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Why Learn English in Scotland?

Published EDU-WorldWide on Friday, July 13, 2018

English is the most important language in the world.  Used by business, politicians and people in every country, it’s the way we communicate with each other.  But if you want to learn, or improve, your English, where should you go to study?  Most people think of either England (naturally, the clue is in the name of the language!) or the USA.  However, there is a better choice.


Scotland is, of course, the northerly part of the United Kingdom. While our history, both political and economic, has been inextricably bound up with England, Wales and Ireland for centuries, Scotland is in many ways different from all of the other constituent parts of the UK, culturally, visually and, especially, educationally.  It is an ancient country with a rich history and staggeringly beautiful landscapes. Its people are inventive, outgoing and have spread across the world, and their drive and entrepreneurialism have given Scotland an importance in world history way out of proportion to our size and population.  For example…

Watching television?  It was invented by a Scotsman. Calling someone on the phone?  It was invented by a Scotsman.  In hospital and receiving and anaesthetic and penicillin?  Both were invented/discovered by a Scotsman.  Driving in your car?  The pnenumatic tyres were invented by a Scotsman. Riding a bicycle? It too was invented by a Scotman. Reading Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Harry Potter?  They all began life in Scotland (you can visit the Elephant House Café in Edinburgh where JK Rowling started to write the Harry Potter books). We could go on but there is always Wikipedia if you want to see the full, highly impressive, list of Scotland’s contribution to the modern world. Instead, let us tell you a bit about why you might want to come here to learn English…

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the English spoken and taught here is first-class. In fact, many people think that the purest and best English accent in the world is to be found in the Highlands of Scotland. Most of our teachers are from Scotland but there are also some from other parts of the world so you’ll have a truly international experience, but one thing they are all united in is their belief that the student’s welfare and wellbeing are as important as their ability to learn and improve their English skills.  While we can’t comment on others directly, we know that our own student surveys show that over 97% of students would recommend us to their friends and we’re sure that this applies to many other schools of English in Scotland.

Secondly it is, as we have noted, a fabulous country to visit, regularly voted the most beautiful place in the world. From Edinburgh’s world famous Castle, its International Arts Festival (the biggest in the world) and its two World Heritage sites (the Old and New Towns), to the magnificent grandeur of Glasgow’s City Chambers (with more marble than the Vatican!), all in contrast to the beautiful and scenic mountains and lochs that typify the Highlands and Islands, this is a stunning country.


Thirdly, the people here are very friendly and generous towards visitors.  Almost without exception, our students say they are amazed and gratified by the way people will talk to them in the street, in shops, pubs and cafes and at queues for the bus or train.


Fourthly, there are a lot of high quality schools of English, able to help you gain qualifications, expertise and, ultimately, use your new confidence in the language to get on in your life and work. Our two Schools, one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow, are typical, catering for adult and young learners alike.  All good schools offer not just excellent tuition, but also organise events, trips and activities for their students. These vary from weekends away to the Isle of Skye or to Inverness (to hunt for the Loch Ness Monster!), or day trips to Stirling or Edinburgh Castles, outings to the seaside or to some of our excellent museums and art galleries. 


Fifthly, and also very important, it’s much cheaper to study in Scotland than in other parts of the British Isles, especially with the low value of the GB pound just now.  Typically, overseas students head for London, attracted by the bright lights and activity of one of the world’s greatest cities. However, bright and great as London is, it’s not a cheap place to live and study.  Travel, accommodation and food and drink in particular are far less expensive, sometimes 25% to 33% cheaper than in London. 


Finally, Scotland is a safe country. Edinburgh and Glasgow are not big cities and they are generally very secure places for our students, far more so than some of the big urban centres in England (especially London). Alongside the friendliness of the Scots, this is another thing that our students frequently comment on.  While, as in any new city, you have to be sensible, we are proud to say that safety and security are one of the biggest attractions for younger students coming to study here.


Andrew Lennox, President, Glasgow and Global Schools of English, Scotland.

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