I was studying in Scotland for a year. It was a unique experience. I stayed at a some student flats in Edinburgh that I leased using money I saved. I made the change at the last minute when I saw the dormitories. I was okay with the shared spaces the postgraduate students were using in the leased flats, but I could not stay at the dormitory. I need quite a bit more quiet than your average college student did. I was paying for my education with my own money. I received one small grant when I was earning my bachelors that paid for a few books and not much else. The rest was loans and money I had saved through my teen years. Student loans all need to be paid back. My time in Scotland as a post-grad student was entirely on my dime.
I had my resume all planned out including specific details of my education. I already had the company picked out in America that I was going to work for as a researcher. At the moment I was on leave from them as an intern while I studied for a year abroad in Scotland. Everything was the same yet unique. European ways were foreign to me, but I actually quickly fit in. Now I must admit that I would have preferred an apartment, or flat as they are called there, that was entirely private with its own kitchenette and bathroom. However, I could not afford it. I thought I could endure arrangements to stay in a dorm, but I left before even moving my stuff in. I scrambled the rest of the day trying to find a room to let in Edinburgh. Another student told me about some space left at some student flats in Edinburgh. I ran over and got the last room. I was very comfortable there for that year studying at Edinburgh.