Student life in Glasgow

student life in Glasgow
Updated 2019-08-22 12:15

People from all over the world move to Glasgow to study at one of its three large universities. With a significant and ever-increasing student population, the city has grown to accommodate students with affordable housing, cheap food and drinks, as well as new events happening every day.

Student accommodation in Glasgow

Most students in Glasgow spend their first year living in university-owned "halls" or flats, i.e. apartments or dorm rooms that share facilities with other students. Student accommodation can be catered or self-catered. Living in catered accommodation is often more expensive as you will get two to three meals cooked for you a day, whereas self-catered accommodation means you are responsible for your own grocery shopping and cooking. Catered accommodation can cost around £180 a week, whereas self-catered accommodation can be half that price.

Applying for such student accommodation is often done through the university's website. How to apply depends on if you have received a conditional or an unconditional offer to study in Glasgow. A conditional offer means you will have to fulfil whatever condition the university has set out for you - for example, a specific set of grades in your final exams. An unconditional offer, on the other hand, means you have guaranteed spot at the university.

After your first year, when you have made friends with other students at your university, most students move into private accommodation. Apartments can be found using websites like Zoopla, Rightmove, Gumtree or even Facebook. It's important to note when deciding who to move in with is that if the flat is occupied by only students, you will be exempt from paying council tax.

Student cost of living in Glasgow 

Living in Glasgow is relatively cheap compared to most major cities. For those on a tight budget, accommodation can be as cheap as £200-300 a month with Wi-Fi, utility and phone bills adding another £50-100 monthly. GiffGaff is a mobile phone network perfect for students moving to Glasgow from abroad, looking to get a British phone number and SIM card during their time in the UK. For example, one month of unlimited phone calls, texting and 3GB of data sets you back only £10.

The cheapest place to eat is at home, but if you like eating out at restaurants and cafes, about half of them offer a student discount. You can often check online before going whether the place has any student discounts. Many places also offer special deals for students on specific dates or days of the week, such as "Buy two pizzas for the price of one on Tuesdays" or free entry into clubs before 10 pm. Save the Student is a good resource for those looking for student deals and discounts, but also for those in the market for a part-time job. Many students in Glasgow work part-time to get a little bit of extra money. There are some restrictions for international students working in the UK, so make sure to familiarise yourself with them before you start applying for jobs. You can find part-time jobs for students online, from job postings on shop or cafe windows or through your university's careers service. One important thing once you have started looking for jobs or have been offered one in the UK is that you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number, which is a unique identifier used to keep track of your earnings to calculate your income tax.

Leisure for students in Glasgow

When you are not worrying about your finances, there are heaps of fun activities for students in Glasgow. One can join a club or society - there are societies dedicated to almost anything: from cheese and wine appreciation to playing tennis to creating video games. Besides the weekly activities, University clubs and societies also offer fun events in the evening for their members, often free or for a small price. Popular events are themed club nights, sub crawls, balls or ceilidhs (a.k.a. traditional Scottish dancing). For those not interested in drinking and nightlife, there are also loads of fun daytime activities in Glasgow. Why not visit a park or Glasgow's botanical garden - both of which you can do for free. You could also read a book in one of Glasgow's many quirky cafes. Or you can stroll down Byres road to Dumbarton Road which are two roads packed to the brim with cheap charity shops where you can save money while also donating to charity - and, of course, finding amazing vintage items and clothes.

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