University of Glasgow – 2017 Spring Semester

Student Story

By Kahlan Gibson

Studying at the University of Glasgow has been one of the highlights of my university experience. The opportunity to travel and study with people from all over the globe truly makes the world feel smaller and more accessible than ever before. I had never thought about pursuing higher education or work experiences on a different continent before my exchange, but my experiences over the last five months have opened up opportunities that I will continue to pursue for the rest of my life. The University of Glasgow, in particular, was a great home for my exchange, as the city was friendly, busy, and beautiful.

Highland cow in the Isle of Skye. Photo credit: Kahlan Gibson

Some of my top recommendations for students studying in Glasgow would be:

  1. In the second term, there is a long, multi-week break between the end of classes and exams. In the term I was abroad, the break was five weeks long. Take advantage of this time to travel for a few weeks with the people you have met during your exchange. Some of the memories I value the most are of travelling during this time. You can always study for exams when you get back to Glasgow!
  2. Take time to learn the Glaswegian accent. It is invaluable in conversing with locals, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you might begin to understand it. I always enjoyed nights in The Stand Comedy Club for a few laughs and practice with some heavy Scottish accents.
  3. If you are living in student accommodation, take advantage of your free gym membership and fitness classes at the University gym. The gym complex is state-of-the-art and massive, truly putting the student facilities at UBC to shame.
  4. It is inexpensive to fly throughout Europe, but don’t forget to stay and see the stunning highlands of Scotland as well. Choose a few weekends during the term to see the Isle of Skye or take a tour with a travel company to see some of the scattered small towns.

When I applied to CIE, I expected to spend my 5 months abroad travelling, enjoying Scotland, and meeting people from all around the world. What you can’t anticipate is how quickly a new country can begin to feel like home or the profound impact the people you meet on exchange will have on your life. I cannot express how much I would recommend the University of Glasgow to future students in the Coordinated International Experience program, as I simply could not imagine my degree without the lifelong friends and experiences I had while abroad.