Here are our top five reasons to study in Scotland. But don’t just take our word for it, we heard from some international students about their experiences of studying in Scotland and what makes it such a great destination. 

1. Study at one of Scotland’s world-class universities  

When you study at one of Scotland’s universities, you’ll have the opportunity to experience our world-renowned education system. Scotland is home to some of the best universities in the world. 

Did you know that three of Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions are ranked in the Times Higher Education Top 200 in the world? 

Students gathered in a classroom

In 2024, the three universities in that top 200 list are the University of Glasgow, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Edinburgh. 

Scottish universities also have a reputation for producing innovative thinkers at the top of their fields and are leading the way in cutting-edge areas such as medical research, biotechnology, AI (artificial intelligence) and life sciences. 

2. Choose from a fantastic range of university courses 

Scotland’s universities offer over 4,500 courses in more than 150 subjects. Here, you’ll find a range of innovative courses.

Did you know that Scotland was the first country in the world to offer an ethical hacking degree? Or that Scotland is leading the way in the development of trustworthy, ethical, and inclusive AI, and has a range of undergraduate and postgraduate AI degrees? 

One student who chose Scotland for its excellent range of courses is Ailish from the USA. Ailish studies Game Design and Production at Abertay University and says that it was important to choose “a school that had experience teaching what I wanted to learn.” 

“I wasn’t initially looking at anywhere in particular but as it turns out you can’t look up game design programmes without hearing about Abertay University,” Ailish adds. 

Whether you’re interested in technology, gaming, artificial intelligence, medicine, or literature, you’re sure to find a course to suit your passion in Scotland.  

Find out more about the courses available at Scottish Universities

3. Be part of Scotland’s welcoming society and make lifelong friends 

By studying in Scotland, you’ll be part of an inclusive society known for its incredible warmth and compassion.  

From friendly and welcoming campuses to diverse clubs and societies, you’ll find lifelong friends while studying here.  

Catarina from Italy is studying PR and Marketing at Queen Margaret University. Catarina’s message for people thinking about studying in Scotland is to “not be worried about going away from home because Scotland is very welcoming.”  

Catarina adds: “The university has been great. They have a lot of events for people to meet each other so I never felt like I was alone even though I was away from home.” 

Kayana from India agrees that Scotland is an open and welcoming society. Kayana is studying Sports Studies at the University of Stirling and was amazed that “there are celebrations for almost every festival, every religion, every culture.” 

“That’s one of the main things I like about the university, it’s very open,” Kayana says.  

Four students studying and talking around a table

4. Opportunities to explore and travel Scotland 

Scotland is a beautiful country to explore with stunning natural landscapes, dense forests, and golden beaches.  

You can explore historic towns such as Pittenweem and Aberfeldy, discover the bustling streets of our dynamic cities or head to the Highlands and Islands. 

Irene from Indonesia highlights the benefits of travelling while studying in Scotland. “Glasgow is a vibrant fun city to live in. During my study in Scotland, I’ve been travelling a lot to the Highlands because it’s just a wonderful place. I’ve been to the Isle of Skye, Isle of Arran,” Irene says. 

Discover more about exploring Scotland at VisitScotland. 

Glenfinnan viaduct
Photo credit: VisitScotland/Kenny Lam.

5. Improve your career prospects  

By studying in Scotland, you can improve your career prospects. Scottish universities focus on graduate employability with many providing career support services. 

You will also find that many universities work with employers to prepare students for the world of work. This can involve professional internships, work placements and projects to enable you to put theory into practice.  

Scotland is also home to a wide range of innovative job sectors such as gaming, technology, and renewable energy. Employers also highly value graduates from Scottish universities. 

Irene from Indonesia is a Sustainable Energy Masters Graduate from the University of Glasgow. Irene came to study here because “Scotland is famous for its invention” and “it’s been really good with the field that I was interested in, sustainable energy,” she says. 

Irene is currently gaining industry experience by “working as a consultant for a firm that is focused on energy transition,” she adds. Graduates are playing a part in Scotland’s journey towards reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2045.  

If this sounds good to you, you can apply for a graduate visa to work in Scotland for two years after you graduate.  

Discover more about working in Scotland. 

Why study in Scotland?

More than 83,000 students come to study in Scotland from over 180 countries each year. Students choose Scotland not only for our world-class universities but also for the opportunity to experience our welcoming culture and inclusive society.

Why not join them? Find out more about student and graduate visas and how to apply to study at a university in Scotland.

Related content