options to choose from as a postgraduate student. I looked through them and weighed the pros and cons of each.
There were two in Stirling City Centre area, and one in Bridge of Allan. I ultimately chose Bridge of Allan, after looking at prices; location; ease of commute to university; and also prices of commuting. For example, I could walk from Bridge of Allan to university, but commuting in from Stirling would often require a bus.
These are all important factors into your decision of choosing accommodation from the university. If you’re planning on getting accommodation that isn’t offered by the university, then you’ll additionally have to research different areas for living within your university’s city; ease of commuting to campus; rent prices; etc.
An important note to include as you get excited about studying abroad.
Remember: first and foremost you are there for studies. A university sponsoring a visa is them stating that they will be your full-time employer for the time you’re there. Treat earning a degree as though it is a full-time job.
But, like a full-time job, you do get breaks. You get weekends, you need time off, otherwise you’ll burn-out. So, dedicate yourself to the hard work of earning a new degree, but also make time to enjoy being in a new country because that too is offering you great experience.