Study Psychology abroad in Scotland

Choosing the UK for my study destination was surprisingly easy

Study Psychology in Scotland

Living in a different country has been a wish of mine since I was very little. I have always been curious to explore cultures and ways of living other than my own. So, once I had the opportunity to study abroad for university, it was a surprisingly natural choice for me. The choice of studying in the UK came down to a few factors. While studying abroad, it was important to me that the travel home to friends and family was not too long. Therefore, UK was a conveniently close, unique, English-speaking place to explore! Scotland is country filled with old buildings, mysteries, and gorgeous nature. You can feel it walking through the various towns, some towns look straight out of an old TV show. It was easily the country that had the most charm and mystery to it within the UK when I explored my options.

Aberdeen; the charming granite city of Scotland

Although the town is known for being a granite city, referring to its many grey buildings, it certainly has its charm. For me it was a perfect choice for a first place away from home. The city is not overly big yet has a modern feeling city centre and even a beach! Scotland has a reputation of being rainy, but that’s actually one of my favourite parts of living here. The rain and wind hitting the window outside makes it super cosy with a hot chocolate and being huddled over a book. Aberdeen university looks like a Hogwarts-type, old building rich with history. One of my favourite places on campus is the unique looking, giant library with seven floors. It makes studying a lot more motivating when you’re looking at the sun rise over the beach in the distance. 

Living alone for the first time in a different country

Moving out and being independent for the first time can be scary. As someone who has recently experienced it, I believe it’s not as scary as it looks! We sometimes forget how good we are at adapting to a new environment and how fast a new experience becomes our normal. Me and my partner live in a shared studio apartment. The positives about living at the studio are: The staff at the student apartment are lovely and know everyone, there’s 24-hr security so it feels very safe, and the studio was furnished with the most essential items before we moved in. These factors were helpful in reducing the anxiety of moving away from home for the first time.  At first, it was difficult to be without my family and old friends but remembering that they are just a phone call away always helps me. Also, when we first moved in, we made sure to print out and hang up photos that would make us feel more at home! The studio is located about a 15-minute walk from the city centre, and about a 20-minute bus journey to the university. One thing that’s fantastic about living here is that everyone under 22 are entitled to a free bus card, that’s one thing I wish I knew before starting!

University societies are a great tool for making friends

The university has a ton of societies, from everything you can imagine. If there isn’t a society in your specific interest field, you can establish one! I have personally explored the psychology, Nordic countries, and board-gaming societies. They host events such as pub crawls, talks by experts in their field, and movie nights, and much more. Recently, I went to a talk by an expert in LGBTQ+ mental health in Scotland with the psychology society and I felt surrounded by people wanting to make a difference. Through going to these events, I met a whole range of interesting people who enjoy the same things as me. That made socialising and making friends much easier when moving to a new country.

Studying psychology at Aberdeen university

I am currently in my third year of studying a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Aberdeen university. In Scotland, a bachelor’s degree takes four years, and what that means is that within the two first years, every semester you get to choose any subject of interest! I chose Spanish and physiology next to my main degree. The psychology course is very much based on coursework, such as essays, reports, partaking in experiments, etc. rather than being based mostly on exams at the end of a course. The school of psychology in Aberdeen focuses a lot on research within psychology, for example research on memory, how our brain understands and ties together the information it gets from the environment, language, and much more. The professors are all experts in their fields and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out and help them out through lab-work for example. Therefore, it’s a very hands-on experience with your interests! Personally, that experience and talking to professors about their work has helped me find the next steps I want to take after my degree. Compared to Norway, I feel the choices within my field of study are endless in the UK. I can specialise in areas of my interest I didn’t even know were possible.

- Lucas

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