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  • View Poll Results: How would you describe the city of Glasgow?
    Home. The most dreamy, underrated place there ever was.
    53.85%
    The best place for time as a student, but I don't know if I'd live there otherwise.
    30.77%
    It's OK for an interesting holiday, not for any longterm function.
    15.38%
    Go somewhere else.
    0
    0%

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    Hello all,

    I'm an American student who has just completed my undergraduate degree (English). I now have a few choices as to where I will complete a postgraduate degree (also English), but one of them seems to stand out among the rest. The University of Glasgow has offered me a place, and while its online reviews and rankings seem real enough, I have never been to Glasgow and therefore would like some actual realities from you.

    Although I will be a postgraduate student, I'm writing in this forum to reach a wider audience of people who have either lived in Glasgow for a long period of time or are currently students attending a Glaswegian university. I definitely do not want to hear from those of you who have been to the city for a weekend trip and are going to generalize an entire population based on what you remember from three days, nor do I want to hear from those of you who have a cousin who lives in Glasgow and think you've got the gist of the place. Sorry for the exclusion; just trying to get some proper information here.

    A bit of background: I have actually lived in both the UK (London) and Ireland (Dublin) due to semesters abroad during my undergraduate career. Both cities drained my bank account and gave me two different styles of life. I honestly didn't like London for its harshness and class division. I absolutely loved Dublin for its relaxed pace and size, but I didn't find the university setting I was looking for--not many people, including students at the uni, seemed to be interested in finding anything challenging to do in life. It was great for nights out, but I could spot the emptiness after a while.

    I would like to know any one of the following:

    • How Glasgow compares to these cities, if at all
    • What the general atmosphere of Glasgow is--is it very student-friendly, family-friendly, hipster-friendly, etc.
    • How life at the University of Glasgow ties in with the city, if at all
    • The intellectual environment (I spent my undergraduate time at a very intellectually diverse and focused university, so this is important)
    • Arts scene
    • Entertainment/Nightlife
    • Costs of living
    • The best thing you've gotten out of life in Glasgow that you don't think you could've gotten anywhere else


    Again, I'd really prefer substantial information rather than one-sentence stereotypes. If there are generalizations about the city, it'd be nice if you could elaborate a little. I'm not too bothered about the weather; I've heard it's comparable to Ireland. If you'd like to warn me about the dourness of the Scottish, please keep in mind that I am from Detroit.

    My other choices are Trinity College Dublin and the University of Manchester, so if you feel the need to send me in another direction, feel free.

    Thank you for taking the time to help me out with choosing my next step in life!
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    Hi there, that's a pretty massive post! I will do my best with the time I have just now.

    I am originally from glasgow, so i lived here most of my life. I have also lived in London,Edinburgh, and the south coast of England so I have a good idea of the comparison.

    I would say glasgow is like a smaller version of London. It is culturally diverse, and is very friendly in comparison to London. Glasgow uni is in the best part of glasgow in my opinion. It is situated in the west end which is very "hipster friendly " as you put it, so there are lots of unusual bars and cafes, with a lot of shisha smoking going on and a lot of organic shops and hippie tea rooms around. At the same time there is a very diverse nightlife, with loads of big nightclubs playing dance, electronic, dubstep, or even metal and rock etc. There is also a big underground scene for hip hop and you get a lot of raves / hip hop going on in tunnels at 5am if you know the right people which is another thing that's similar to London.
    The other good thing about where the uni is situated is you are literally 6 minutes on the subway to the town centre.

    There is also a big park near the uni called kelvin Grove. There are a few festivals here every year where people pitch up reggae tents and everyone sits out in the sun (in our very short summer), and people come from all over Glasgow to hang out at that park because it's the most "studenty" place to be on a nice day.

    The cost of living here is MUCH cheaper than London. By a mile. I would say it is a third of the price of living in London at least. That is solely because of the density of people in London, which is actually something that I found irritating after a while. For 550 pounds a month you will get a really nice flat to yourself right in the town or West End (where the uni is), but you could go cheaper if you weren't bothered about how nice your flat was or if you were going for student halls. Student halls are about 500 a month.

    If you come to Glasgow you will get a warm welcome I'm sure :-)

    The downsides to Glasgow are the weather (it mostly rains) or is just dull and grey. But then so is London. And there are also a lot of poorer housing schemes around which means you get the occasional crowd of hooded youngsters hanging around drinking in the street. But there is going to be dodgy people in any big city you go to. I would definitely say that glasgow has calmed down a lot in the last 5 years in that respect as it has always had a reputation for violence and drinking. Since I have come back I haven't seen anything dodgy at all happen and iv been out and about all the time due to the heatwave the last couple months!!

    If you have any other questions let me know. It's hard to describe a city in detail to someone in one little essay. But personally, Glasgow has been my favourite city that iv lived in so far, hence why I moved back. It has just the right amount of culture, fashion, things to do and nightlife, without the cost, population density and feeling of being lost in a massive crowd as London does. But then some people like that buzz of being in a really densely populated area where everyone is in an extreme rush all the time!!!

    Let me know what decision you make :-) where are your other options?




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    Also, what do you mean by the arts scene? Like art galleries or street art?

    And what do you mean about challenging yourself to new things? I just read your bit about having a good nightlife that ended up seeming empty.

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    Okay I just saw your sentence saying your other choices are Manchester and Dublin. Don't go to Manchester!!! It is really un cultured, every pub is a dance pub. There's no art or culture at all. It's just a small town basically with rubbish shops. I have made the mistake of moving to a new place like that and discovered that the people are really closed minded to new things and quite happy to just live their whole life in a really boring town never learning anything new! I just find people from smaller places can be really boring. Sounds horrible but it's kinda true! Glasgow has a lot more scenes going on and is a lot cooler.

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    Thank you for your awesome reply, misschristie. I do think I'll have to post an abridged version of this since people probably don't want to read a full-on essay, though I was trying to weed out those "Glasgow is great. Don't go anywhere else. End of" responses.


    By arts scene, I did mean galleries and street art and the like. Some cities I have been to are very cookie cutter and not interested in a bit of individuality like that, but it sounds like that wouldn't be the case in Glasgow.


    By the challenging/emptiness thing, I meant that a lot of the young people I met in Dublin either didn't have any interest in going to uni at all or didn't have much interest in accomplishing things while there. I'm not applying this to the whole population, but it seemed to be a pattern among the many people I met. They were more interested in finding out where the next rave was, which is great fun, but not four out of seven days every week.


    I'll heed your warnings of Manchester! Went there once for holiday but I think most of the enchantment had to do with thinking I was walking alongside the ghosts of the younger Stone Roses.
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    This is a shorter version of a much larger post that I wrote (my bad). I'm wondering what student life is like in Glasgow, specifically at the University of Glasgow. I've been accepted for a postgraduate degree in English. I'm American but have attended university in the UK and Ireland before. What are your favorite things to do on weekends? How is the coursework/intellectual atmosphere at the university? What's the best thing you've gotten out of life in Glasgow that you don't think you could've gotten anywhere else? Thanks for your help!
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    I'll move this over to the Glasgow Uni forum, where you should get a better / more informed response

    (Original post by misschristie)
    Okay I just saw your sentence saying your other choices are Manchester and Dublin. Don't go to Manchester!!! It is really un cultured, every pub is a dance pub. There's no art or culture at all. It's just a small town basically with rubbish shops. I have made the mistake of moving to a new place like that and discovered that the people are really closed minded to new things and quite happy to just live their whole life in a really boring town never learning anything new! I just find people from smaller places can be really boring. Sounds horrible but it's kinda true! Glasgow has a lot more scenes going on and is a lot cooler.

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    Absolute tosh. Not every pub is a dance pub by any means - there are plenty of quiet drinking pubs and gastropubs. There is most definitely art and culture e.g. Manchester International Festival, Whitworth Art Gallery, Cornerhouse, MediaCityUK). It's not a small town - it's got a population of 2m, it's the unofficial capital of the north west (the whole of the north, some would argue) and the shops are not rubbish by any means - there's the Arndale & Trafford Centres, and a rather large city centre with a lot of variety. Every city has closed minded people, but I don't believe that Manchester is any worse than anywhere else, and anyway, the students that the OP would be living and socialising with are unlikely to be close minded.

    I've lived in Manchester for two years now and I love it - I'm quite happy to answer any questions that you have about Manchester.
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    Origami Bullets - Thanks for moving the post, and thanks for your reply. (University of) Manchester was also a front-runner, but one of my reasons for putting Glasgow at the top was so that I could experience a smaller university...I did my undergrad at a fairly large one and felt a bit overwhelmed socially. I'd still definitely like to know a bit about the city if you have anything you'd like to share as I might consider it for a PhD. As I told misschristie, I went there for a weekend holiday, so it was more about seeing where The Smiths and all of them came from rather than really getting to know the locals and city. I went to a show at the Academy and checked out the university's museum, and I thought the campus was pretty well laid out. But how is it for daily life? Is the buzz that brought about Madchester still all there?
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    I'll move this over to the Glasgow Uni forum, where you should get a better / more informed response



    Absolute tosh. Not every pub is a dance pub by any means - there are plenty of quiet drinking pubs and gastropubs. There is most definitely art and culture e.g. Manchester International Festival, Whitworth Art Gallery, Cornerhouse, MediaCityUK). It's not a small town - it's got a population of 2m, it's the unofficial capital of the north west (the whole of the north, some would argue) and the shops are not rubbish by any means - there's the Arndale & Trafford Centres, and a rather large city centre with a lot of variety. Every city has closed minded people, but I don't believe that Manchester is any worse than anywhere else, and anyway, the students that the OP would be living and socialising with are unlikely to be close minded.

    I've lived in Manchester for two years now and I love it - I'm quite happy to answer any questions that you have about Manchester.
    My bad, still getting used to all of the functions on here! Thanks for your help
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    (Original post by oosh858)
    Origami Bullets - Thanks for moving the post, and thanks for your reply. (University of) Manchester was also a front-runner, but one of my reasons for putting Glasgow at the top was so that I could experience a smaller university...I did my undergrad at a fairly large one and felt a bit overwhelmed socially. I'd still definitely like to know a bit about the city if you have anything you'd like to share as I might consider it for a PhD. As I told misschristie, I went there for a weekend holiday, so it was more about seeing where The Smiths and all of them came from rather than really getting to know the locals and city. I went to a show at the Academy and checked out the university's museum, and I thought the campus was pretty well laid out. But how is it for daily life? Is the buzz that brought about Madchester still all there?
    I should probably note that if there's one thing that Manchester isn't, it's small! However, it's broken down socially into more bitesize chunks as you'll meet people through your halls (if you choose to go into them), your academic department, any societies that you choose to join (yep, PhD students do join), any volunteering you do, and any part time work. As time goes on, you'll meet friends of friends - most of my friends were originally friends of friends.

    I was only born at the tail end of the 'Madchester' era, and even then I lived down south until 2011, so I'm going to struggle to compare things directly to how they were in the 1980s! However, Manchester does continue to have a great music & clubbing scene, with (notably) The Warehouse Project and Sankeys amongst many others. There's a lot of shopping too, and a fair bit of alternative stuff around the Northern Quarter.

    Rents are quite cheap locally (£60-85pw, mostly) plus bills for something decent. The local area is quite multicultural (South Asian & Middle Eastern mostly, with a decent Chinatown too) which makes for a lot of interesting food options. With ~80,000 students living locally (about half UoM, half MMU) there's a lot of stuff aimed at students too.

    In the words of Ian Brown from the Stone Roses, "Manchester has everything except a beach"
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    I should probably note that if there's one thing that Manchester isn't, it's small! However, it's broken down socially into more bitesize chunks as you'll meet people through your halls (if you choose to go into them), your academic department, any societies that you choose to join (yep, PhD students do join), any volunteering you do, and any part time work. As time goes on, you'll meet friends of friends - most of my friends were originally friends of friends.

    I was only born at the tail end of the 'Madchester' era, and even then I lived down south until 2011, so I'm going to struggle to compare things directly to how they were in the 1980s! However, Manchester does continue to have a great music & clubbing scene, with (notably) The Warehouse Project and Sankeys amongst many others. There's a lot of shopping too, and a fair bit of alternative stuff around the Northern Quarter.

    Rents are quite cheap locally (£60-85pw, mostly) plus bills for something decent. The local area is quite multicultural (South Asian & Middle Eastern mostly, with a decent Chinatown too) which makes for a lot of interesting food options. With ~80,000 students living locally (about half UoM, half MMU) there's a lot of stuff aimed at students too.

    In the words of Ian Brown from the Stone Roses, "Manchester has everything except a beach"
    Thank you very much The Ian Brown quote definitely helps since I'm a huge fan, though I'm still craving a smaller city life, so we'll see!
 
 
 
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