What is living in Glasgow like for students?

GCU’s campus is situated in the heart of the city of Glasgow – a dynamic hub of technology surrounded by leading international businesses such as PwC and Deloitte. Scotland is the future of commerce, home to some of the largest global financial services outside London, and students living in Glasgow will gain the advantage of these industry links.

The slogan ‘People Make Glasgow’ emphasises what the city is all about. One of the top 10 best cities in the world (TimeOut ‘The 48 Best Cities in the World’ 2019) and with 100% student satisfaction for the local area and 99% student satisfaction for feeling safe and secure (INTO Annual Student Experience Survey 2019), you’ll have a warm welcome here.

What makes Glasgow a great student city?

  • Links to industry – there are hundreds of international companies based in the city for you to connect with.
  • Student population – with four universities in Glasgow, you’ll be surrounded by likeminded international students.
  • International food – because Glasgow is a cosmopolitan community, you’ll find food from all across the globe here.
  • Friendliness – the city has an unrivalled sense of community and a welcoming nature that will help you feel at home.
  • Entertainment – home to the largest music venue in Scotland, as well as popular festivals, cinemas and theatres.

What can I do for fun in Glasgow?

As it’s the biggest city in Scotland, there are endless fun things for students to do while living in Glasgow. Popular districts include:

  • East End. Glasgow's 'creative quarter' is home to the Barrowland Ballroom, the Emirates Area and Celtic Park.
  • North Glasgow. Enjoy open spaces here – walk along the canal trail of Speirs Wharf and take part in water sports.
  • Southside. For football fans, head south of the River Clyde to find Scotland's national stadium, Hampden Park.
  • West End. Head to Kelvingrove Park for big events or to the Botanic Gardens to embrace natural beauty.
  • Finnieston. Discover The SSE Hydro – Scotland's largest entertainment venue that hosts music and comedy gigs.
  • Merchant City. Explore stunning architecture such as The Corinthian Club – an incredible Grade A listed building.

Discover more things to do in Glasgow here: https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/

Where can I go out in the evening in Glasgow?

If you fancy a night out with your new friends, there are hundreds of places you can go. Student favourites include:

  • Bloc – a live music bar with free access before midnight, serving burgers, pizzas, nachos and wings.
  • Oran Mor – a bar, restaurant, club and live music venue all in one, offering top evening entertainment.
  • The Stand Comedy Club – a fun evening of stand-up comedy from some of Scotland’s best comedians.
  • ScotKart – an indoor go-karting track with racing karts reaching up to 40mph, plus a paintball and laser tag arena.
  • Cineworld Cinema – with 18 screens, you can watch the latest Hollywood movies just a 5-minute walk from campus.

Can I find international food in Glasgow?

With a large international population, Glasgow is one of the best cities in the UK to find food from around the world. In the heart of the city, you’ll find Sauchiehall Street. This is a great place to go to celebrate international foods on any budget. Popular restaurants elsewhere in the city include:

  • Lotus Lebanese Restaurant – classic dishes, from kebabs to stuffed pastries
  • Koolba – authentic Indian and Persian cuisine in the middle of Merchant City
  • Turkiye – traditional Turkish and Mediterranean dishes in Merchant City
  • The Calabash African Restaurant – delicious food, from jollof rice to goat curry
  • Opium – contemporary restaurant showcasing Chinese, Malaysian and Thai flavours

Just a 5-minute walk from campus, you’ll find an Asian supermarket. You’ll also find other international supermarkets across the city to buy supplies from home, including African, Chinese and European stores.

What is shopping like in Glasgow?

Known for being one of the best shopping destinations in the UK, you'll find:

  • Buchanan Street – the second busiest shopping street in the UK, comprising three shopping malls and more than 40 shops, including a Nike Store, Apple Store and designer high street clothing retailers.
  • Merchant City – high-end boutiques for clothing, shoes, homeware and electronics.
  • Sauchiehall Street – inexpensive high street stores, bars and cafés.

How much does it cost to live in Glasgow for students?

While Glasgow is one of the UK’s most affordable cities for students (Whatuni ‘Most Affordable Student Cities in the UK 2019), as a student it’s important to learn how to budget to ensure that you can eat well, buy your necessary items, and still have money left over to have some fun with your new friends. When you make your budget, consider the cost of:

  • food and drink
  • entertainment
  • travel (local and national)
  • clothes and toiletries
  • other expenses, such as haircuts

Find out how to budget at university here: https://www.intostudy.com/en/how-to-budget

Is it easy to travel around Glasgow and the UK?

Although it’s Scotland’s largest city, it’s easy to get around on foot here and everything you need is in easy reach of the campus. If you want to visit other districts, the Glasgow subway is a quick and easy way to get around. Travelling in one big circuit around the city centre and west end of Glasgow, it has 15 stations and runs every 5 minutes at peak times.

Glasgow is also a great base for exploring the rest of the UK. The nearest airport is located just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, making it easy to catch a short flight to destinations all over the UK and beyond. If you’d like to explore other places in Scotland, Edinburgh is the capital city and hosts the globally-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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