How to study abroad in Scotland for cheap

5 Ways to Save Money While Studying Abroad in Scotland


How to study abroad in Scotland for cheap

Just because Scotland uses the Pound (GBP) as its currency doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider this gorgeous country for your study abroad experience. There are plenty of budget-friendly ways to enjoy a semester there – here are the top five ways to save money while studying abroad in Scotland.

Shop around for accommodation

Student halls are the most convenient option as they are often located on university campuses and bills are included in the price of rent. However, this means they are often the most expensive option. If you are studying abroad on a budget, being smart about your living arrangements can be one of the best ways to save money.

Consider your location

Firstly, take into account the property market in the city you are planning on studying in. Rents in Edinburgh, St Andrews and Aberdeen are considerably higher than options such as Glasgow, Dundee or Stirling.

Once you have chosen your city, bear in mind that it can be expensive to rent in the city or town centre. All of Scotland’s university locations have excellent transport links, so consider living in suburbs further out from the center where rent prices will be considerably less. You can find other students to live with, rooms to rent and flat shares by using sites such as UK Easy Roommate, Spareroom and Gumtree.

Try a Homestay

Another option could be to do a home stay with a local family. Many Scottish families with a spare bedroom in their home take international students as lodgers while they are studying abroad for a small fee or sometimes even for free! You can find host families on Homestay.

If you are studying in Scotland for a full length course, rather than just a semester or two, the best option can often be to stay in student halls for your first year (to get that real student experience) then to find a private let with your new friends.

How to save money while studying in Scotland

Save on tuition fees with a scholarship

Often the biggest expense when studying in any country are the tuition fees and these can be a real drain on your finances. Scotland is a nation of learning and science, and to promote this to students from the USA, Canada, China and India, the Saltire Scholarship programme can help cut the cost of your tuition fees while studying at any of Scotland’s universities.

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships offers up to 200 awards, each worth £2000. These then go towards the tuition fees, for any one year of full time study, on an Undergraduate, Masters or PhD course at any of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

You can learn more about Saltire Scholarships and find out if you are eligible to apply here.

Learn to cook

Just like at your home school, it’s much cheaper to be able to cook your own food than to rely on catered halls, restaurants or ready-made meals while in Scotland. You can buy recipe books specifically written for students with easy to cook recipes, using cheap easily available ingredients (both healthy and unhealthy!) Alternatively, one quick Google search will lead you to hundreds of student cooking guides and simple, cheap recipes.

How to save money studying abroad in Scotland

Travel smart

Scotland boasts excellent public transport links throughout all of its major towns and cities, making it cheap and easy to commute from home to university, and to explore some of the beautiful countryside while you’re there. Scotland is also increasingly a cycle friendly nation making cycling the best free, easy and green way to travel. Check out Scotland’s cycle network for a cheap and healthy way to get around.

Make use of free resources

Many of Scotland’s academic, historical, horticultural and educational institutions are publically funded and can be accessed free of charge—perfect for budget-wary study abroad students. There are a wealth of resources that can be used to enhance your learning experience while you’re studying in Scotland, but are also great places to enjoy while you are exploring the country just for fun.

Some free places to visit:

National library of Scotland

National Museums Scotland

National Galleries Scotland

Historic Scotland

Hermitage – National Trust for Scotland

Scottish Science Centres

If you make a couple of adjustments to the way you approach your time in Scotland, you’ll be able to enjoy everything that the country has to offer without having to call home to Mom and Dad for a refill to your bank account.

Share this post with anyone you know who will be studying abroad in Scotland, and let us know if you have any other tips or tricks to add to the list.

This post was created in partnership with the Scottish Government.

Photo sources: Pixabay, amateur photography by michel via Flickr, Pixabay


Seonaid is in her final year of her degree in Public Relations and Media at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. She is currently undertaking a summer placement in the International Marketing department at the Scottish Government. Seonaid is passionate about writing, Scotland and exploring new places.

One thought on “5 Ways to Save Money While Studying Abroad in Scotland

Comments are closed.