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Living in Stirling

Beyond its natural beauty and rich heritage, Stirling has a youthful cosmopolitan buzz thanks to the large student community, which makes up 20% of its residents.

Stirling offers the best of both worlds – the conveniences of a modern city along with the close-knit community atmosphere of smaller towns. Not only is it one of the most affordable UK cities (Halifax ‘UK’s Most Affordable Cities’ 2021) it’s also the safest student city in Scotland (The Complete University Guide 2023). 

Why students love Stirling

Exploring Stirling and beyond 

Stirling Castle

An impressive fortress known as one of the most historically important castles in Scotland.


Scotland is now a major technology hub in the UK and a top destination for foreign investors outside London. Its strong economy drives its increasing demand for talents, making Stirling the perfect base to advance your career. 

Scotland is famous for its excellent food, and Stirling showcases some of the best local produce on offer. You’ll find food from all around the world – and there are plenty of options for special diets too, such as halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Want to cook? You’ll find shops selling ingredients from all over the world, including Sun Wah Mini-Mart – the best place to go for Asian ingredients.

While the cost of living is lower in Stirling than in much of the UK, it’s still important to learn how to budget so you can keep track of where your money goes. To help you plan your expenses, here’s a sample of estimated budget (for illustrative purposes only):  

Transport (single journey) 


Eating out (inexpensive meal) 


Weekly grocery shop 




Cinema ticket 


University accommodation (weekly) 

from £90** 

Sources include 2024

* For Scottish residents under the age of 22 

** Cost includes utility bills and Wi-Fi 

Stirling is small enough to get around on foot, or the bicycle sharing scheme 'nextbike' offers free annual membership for University of Stirling students. Buses also run frequently between the campus and the city center, with free fares for people under 22. 

If you’d like to visit Scottish cities outside of Stirling, there are excellent connections by train or bus. Two of the main Scottish cities—Glasgow and Edinburgh—are around 50 minutes away, ideal for fun weekend adventures. You can also easily explore the rest of the UK from the international airports in Glasgow and Edinburgh. 

Apart from exploring historic sites, there are many things to do in Stirling and its nearby Scottish cities. You may discover:  

  • Live music and comedy. Watch live music performances and comedy shows at Tolbooth and Albert Halls. You may also explore Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, which hosts an average of 130 music events each week. 

  • Museums and galleries. Discover Scottish art and culture at The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, as well as the National Museum of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland in the nearby city of Edinburgh. 

  • Events and Festivals. Participate in spectacular festivals and events in Scotland, such as the Edinburgh Fringe, Celtic festivals, Highland shows, Burns night and more. 

  • Cinemas and theaters. Watch blockbusters and independent films at Vue Stirling and Macrobert Arts Centre, an on-campus multi-arts complex. 

  • Outdoor adventures. Revel in the majestic landscapes of Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and the Forth Valley. 

Discover more things to do in Stirling here.  

Stirling is home to The Peak Indoors sports complex, which includes an ice-skating rink, climbing wall, swimming pool and fitness and dance studio. Visit Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park for watersports, cycling and hiking adventures surrounded by beautiful scenery.  

Back on campus, the University of Stirling is known for its incredible sporting facilities – named 'Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence'. Better yet, you'll receive free membership to the University Sports Center for the duration of your time at INTO. Here, you'll find: 

  • a 50m swimming pool 

  • a nine-hole golf course 

  • six indoor tennis courts and three squash courts 

  • an eight-court sports hall 

  • a fitness suite with more than 50 weekly fitness classes 

  • a 400m athletics track. 

Ready to start your study abroad journey in Stirling?