University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland)

by Cindy Xie (2016-2017)

Interviewed and edited by Calista Kusuma

Introduction

The University of Glasgow campus is beautiful, it feels like I’m walking into Hogwarts to attend my classes every day. Adjacent to the uni, are vast parklands filled with fountains dating to Victorian times. Established in 1451, UoG is the 4th oldest uni in the English-speaking world. Despite the charmingly old picture the campus paints, the surrounding West End area is a bustling centre with some of the city’s best eateries/coffee as well as boutique/vintage shops.

Accommodation

The University of Glasgow has many living options. Most of the uni-run residences are open to exchange students. I stayed in Kelvinhaugh Street in a self-catered building. It was very culturally diverse, with many exchange students. The location was AH-MA-ZING!!! Everything you need and want is basically a 5-minute walk away, at most 10. There are a lot of up and coming eateries, as well as good Indian food on Argyle street. Uni is about a 10-minute walk, passing through the luscious Kelvingrove park.

I also had friends who lived in Student Apartments, located right in the middle of campus in beautiful Victorian townhouses. However, rooms are a bit smaller and facilities are also older.

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Kelvingrove Park

Campus

The campus is gorgeous. I get Hogwarts vibes everytime I walk through the main building esp through the cloisters. On a winter’s day with a little bit of snow, it’s just magical! The campus is centralised and an easy walk will get you to classes. One of my fav buildings is the Gilmorehill Centre, an old church that has been converted into a lecture theatre. The library and uni gym are newly renovated.

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Look familiar? The University of Glasgow was used as a filming location for the Harry Potter films

Student Life

The University of Glasgow has two rival student unions, the Glasgow University Union (GUU) and Queen Margaret Union (QMU). Both host many student events throughout the year (freshers, quizzes, drinking days – the lot).

UoG also hosts a week’s worth of activities for exchange students so we get known the city/campus better, these include city tours, a night of traditional Scottish dancing (which was really fun). Like UNSW, there are many societies you can join with some interesting ones such as the Malt Whisky Society. GUSA is the sports union, which hosts a range of sports teams as well as rec sports.

Off campus, the West End (especially Ashton Lane) is dotted with bars/clubs.

Academics

In Scotland, most students study for four years with most Arts, Humanities and Social Science degrees being awarded as MA (Hons). It stems from an educational system that values independent study and broad general knowledge. Hence, in my courses, there was an expectation of independent study, and then to relay findings in class. However, the overall workload is very much manageable. A full-time semester typically consists of three courses.

Travel

There is plenty to do in Scotland. After travelling, I have found it to be one of the most mystical and enchanting places I have ever been. I highly recommend:

  • Loch Lomond
  • Edinburgh
  • Glencoe/Isle of Skye
  • Lake District (England)

If that’s not enough, Glasgow airport connects you with most major European cities and is only a 20 minute Uber ride away!

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Glasgow isn’t far from the Scottish-English border, so definitely check out the Lake District

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