Hi! My name is Gergana and I recently graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK, with a degree in Marketing and Economics. Originally from Bulgaria, I have always aspired to further my education abroad. Why did I choose the University of Strathclyde and what was it like, you may ask? Read on and experience the study abroad journey with me!
Since you’re reading this article, you’re likely interested in studying at the University of Strathclyde. Therefore, let me start with my reasons for choosing it. In my last years of high school, I got interested in Marketing so I set out to find the best university that offered this programme. Nevertheless, I needed a university to which I could really get into (it’s your loss, Harvard!).
About University of Strathclyde
Apart from being in the top 5 universities for Marketing in the United Kingdom, the University of Strathclyde offers great facilities. Here, you can enjoy a huge library, and the freedom to choose your own curriculum. In Year 1 students are introduced to all available subjects in the Business School. They are allowed to select the ones they would like to take on until the required credits are reached. I found this really enticing! I no longer had to go through boring classes and subjects I didn’t want to study until I reach what I was interested in.
That’s also how I found my love and appreciation for Economics. I knew that even if I didn’t do well at it, I could always switch my minor to another subject in the second year. Year 1 is more like a trial. Plus, there are no final exams in the first year unless your grades fall below 55%. Therefore, you can get extra-long holidays (great if you’re feeling homesick).
Not everything is that easy in this University
I won’t lie to you, sometimes it can get really busy. There were periods when seemingly nothing was happening, and periods, when I had several projects and exams, lined up. However, with proper time management and planning, one quickly gets used to the pace of learning. P.S. remember to pick up an academic diary before the start of lectures! In line with the way the British higher education system is organized, the University of Strathclyde also puts great emphasis on individual learning. This means very few classes and a lot of (seemingly) free time. While you should use most of it for studying, this opens others opportunities.
Different ways to use your free time in University
Most students like to volunteer, work part-time, or get an internship. It’s not difficult to get a part-time job but it might take you a while. Glasgow has an enormous student population and at the start of the year, everyone is looking for a job. Make sure you visit the Careers Service to get advice on CVs, applications, and interview preparation.
Application process for University of Strathclyde
When I was making my university application, I got some help from a consultancy firm but that’s not really necessary nowadays with the abundance of information you can get – just look around our blog! There was no entrance exam. My application consisted of a motivation letter, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, a certificate in English (usually IELTS, but a Cambridge certificate works just as well) and a translated high school diploma. Your grades must be above a certain threshold to apply but what is most important is that you’re able to show your interest in the desired subject. Also, your way of thinking, and any extracurricular activities you’ve participated in.
What I found the most challenging was writing the motivation letter – I had never before written one and I had to rewrite mine several times to get it right. Let me give you some advice in case you’re anything like me. The motivation letter is a lot like a job application. Here, you need to list your recent achievements, work experience, interests, personal qualities, anything that relates to your desired course. If you’re struggling to find anything relevant in your education, consider getting an internship or signing up for an introductory course in your chosen field.
Fun part of the University
The University of Strathclyde, being in the centre of the city, has everything you need within a walking distance. Shops, restaurants, bars, clubs – you name it. All first-year students are guaranteed on-campus accommodation which I advise you make use of. The University is very international! Here you meet people from all over the world – there were five different nationalities just in my flat. The Union also hosts a lot of fun events and offers student discounts. During Freshers’ Week, you can sign up for various clubs and societies. If there are a lot of students from your country at the University, you may even find there is a national society. It makes you feel more at home. All in all, in terms of social life, the sky (and your budget) is the limit. Good luck!
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