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This is too varied a question to find a simple answer to as it incorporates so many different things to consider, firstly where you are from and what you want to study? What is your funding source and how much does it come to? Does this include all of your living costs as well, as this can come into the decision as some cities and towns are much more expensive than others and everyone has a finite level of resources. So for this little exercise let’s assume that you are a prospective British undergraduate student about to leave high school, specifically one from Scotland, as where you come from in the UK has differences in how you are funded.


At Home

So you’re a Scottish student, looking to apply for places at University, although you have the stress of your exams to worry about as well, you should not neglect to pay proper attention to making your applications to universities. First on anyone’s list should be your local, home-town university, OK it may not sound as glamorous as moving away to a new place for a new adventure but there are plenty of upsides to this idea. You will know the place and therefore won’t struggle with a settling in period, and you would be able to stay at home, which will save a packet on living costs.


Overseas

Considering moving away to a foreign university could be considered the ultimate in ambition and adventure, and there’s a lot of truth in this. You will get to experience another place and another culture and when better to do this than when you’re young with no ties and no responsibilities. Cost needs to be taken into account here though, travelling costs are one, and tuition fees can be considerable, the average tuition costs for colleges in the USA are $16,757 at public institutions and $43,065 for private institutions showing it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.


Nearby

In your situation, the best option financially is to go to Scottish universities as the Scottish government gives free tuition to Scottish students attending Scottish universities. If you are to cross the border, staying in the UK but attending an English university then tuition fees apply.


Go Away For A Semester

If studying far away sounds too much for your whole university career, then you can always consider studying abroad for a single semester. There are many student exchange programs around, most notably the Erasmus scheme, short for the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, catchy title, you can see why they shortened it! But a UK student (at the time of writing, no Brexit yet!) can take full advantage of this scheme.


Distance Study

Finally, one option that is often overlooked by high-school leavers is taking the option of distance study, this is where you complete a university degree online and over the phone, except for some study groups and exams. This can allow you the possibility of studying part-time while keeping a job at the same time. This means you can expand your horizons from educational establishments from around the globe while earning and not racking up serious debt.

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Pete McAllister
Pete McAllister

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