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Edinburgh, Glasgow, or RHUL for visiting student - help!!

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    I'm planning on studying abroad in the UK next year and need your opinions on University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway. I have no idea which one to pick!

    My deciding factors are:
    -- Academic quality (although I assume this would roughly be the same at each of the schools??)
    -- The beauty of the campus/buildings (I know this is silly but I go to a very ugly university right now, and I am pining for some nice old Hogwartsy buildings, green grass, etc)
    -- Surrounding area (I don't care if it's a small town or a big city as long as it is more attractive than the concrete monstrosity where I live now! Proximity to areas for hiking would be a plus.)

    Based on these three factors, my top choice was St Andrews but that proved to be a bit expensive, so I'm narrowed down to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and RHUL. Any opinions would be SO much appreciated so please help!!
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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    I'm planning on studying abroad in the UK next year and need your opinions on University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway. I have no idea which one to pick!

    My deciding factors are:
    -- Academic quality (although I assume this would roughly be the same at each of the schools??)
    -- The beauty of the campus/buildings (I know this is silly but I go to a very ugly university right now, and I am pining for some nice old Hogwartsy buildings, green grass, etc)
    -- Surrounding area (I don't care if it's a small town or a big city as long as it is more attractive than the concrete monstrosity where I live now! Proximity to areas for hiking would be a plus.)

    Based on these three factors, my top choice was St Andrews but that proved to be a bit expensive, so I'm narrowed down to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and RHUL. Any opinions would be SO much appreciated so please help!!
    Edinburgh. I'm a bit biased but it fits all three.
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    Most on here will say Edinburgh because TSR is overwhelmingly middle-class, and Edinburgh is a middle class wet dream, but personally I'd recommend Glasgow. Academically it's just as strong as Edinburgh in a lot of departments and with regards to the beauty of the university buildings, well.. these photos speak for themselves:

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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    I'm planning on studying abroad in the UK next year and need your opinions on University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway. I have no idea which one to pick!

    My deciding factors are:
    -- Academic quality (although I assume this would roughly be the same at each of the schools??)
    -- The beauty of the campus/buildings (I know this is silly but I go to a very ugly university right now, and I am pining for some nice old Hogwartsy buildings, green grass, etc)
    -- Surrounding area (I don't care if it's a small town or a big city as long as it is more attractive than the concrete monstrosity where I live now! Proximity to areas for hiking would be a plus.)

    Based on these three factors, my top choice was St Andrews but that proved to be a bit expensive, so I'm narrowed down to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and RHUL. Any opinions would be SO much appreciated so please help!!
    I know you say you don't care about town- but I suppose you can rule one or two out here pretty easily: Do you want to live in a city or a small town near one. Glasgow and Edinburgh are, respectively at the centre of an urban area with 1.5m and 800,000. RHUL is 30mins from London, but in a very small town. The former two have 25,000 students, the latter about 7,000. Unless you really really don't care, then that should help narrow it down.

    Assuming it's Glasgow or Edinburgh, then both universities are very similar. Depending on the subject, one might be a better fit, or the other. As institutions, they've mirrored each other for hundreds of years, so their standards, practices and courses contain a lot of the same stuff, although sometimes in different orders. What you'll hear on TSR, which is 95+% English, is that Edinburgh is the one to pick. That's not surprising, as the reputation of Glasgow (the city, not university) as dangerous is still common in England, but much less so in Scotland. As a result, Glasgow University is 60% Scottish and 15% English. Edinburgh is 40% Scottish and 40% English. Both have very large international student bodies, particularly from the EU.

    In terms of location, I'd say Glasgow, personally. It has a campus rather than buildings spread over the city, and is in the affluent West End, and I've always found the city has more going on on a regular basis than Edinburgh which has the Fringe in August and then general tourist day trips thereafter. If you can see both for yourself, do. I think the reputation of Glasgow for being rough looks a bit silly when you walk round the two campuses. Sure, the city has its bad pockets (and there are more of them than in Edinburgh- although Ed has a number of places like that too), but not round the university. I don't want to come across as holding biases here: both are excellent institutions, but you wouldn't be the first person to initially prefer Edinburgh until you actually see both places- In my opinion it compares very favourably to not just Scottish campuses, but virtually any that I've seen. Problem is, most people don't even bother checking Glasgow out, which is a shame. Assuming you want to be in that sort of setting though, either is a good choice. If not, pick RHUL.
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    (Original post by Chucklefiend)
    Most on here will say Edinburgh because TSR is overwhelmingly middle-class, and Edinburgh is a middle class wet dream, but personally I'd recommend Glasgow. Academically it's just as strong as Edinburgh in a lot of departments and with regards to the beauty of the university buildings, well.. these photos speak for themselves:
    So, is Glasgow prettier than Edinburgh then you think?
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    In terms of location, I'd say Glasgow, personally. It has a campus rather than buildings spread over the city, and is in the affluent West End, and I've always found the city has more going on on a regular basis than Edinburgh which has the Fringe in August and then general tourist day trips thereafter. If you can see both for yourself, do. I think the reputation of Glasgow for being rough looks a bit silly when you walk round the two campuses. Sure, the city has its bad pockets (and there are more of them than in Edinburgh- although Ed has a number of places like that too), but not round the university. I don't want to come across as holding biases here: both are excellent institutions, but you wouldn't be the first person to initially prefer Edinburgh until you actually see both places- In my opinion it compares very favourably to not just Scottish campuses, but virtually any that I've seen. Problem is, most people don't even bother checking Glasgow out, which is a shame. Assuming you want to be in that sort of setting though, either is a good choice. If not, pick RHUL.
    Thanks, this was very helpful. You're one of the few people I've heard give a vote for Glasgow, but this makes sense to me!

    It would be fun to live in a large city but I'm really into nature and hiking and would like to live where those things are in close proximity. Do you have any advice on whether Glasgow or Edinburgh would be better for this?
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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    So, is Glasgow prettier than Edinburgh then you think?
    Edinburgh is picture postcard material, which is why there are so many tourists. Glasgow has some buildings of world class note, such as the School of Art. I suggest a tour via Google Earth.

    Can't remember how near to the country Glasgow is, but Edinburgh is very near to beautiful countryside. Since Glasgow and Edinburgh are close to each other, I guess the same is true of Glasgow.

    I don't know anything about RHUL, so I suggest doing the same there, but bear in mind what others have said about big cities versus small towns.
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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    Thanks, this was very helpful. You're one of the few people I've heard give a vote for Glasgow, but this makes sense to me!

    It would be fun to live in a large city but I'm really into nature and hiking and would like to live where those things are in close proximity. Do you have any advice on whether Glasgow or Edinburgh would be better for this?
    The beauty of Scotland is the proximity of the major cities to the great outdoors. Glasgow is under 40mins from Loch Lomond, and there's not much you can't see within 60-90mins from your door. Edinburgh is much the same, although a little further away in that respect. Arthur's seat in Edinburgh is great for this, but beyond that you're talking 1hr 20 to Loch Lomond/Ben Lomond and adding another 30mins to most of your journeys (just so happens the most rural scenery/hiking is in the West and thus easier reached from Glasgow). Neither are inaccessible though.

    I don't expect you to get many votes for Glasgow. This is not the kind of website that has many Scots that know both. It has plenty of privately educated English students that'll tell you you'll get stabbed because their dad went there once in the 1970s, but the city is really nothing like what it was 30 years ago. These stereotypes take a long time to go away though. Perceptions are changing, but slowly. People still take council from their parents, and parents/teachers have a very outdated view of places hundreds of miles from their towns. Besides, you're extremely unlikely to go anywhere near the bad areas in your time there. I think if you ask Scots, you'll hear a different thing from the majority on here. Glasgow is the most applied to university by Scottish students, but waaaay behind Edinburgh in the students from England that apply, and pretty even internationally. That's mainly because they don't bother even visiting as I've said.

    I'd look at both if I were you, and make your own mind up. Fact of the matter is this: Glasgow has more parks, shops, students, transport links, pubs & clubs than any city outside of London. The university is on a hill overlooking the city with a massive park with statues and the most expensive property prices in the city (Park Circus) on one side of it, with an even nicer park (the Botanic Gardens), Byres Road and the second most expensive property district (Dowanhill/Hyndland) on the other. The fact that it IS a campus and it's out in the west of the city, I think, is a big plus. I've spent a lot of time at both institutions and have always preferred Glasgow city and the university. While I'm in the minority here, I am at least someone that's in a position to comment, and doesn't rely on hearsay and stereotypes from hundreds of miles away...
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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    So, is Glasgow prettier than Edinburgh then you think?
    University wise, yes, I think so. City wise, Edinburgh's backdrop of a castle atop a rock in the middle of the city is one of the great sights in any city anywhere in the world and is pretty near impossible to better. Beyond the few streets around that though, I wouldn't say there's much to pick beyond what you might want to take a photo of on a tourist trip- they're two of the best looking cities around. Buchanan Street's architecture and Park Circus are as good as anywhere in the UK, in my opinion.

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    (Original post by bluishblackbird)
    I'm planning on studying abroad in the UK next year and need your opinions on University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway. I have no idea which one to pick!

    My deciding factors are:
    -- Academic quality (although I assume this would roughly be the same at each of the schools??)
    -- The beauty of the campus/buildings (I know this is silly but I go to a very ugly university right now, and I am pining for some nice old Hogwartsy buildings, green grass, etc)
    -- Surrounding area (I don't care if it's a small town or a big city as long as it is more attractive than the concrete monstrosity where I live now! Proximity to areas for hiking would be a plus.)

    Based on these three factors, my top choice was St Andrews but that proved to be a bit expensive, so I'm narrowed down to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and RHUL. Any opinions would be SO much appreciated so please help!!
    I live in Edinburgh. It's gorgeous


    However, Glasgow is a fantastic university. I honestly don't think you can fit anything between them.
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    Hello.

    I live in Edinburgh and study here (lived here for 5 years), however...my vote would actually be Glasgow.

    Edinburgh is a stunning city, and a wonderful place to live. But I think for me, I have always preferred glasgow. My sister studied there and still lives there 10 years later. What I love about the university area of Glasgow is it is so different to the city centre, almost feels like you are in a different city in the west end.

    in regards to your 'requirements'

    My deciding factors are:
    -- Academic quality - this kind of depends what subject you are doing, but I am sure you can fill in all that stuff from other areas, websites etc..
    -- The beauty of the campus/buildings - both Glasgow and Edinburgh have 'hogwartsy buildings'...I am sure you might be aware potter was written in Edinburgh and we have the schools that influenced hogwarts etc. The university buildings in Edinburgh are traditional old scottish buildings (in a majority of cases) and the scenery in Edinburgh is something else! (for instance a popular student accomodation looks onto arthurs seat). but that being said the view from some of the buildings in glasgow (as the photos above prove!) are also pretty impressive. So really both of these cities are what I would call 'beautiful'.
    -- Surrounding area - although Edinburgh has some lovely short walks (including up arthurs seat), Glasgow is closer to the 'hiking' stuff. Just north of the city is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park, some brilliant walks in that area.


    The only other thing I would mention is the cost of living in Edinburgh. It is a tourist city, and during the summer months unless you have secured accomodation for the year etc, rents go sky high. You will find it takes an extra half an hour to get anywhere due to all the festivals and all the tourists. This is one of the reasons I moved to Edinburgh as I love music/theatre/plays etc..so I love festival time, but I have friends who can not stand it. If you have a look online last summer the festival fringe had over 2,500 shows during August, and that is just the fringe.

    Once again, just my opinion
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    Alright based on what you all have said, I think my first choice now is Glasgow Thanks to all of you for your very helpful advice!

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