With its warm and welcoming population, Glasgow has been voted Britain's best student city, catering to students from over 69 countires. The city is gaining a metropolitan reputation and is filled with many restaurants and live music venues, as well as many historical sights. Museums and galleries here are top-notch, and there is plenty to offer for the fashion enthusiasts, too. The buildings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland's most notable architects, can be found throughout the city and on the GSA campus. Although the Mackintosh Building is undergoing renovations, student-guided tours are available in the summer and winter.
Also of note is the Glasgow Cathedral. The Gothic architecture displays Francis Spear’s stained-glass piece, The Creation, and is known for being the founding location of Glasgow University. Other places of interest include The Lighthouse (Scotland's national centre for design and architecture), the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Glasgow Science Centre, the Necropolis, and a great expanse of beautiful natural landscapes, such as Loch Lomond, which are just a train ride away.
For more information on sites to see in Glasgow, please visit https://www.historicenvironment.scot/
Pratt majors accepted at GSA:
- Digital Arts
- Industrial Design
- Photography (Fine Art Photography)
- Fine Arts
- Interior Design
Information on the structure of each program within GSA can be found on their website: http://www.gsa.ac.uk/about-gsa/key-information/our-structure/
Spring or Fall
COST, CURRENCY + EXPENSES
Students must pay Pratt tuition and applicable fees while abroad, just as they would while studying at the Pratt campus. Detailed information regarding costs can be found on the Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Scotland, like the rest of the UK, operates financially in British Pounds (£). Scotland prints its own version of “Scottish notes,” however, English notes are also accepted.
£1 is equal to 100 pence. Coins are distributed in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Bank notes, or paper money, are distributed in £5, £10, £20, and £50 (£1 from Scottish banks).
The post office, banks, hotels, and foreign exchange bureaus can exchange money for any emergency currency-exchange purposes. American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. If you plan to utilize Travelers checks, make sure they are in GBP in order to eliminate the possibility of any extra exchange rate charges.
For up-to-date exchange rates, please visit https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
Students should budget for airfare, transportation, food, and any other personal expenses they may incur. It is recommended that you book your flight as early as possible to avoid costly last-minute tickets. Housing is not included as part of the GSA exchange, and students must budget accordingly for this as well.
It is recommended that students obtain at least $200 in cash to exchange for the host country's local currency to cover personal expenses, transportation, and food. Major debit and credit cards are widely accepted and can also be used to access cash at any ATM.
*Students studying abroad are required to enroll in Geoblue insurance, even if they are enrolled in another health insurance plan. The total cost depends on the length of stay in the host country, but averages approximately $200.
Housing is not included as part of the GSA exchange. Students may apply for housing in the dormitories (deadline TBA). For further information on residential accommodations at GSA, please contact Fiona Sloan F.Sloan@gsa.ac.uk
Students may also swap housing with a student at GSA who is away on exchange, or they may get in touch with other students seeking accommodations off campus. To be put on the flatshare list and get in touch with other students to secure your accommodations, contact Fiona MacLeod F.MacLeod@gsa.ac.uk
Passport and Visa:
students must obtain a valid passport prior to departure. A Visa is not required of United States citizens during short-term stays (less than 90 days) to the United Kingdom. However, students who do not hold US citizenship may need to obtain a Visa. Refer to the links below for more information on Visa requirements.*
US Department of State
Keep in mind that a power adapter (voltage converter) for your electronics will be needed. If you are unsure as to which adapter you will need, a universal adapter is recommended for all future travels. This website offers more information on which adapter should be used in each place, if you are not interested in investing in a universal product: http://www.walkabouttravelgear.com/electg.htm
*Please note that students on Visitor Visas are not permitted to work for pay during their time in Scotland. If you are permitted to work, International students and their spouses will be required to abide by the UK taxation laws.
CULTURE, DINING + LIFESTYLE
the most widely spoken language in Scotland is English. However, the Glaswegian accent is much heavier than that of other Scottish dialects, so it will take some getting used to. The Scots also use a number of words and phrases unique to the culture, some of which are listed below.
||to be silly, in an endearing way
|"It's kickin' about"
||"That's around here, somewhere"
||very tired, exhausted
|Mad wae it
|to be heavily intoxicated
||a little bit
Glasgow has a simple, but efficient, subway system comprised of two tracks; the outer outer circle runs clockwise, and the inner circle runs counter clockwise. With just 15 stops, it takes as little as 24 minutes to travel the entire circuit at £1.45/adult single ride. But be aware that the subway does not run 24/7 as it does in New York!
The lines only run until 11:30pm, and on Sundays until 6:00pm.
There is also a bus system; it is suggested that you download the app "Glasgow Bus Finder" to easily navigate bus stop locations, find departure times, and map your travel route. Single ride tickets are purchased on the bus, but change is not given on most buses so you should have the exact value needed. The Buchanan Bus Station is a short walk from the GSA campus, and here you can travel outside the city to other areas in Scotland. Bus service terminates at 11:30pm.
Most areas are within walking distance in the city, but for late-night travel and travel to locations not near a bus or subway stop, taxis are available. The black-colored Glasgow Taxis tend to be very expensive, so it is recommended to call a private hire taxi.
Scottish cuisine is very rich, satisfying, and delicious! Haggis, neeps, and tatties (haggis, turnips, and potatoes) are a staple dish in Glasgow. It's also worth trying a Full Scottish Breakfast, which includes broiled tomato, bacon rashers, potato scones, bangers, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, egg, and black pudding.
Scotland is also known for its salmon and, of course, its drinks. It's not uncommon to have a beer before noon or share a round of pints with your tutors. There's also a Whiskey Tasting Club on campus, but if you prefer a non-alcoholic option, try Irn-Bru; it is a popular soda in Scotland which tastes like bubble gum and is loved by the locals.
Some great local restaurants include The Butterfly and the Pig, Paesano Pizza, Singl-End Cafe, and Gesso. For some finer dining, Gandolfi Fish,Two Fat Ladies, and Stravaigin are worth visiting. Indian food is also very popular in Glasgow, and there are a variety of restaurants specializing in this cuisine as well.
There are lots of exciting events to participate in while in Glasgow. A popular activity is Cèilidh dancing (pronounced KAY-lee) which is much like square dancing. The dances are always high energy with traditional Scottish music, and all are welcome (even if you have two left feet!) Cèilidh are held at the Avant Garde in Merchant city every Saturday evening, with free admission. There are also festivals featuring local crafts and a variety of cuisines, such as West End Festival and Merchant City Festival, as well as a Christmas market at City Centre. Be sure to visit Merchant City to experience great restaurants, shops, and events.