Hi, my name is Evelina Persson and I’m a student at the nursing program at Jönköping University. In my fifth semester my classmate and me went to Glasgow, Scotland to study one semester at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
I’ve always wanted to try to travel or live in another country for a longer period so I got very interested when I found out that you could study one semester abroad. I really wanted to do it but at the same time it felt so scary to leave everything and all the safety I had at home. Then one morning before our class started my classmate told me that she applied and then I decided that I also wanted to apply so I did. I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t took this chance and now after I’m really glad I did.
After many meetings and planning my classmate and me went to GCU as the first students to go there from Jönköping University. When we arrived at Glasgow airport I remember that we looked at each other and said “-what now?” we had no idea where we were going or how we would get there, but of course there was very friendly people at the airport that helped us getting to the right address. We got to our campus called “Caledonian court” where we were suppose to live during our stay and we got our keys, kitchen- and bedding sets at a reception that is manned 24/7. In campus you live 8 persons in one flat, you have your own room and then you share one kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 2 showers, which worked well. The rooms were pretty small but they had everything you needed as a bed, a desk, a closet and a sink. Wi-fi was free and it worked really well and you could watch Netflix and surf without any problems. My classmate and me lived together with people from USA, Canada, Cypress, Nigeria and Spain and we all got along really well and had fun together. I think the rent was about 4000:- Swedish crones per month and we got help from GCU to find accommodation, they ask you in the application if you’re interested in living at campus. I really recommend you to live at campus because it’s so much easier to be a part of the student life and find new friends plus it’s super close to the school, city centre, grocery stores, subway, train- and bus station, pharmacy’s, restaurants and bars.
The first week at GCU was an introduction week with information meetings, fun events, parties and trips; this is a good way to get to know your flatmates and other students. They had lots of coffee places, restaurants at the university and a really good library where you could study. They also had a gym at the university that was cheap where you could do different classes such as, pilates, yoga, zumba and spin. The university is collaborating with 2 different travel agencies ad they will introduce them selves during introduction week, they arrange cheap trips all around Scotland. Do you have possibility to travel in Scotland please do so, because it’s so beautiful and fun, the more north you get the more dramatic the landscape become.
The second week at GCU we started with our classes, we had 3 classes that we read parallel during our semester, it was the same amount of credits that we should have read in Sweden. 2 of our courses we read with Scottish students, which were challenging but fun, and the last course we read with international students, which was easier. In the beginning I experienced that the Scottish accent was a bit hard to understand but you got used to it after a while and you learned to understand their words. Every class had 1 obligatory class each week, you blip yourself in to the class with a card and then you also write your name on a paper. Most of the teacher also hands out every weeks PowerPoint so you can do your notes on them, which was great. They have a similar platform as pingpong where you hand in your papers, find course information and where you can write your teacher. In the end of every course we handed in an essay of 2000-3000 words, it was pretty hard to write in an academic way in another language but we passed with our essays, so if you just put some effort in to it, it will be fine. We didn’t have any placement while we were there but we visited the emergency at Queen Elizabeth University hospital for one day and it was very interesting because the hospital was bright new.
To live in Scotland was a bit cheaper than home in Sweden but not much, I applied to get expanded CSN so I got about 12 000:- Swedish crones each month and I got by with it. Glasgow city has a lot to offer and they have a great food, music and pub culture that I really enjoyed. I particularly liked this part of town called west end which had cosy streets, nice architecture, second hand stores, pubs, shops, a botanic garden and museums, if you go there visit ashton lane. East side is more industrial and newer with odd bars, restaurants, street art and beautiful churches. 90 minutes from Glasgow with bus lays Edinburgh, which is a wonderful city, and we had an amazing weekend there. We just wondered around the old part of town visiting castles, watching all beautiful architecture and visit cosy places. If you are interested in visiting more parts of Scotland there’s a lot of tours the school offer and then there’s a good tourist information bureau near the school at the Buchannan street where they can help you with anything and everything. We did a lot of hiking and I found that that was a nice and cheap way to discover places in Scotland. I travelled some with my classmate, some with my family who visited me and some by myself. If I would recommend one longer trip I would recommend you to go to Isle of Skye for a few days, Isle of Skye is a stunning island in the northwest part of Scotland.
Even though I was very nervous before I went to Scotland and even that I was homesick sometimes, I’m really glad that I went and I don’t regret it for a second. If you get the possibility to go, do it, it will be fun and everything worth something will be here when you get back.
If you have some more questions please write my email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kind regards/ Evelina Persson