My Extraordinary Expedition to Aberdeen and RGU through the GREAT Scholarship – Part 1

International Marketing student Furqan, from Pakistan, shares how he obtained a scholarship to study a master’s at RGU and his experience settling in Aberdeen and on our campus.

Decisions and Destinations: Choosing the right university

The pursuit of finding the ideal university for my postgraduate journey began in 2021, immediately after obtaining my undergraduate degree. With a dream of studying in the United Kingdom, renowned for its exceptional education standards worldwide, I embarked on an extensive search to identify the perfect institution that would meet my academic aspirations.

Unlike many students who make their choice quickly, I dedicated months to thoroughly evaluating various universities across the UK. I was carefully considering crucial factors such as the city’s suitability, module structure, scholarship opportunities and the reputation of the institutions.

Finding RGU

While exploring different options, an auspicious moment occurred during one of my Google searches when the name “Aberdeen” captivated my attention. Intrigued, I learned more and promptly discovered the educational landscape of Aberdeen, a city filled with potential for students. However, my selection process did not conclude there.

Driven by my determination to make an informed decision, I continued to explore numerous universities across the country, and compared their offerings. Eventually, after careful consideration, I reached a definitive choice: RGU.

The modules and courses the University offers resonated deeply with my academic and professional goals, positioning RGU as the ideal institution to foster my intellectual growth. Moreover, I had various queries and I found RGU’s representatives very prompt in answering them, which showed how professional their student support is.

While I had already chosen RGU as my postgraduate destination, I also started looking at the scholarship opportunities they offered. That’s when I got the know about the GREAT Scholarship, and applied for it straight away. A few months later, I was lucky enough to receive the email that I’ve received the scholarship the same day as my student visa!

The start to an educational adventure

Embarking on a transformative adventure from my homeland Pakistan to the vibrant city of Aberdeen, Scotland, was the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to the prestigious GREAT Scholarship, I was granted the chance to pursue master’s level education at RGU and study MSc International Marketing.

While I was in the final stages of packing to depart for UK, I was privileged to receive an invitation to attend a networking event in Lahore which was the perfect beginning to my study abroad journey.

Furqan holding his GREAT Scholarship certificate

Arrival and settling in Aberdeen

The 20-hour travel from Pakistan to Aberdeen via Doha and London finally concluded as I stepped out of the aircraft and was greeted by the cool and fresh Scottish air. The city, with its historic architecture, picturesque coastline, and welcoming atmosphere, instantly captivated me.

I quickly settled into my new surroundings and prepared myself for the upcoming academic journey at RGU. In terms of accommodation, I had everything sorted well in advance. I also had 10 days before the start of my classes, so I roamed around and explored the Granite City, visited the RGU Campus, shopped for the necessary items and applied for my bank account.

Union Street in Aberdeen

My first impression of the campus and University

RGU has one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. I was amazed when I first stepped into campus, which is highly modern and very close to nature. My favourite view? It is from the library of course.

My experience so far at RGU has been excellent with exhilarating blend of academic rigour and vibrant campus activities. Ranging from cultural events to the Breakfast Club and other events organised by the Union, you’ll find something new happening on campus all the time. To sum up my experience so far, RGU comes up to my expectation.

Cultural immersion

One of the most enriching aspects of studying abroad is the opportunity to immerse oneself in a different culture. Scotland’s culture, deeply rooted in history and traditions, provided me with a fascinating learning experience. Engaging with fellow international students and residents enabled me to broaden my horizons, gain new perspectives, and develop lifelong friendships.

Finding a part-time job

Like every student, the next concern for me was to find a part time job in Aberdeen. I had heard contradictory information about the opportunities available, and how hard it was to secure those.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to get my first part time job within a month of moving to Aberdeen! Not just that, RGU also arranged a recruitment drive where many local businesses and employers joined, which showed how supportive the RGU’s employability team is in their efforts to support their students’ career.

Furqan Shakil

You read the start of Furqan’s journey at RGU, read Part 2 to find out more about his year at RGU, such as his exploration of Scotland and his placement experience.

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