When people think of the most exciting places to study in Scotland they’ll often think of places like Edinburgh and Glasgow and dream of moving to the big city where the buzz is non-stop.
I’m sure that when most people were applying to their university choices through UCAS (which seems like donkeys ago to me!) the thought of being able to say that they attended these universities would fill their hearts with hope and pride.
Of course, not everyone gets into their dream university and people often have to have a backup choice in hand.
I was one of those people. Some of you may know that in my last year of secondary school I was given a conditional offer from the University of Edinburgh. When I first received this news I was absolutely over the moon as I thought that getting into a university like this was completely out of reach. Before I knew it I was already planning my exciting and glamorous life in Edinburgh despite the fact that I hadn’t even gotten in yet!
While I was getting a bit ahead of myself, I knew that I needed to choose an insurance choice just in case I didn’t get into Edinburgh (which as you can tell from the title I obviously didn’t!)
While I had my heart set on Edinburgh I was still very much happy with having Dundee as my insurance choice. Although I hadn’t been to Dundee in years I thought that it looked like a really lovely city but other people who were currently applying to university seemed to disagree.
Dundee was seen as being the hood of Scottish universes by many people in my area and a lot of people seemed to view as some sort of run-down ghost town with absolutely nothing to do whatsoever!
Well, I can tell that Dundee is nothing of the sort! In fact, I can tell with 100% confidence that not getting into Edinburgh and into Dundee instead has been the best thing to ever happen to me.
Here are 7 reasons why I think Dundee is the best place to be a student:
- Not too big or too small: It’s rare to find a place that’s perfect in size. It can often be the case that while we find one place far too small we can find another far too big and overwhelming. But this isn’t the case with Dundee at all. I’m a small-town girl (not living in an only world) so looking back moving to a huge place would have been pretty overwhelming to me. Dundee was great because there was so much more happening compared to my very tiny hometown but I didn’t feel overwhelmed and learned my way around very quickly! And even if you come from a much bigger city you’ll still love Dundee. You might even appreciate our super easy-going nature.
- The Night Life: People who have never been to Dundee are often under the impression that we have no nightlife at all. Oh, how wrong they are! For one thing, we have an amazing Union that’s pretty much always guaranteed to result in a great night out but we also have loads of different nightclubs at pretty much every corner. If you don’t live in Dundee than I seriously recommend coming down for a night out. I don’t even go out that often but whenever I do go out I’ve always had an absolute blast! The great thing about most of the clubs in Dundee is that they like to play a variety of different music. So, if you’re anything like me and you prefer ABBA to the usual club music you’re sorted! Another great thing about the nightlife is that everyone is up for a laugh. No one cares about how they look and just wants to have a good time! Which brings me to my next point…
- The people: If you’re moving away from home for the first time then you’ll probably feel very anxious not knowing if you’ll be made to feel welcome or not. I can tell you that if you’re going to Dundee that you will absolutely be made to feel welcome! The people here are some of the kindest, funniest, most helpful people I’ve ever met. (and because a lot of people studying here are from Glasgow it also means that a majority of people also have a great sense of humour!)
- The shops: I was very surprised to see how many great shops Dundee had! Sure, we might not have any many as Aberdeen but we still have a great selection of popular high-street shops that you can splurge your sass money on. Ans because Dundee is a small city it also means that the shopping malls are a lot less busy which means that shopping for new clothes to wear on your next night out will be a lot less stressful! (although our Disney store did close down which I’ll be very sad about for the rest of my life 😦 )
- Plenty of places to eat: As a student, you’re not likely to be able to afford any fancy restaurants but Dundee has plenty of cheap and student-friendly places all around the joint for you and your friends to enjoy! What’s even better is that most of the studenty type restaurants also accommodate everyone’s dietary requirements. So whether you’re a die-hard carnivore in need of a classic beef burger, a vegan/vegetarian who gets sick of having to have the same thing all the time or gluten free you’re bound to find something to tickle your taste buds. My top recommendation would for sure have to The TinSmiths because they’re halloumi burgers are absolutely to die for! Seriously, my mouth is practically watering just writing about them right now! (plus most of the student-friendly type places are also dog-friendly places which means that you can munch on your nacho sharing platter with your friends AND get to look at lots of cute doggies!!)
- The Accommodation: In my first year of university I stayed in student halls and absolutely loved it. In my second year, I moved into Keiller court and stayed there again this year and will be staying here again next year. Obliviously, since I’ve now been staying here for well over a year you’ll have figured out that I absolutely love it here. The staff are amazing and super helpful (I should know because I am part of the staff) But pretty much all of the student accommodation flats have a long list of pro’s. For one thing, they’re all super close to both the Dundee university and the Abertay University, are pretty much all a ten-minute walk to the city centre and are all close to the gym. (which I guess is also kind of a con because it gives me less of an excuse for being such a lazy bum.)
- The University: I can’t speak for Abertay (though I’m sure it’s fab) but I can tell you that Dundee is a great University. I mean, there is a reason why we’ve won Scottish University of the year so many times! The University of Dundee is filled with great resources, super helpful staff and plenty of interesting subjects for everyone to study. What I’ve found great about the university is that all of my assignments have been very challenging without being absolutely impossible. You’re also bound to make tons of friends in your course who will get you through the pain of exam revision! I also have dyspraxia and the University have been a fantastic support and have always made sure that I have my special exam arrangements in place and have always been there if I have any questions or concerns!
So there you have it folks; these are my top reasons as to why I believe Dundee is the best student place ever. So whether you’re here to study or just here for a visit you’re 100% guaranteed to enjoy your stay!