Why Aberdeen is the best city to study in
Not sure which university is the one for you? Ever thought about travelling all the way north to a little corner of Scotland? Here are five reasons why you should definitely start considering it:
If you’re looking at Robert Gordon University, then the buses to and from it are amazing. As a student, you get a good discount for your pass, too. In my first year of university, I got a bus pass and never regretted it! I’d wake up on weekdays, and a bus would be right outside my accommodation to take me to class! Aberdeen is designed so seamlessly; the main part of the city is just one long street: Union Street, so if you don’t have a bus stop right on your doorstep, you can always get one from here. During the drivers’ strikes, the company did their best to put on replacement bus services just for the students – hmmm, we forgive you, First Bus!
2. The nightlife
Honestly, the best thing about Aberdeen must be the clubs! There’s literally something for everyone and something on every night. You’ll always hear people mocking you for going to Institute because it’s ‘Instash*te’, but everyone loves it really. Nox has made its way into everyone’s hearts as the best club in Aberdeen for hip-hop, and their student nights are Mansion Mondays, Flare Tuesdays, and my personal favourite – Milk Thursdays! Even the rockers have their night out sorted at Underground Club, with the best rock and metal tunes at Crash Fridays. And we’ve all got that one friend who loves a proper wild one; they’re always stuck in their bed for days after a rave at Tunnels. There’s just so much going on in such a busy, vibrant city full of young students!
3. The Laughs
Even if you don’t like a night out, there’s just so much to do in this city! How would you react if I told you there was a city in Scotland where you could go to a lecture, then sunbathe on the beach and go to a theme park? Exactly, you’re not going to get that anywhere else other than Aberdeen! During the spring and summer and even sometimes Autumn, Aberdeen is hot! The number of times I’d go to class then hit the beach for a 99 cone on the Ferris Wheel is ridiculous!
There are plenty of cinemas in the city centre too, and while the theme park has its own crazy golf and bowling, there’s another sleek little venue called Lane7 where most students hang out to bowl and play pool. I mean, it’s a bar too, but you don’t need to get drunk to enjoy yourself! I’ve lost count of all the group dates I’ve had out in the city; escape rooms, the trampoline park, the ski rank… I could go on and on, Aberdeen just has it all!
The student discounts
Aberdeen is aware that most of its population are students, and if you walk around the city, you’ll realise that yourself. The shopping centres, bars and restaurants all provide amazing deals for students all year round. Most places will offer discounts for students via their own special student cards/wristbands for you to keep. In some places, you just have to show them your student ID/email or UniDays account. The amount of money I have saved on Revolution’s cocktails and Bridge Street Social Club’s food is insane!
The shopping centres also have multiple events throughout the year aimed at students, including the Student Lock-in. Yup, that’s right, a night where nobody other than students can entre the shopping centre and there’s tons of freebies and sales! During one of the last events I won myself a cookbook from Ask: Italian! (I love food, we’ve covered that, ok?)
5. The support
At both Aberdeen University and RGU, there is a tonne of support available to students. While I’m not a student at AU, I am aware that they provide free counselling for their students and allocate first meetings within two weeks. However, studying at RGU has made me feel safe. All my lecturers and supervisors care about my wellbeing, not just my coursework and exams. I went to mindfulness classes during the last semester to help with my stress and anxiety – the university provides many sessions and events like these to offer support to students.
They also have a branch of the national helpline Nightline, a charity run by trained volunteers who you can call/email and talk to about anything you’re struggling with. During nights out, you don’t have to worry too much about getting into trouble, as the police are always out, which rests my mind. Once, during my first year of university, I was very drunk and lost, unable to find my way back to my flat. An officer in his car noticed me, picked me up and dropped me home safely. Recently, RGU partnered up with Rainbow Taxis to introduce the safe taxi scheme – this allows students at both RGU and AU to get a taxi home with their student ID, for which they can then pay whenever they are back in their university building.