International Study Centre

Life in Aberdeen

Get ready to live in a vibrant and innovative city with a long and exciting history. From city, coastline and countryside — there is much more to being a student in Aberdeen than what you learn inside the classroom.

Where is Aberdeen?

Scotland’s third largest city, Aberdeen is located on the north-east coast of Scotland. The city itself is famous for its historical production of granite, something that is still evident today in the distinct grey buildings which sparkle silver and make Aberdeen such a unique place to visit. Aberdeen is also known as the sunniest city in Scotland, and with a campus that’s only twenty minutes’ walk from the city centre, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get outside and explore your new home.

Faisal from Jordan holding a book.

It's a really, really lovely place. I found it more lovely than other places I've ever been to, back home or other countries or even London. Everything is near and close by. There are many places to buy anything you want - school equipment, clothing, shopping, whatever you want. Even restaurants, you have a variety because of the variety of students and people living here.

Faisal from Jordan
Studies Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences – Pathway to Medicine

Where to find us

Why live in Aberdeen?

Aberdeenshire’s coastline is one of the 20 most iconic landscapes in the world

National Geographic

Aberdeenshire is home to 4 of the 5 highest mountains in Britain.

Most affordable city in the UK for students

QS Best Student Cities Rankings 2022

The only city in Scotland with a Purple Flag status for the 10th year running, recognising Aberdeen’s safe and vibrant city centre.

Managed by the Association of Town & City Management, May 2023

Explore Aberdeen

Aberdeen also boasts its very own beach and coastline. A little further out of the city, you can also explore Scotland's beautiful countryside. Discover more about things to do in Aberdeen:

  • Water sports
  • Beach fun fair
  • Restaurants
  • A hike around some of Scotland’s famous lochs
  • Skiing at one of the nearby ski resorts - Lecht and Glenshee

Heritage and innovation

Aberdeen is a city made up of a lot of history. The University’s Old Aberdeen campus is the third oldest in Scotland, but you can find history all over the city. Granite from Aberdeen has been used to build many important buildings throughout the UK, such as the Houses of Parliament and Waterloo Bridge in London. In Aberdeen, you’ll have the chance to get lost in ancient ruins and medieval castles, as well as spending your days exploring museums and art galleries.

Despite its historical connections, Aberdeen is not a city of the past. Its coastal location made Aberdeen the perfect location to become a hub of the petroleum industry. Aberdeen is often referred to as the Energy Capital of Europe due to the large amount of global businesses which have made Aberdeen their base of operations.

Traditionally Scottish, with an international atmosphere

As a student in Aberdeen, you will have the opportunity to experience the traditional Scottish culture that is famous around the world, but combined with a multicultural attitude made possible by the large international community in Aberdeen. The University itself boasts over 130 different student nationalities, allowing you to make lifelong friends from all over the world. Outside of campus, you and your new friends can indulge yourself in one of the many amazing international restaurants available in Aberdeen — just don’t forget to try Scotland’s famous haggis as well.

Traveling around Aberdeen and the UK

Aberdeen has lots to discover, from cafés and coffee shops to high street stores and independent boutiques. Whether you are spending a free day in town or showing your family your new home, you are sure to find something to do in Aberdeen.

If you want to make the most of your time at university, Aberdeen also offers plenty of opportunities for you to explore the rest of the UK. Aberdeen is served by both a railway station and an international airport, meaning you can explore the UK and the rest of Europe with ease. There are many ways you can travel in and around Aberdeen, including:

  • Aberdeen to Edinburgh: approximately 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Glasgow: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Inverness: approximately 2 hours
  • Aberdeen to Newcastle: 55 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Manchester: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Aberdeen to London Heathrow: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Dublin: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Amsterdam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Aberdeen to Paris: approximately 2 hours

There are plenty of buses helping you to get around Aberdeen easily. The two bus companies in Aberdeen are called First Bus and Stagecoach.