Aberdeen – University of Aberdeen

Reasons people went to this university/place

  • It’s Scotland 😀 and they have great English Literature courses with focus on Shakespeare

Recommended semester to go there

  • I enjoyed winter because all the new students are just as clueless as you and there are no pre-formed groups yet, also among the Erasmus/exchange students

Before going there

Accommodation experiences

  • University housing – not on campus, but in the student village where all the student homes are. The halls are not the best (I lived in the cheapest accommodation), but it’s basic and just what you need – plus, all the freshers live there. Mine was Fyfe House, which forms a trinity with Wavell and Adam Smith. It’s very, very basic, but the cleaning ladies are the best, people are nice, the facilities are clean and I couldn’t have picked a better place. The rooms are singles, there are always 5-8 people to one kitchen and per floor there are 2×3 bathrooms and 2×4/5 shower stalls (I think). Floors are single sex (2 floors boys, 2 floors girls) in Fyfe, other houses are single sex all the way, if I recall correctly

Special items to pack

  • Definitely an outlet adapter. Pack hiking clothes and wellies – when we travelled that was our main gear. It’s breezy so close to the ocean, so definitely pack warm and don’t forget your cosy scarf and hat and mittens. The climate is actually mild, but the wind can pack a punch.

How people who went there handled their finances

  • I went to the ATM once a month and withdrew the money for the following weeks. I did sit down with my friends at the beginning to plan our travels and our expenses, so I didn’t get any unwelcome surprises.

University Information

Rough semester schedule

  • Winter semester: Beginning of September until close to Christmas. I got there on September 5th because it was the moving in weekend, then there was Freshers’ Week from Sept 7th till 13th and the semester actually started on Sept 14th and ended somewhere around Dec 18th I believe.

Holidays during the semester

  • Winter semester: Nope

Number of ECTS the university expected former exchange students to do

  • I can only recall that it was enough for three courses maximum.

Course restrictions and when the university informed students about those

  • Yes, you usually take Level 2 courses. We had to sit a very easy exam to check our proficiency for Level 3 courses – it’s all in the info and our Uni knows about this as well.

Did the university actually offer the classes students originally planned to do?

  • Yes, all of them and I did get into all of them as well (my friend was not so fortunate).

Recommended  courses/modules

  • I loved my Encounters with Shakespeare course as well as the Renaissance class – the lit department is very, very good.

Exam period

  • End of semester, thus middle of December – the library is open 24/7 during exam period so you can study all night there, literally. I think the library was open 24/7 for an entire month or at least 3 weeks prior to the end of term.

How exams look like

  • Lit exams are open questions

Important deadlines

  • There were 2 essay assignments per course and the deadlines were very strict – there are entire essay weeks where there is either no lecture or no seminar or tutorial just so you can focus on writing your essay.

Other information

Recommended restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping centers, etc.

  • OMG yes. We loved all the little shops and bars on campus, and Old Aberdeen is amazing. There is Union Square Centre and Trinity Centre, but we never really went there to shop, only to grab a bite passing through. Beloved was the Archibald Simpson (pub), the Old Blackfriars (also has live music, open mic), and above all the Illicit Still (pub) – there are pub quizzes all the time, it’s great fun! I only really went out dancing during Freshers’ Week, but the Underground is very popular

Recommended secret spots in the city/town

  • Definitely the Charity Shops along Union Terrace and George Street, there is also a Tattoo Parlor called Rebel Ink where we got tattoos and piercings together; Yvi’s House of Tea is very much recommended – she makes all the tea herself and also the most amazing waffles you have ever tasted, trust me. Books and Beans is also great for coffee and books, they have shelves EVERYWHERE and you can find pretty amazing things there. Do yourself a favour and go down to the beach as much as you can – it’s beautiful, as is Seaton Park by day – so many pretty and quiet spots!

Recommended day trips

  • Go see Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven. Stonehaven is definitely worth a trip (visit the Bay Fish’n’Chips, it’s great, and there is a tiny store that sells sweets and ice cream right next door, which is delish)

Recommended places or events to meet new people/make new friends

  • Everywhere, but you are served best at Freshers’ Week on Campus and in the Student Village as well as in your own halls – met all my friends there

Public transport offered in the city/area of the University

  • You don’t need it. Just walk, trust me. You can walk from the Student Village to Campus in 10 minutes max, and it’s not that much further into town. Buses are rarely on time, you get no change, and the day-ticket expires at 8 or 9 I recall. Just not worth it.

Other recommendations

  • Enjoy every minute

Is this University the right place for me?

You should spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • If you enjoy meeting new people from all over the world
  • If you love Scotland and its coarse beauty (not only in the landscape)
  • If you are not afraid of thick Doric accents
  • Because you will learn so much about a different country and culture
  • Because you will find a piece of yourself there and leave a splinter of your heart there when you go
  • Because it is a beautiful place with wonderful people

You should not spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • If you are scared of Scottish accents, Doric and other languages and dialects and accents you’re not familiar with
  • If you do not like to share your kitchen/shower/toilets

(all information provided is based on 1 filled out questionnaire)