Watch Scotland on screen as an international student

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Watch these Scottish movies when you’re studying in Edinburgh or Glasgow!


Set in Edinburgh, but mostly filmed in Glasgow, this 90s hit movie by Danny Boyle is an adrenalin-fueled ride from start to finish. Trainspotting has a famous opening sequence filmed on Edinburgh’s Princes Street introducing us to a gang of heroin addicts. The story is narrated by Renton (Ewan McGregor), who proves he will do anything to get his next fix. There are scenes that are surreal, devastating, and darkly comic.

Trainspotting was an international hit, putting modern Scotland on show, even if it wasn’t showing the best side! There’s also a more recent sequel called T2: Trainspotting.

Gregory’s Girl

Gregory’s Girl is a high-school movie set in a suburb of Glasgow. It had a small budget and a novice cast, yet it brilliantly captures adolescence. Gregory is a gangly footballer, played by Gordon John Sinclair, who loses his place on the football team to fast-footed Dorothy and develops a deep crush on her. It was released in 1980 and had huge impact on a generation of Scottish teens who were proud that such a charming and lovely film was one they could call their own.

Scottish director Bruce Forsyth also released another gem of a film called Local Hero. Both movies feature wonderful Scottish characters.


James Bond’s Skyfall brings blockbuster action to the Scottish Highlands. Released in 2012, much of the movie is set around James Bond’s ancestral home and features Glencoe and Glen Etive. Starring Daniel Craig and Judy Dench, this is an action-packed thrill ride that also takes the time to give you Bond’s origin story. Critics and audiences were quick to call this one of the best ever 007 movies. Showcasing Scotland’s dramatic landscapes, it will inspire you to take a road trip after watching this.

Sunshine on Leith

A Scottish musical, Sunshine on Leith turns Proclaimers songs into a Mamma Mia-style movie spectacle of song and dance. It beams with an infectious energy that makes you feel sunny even on the dullest of Scottish days. There are plenty of Edinburgh locations used as a backdrop to some big dance numbers, and you get to know the songs of Scotland’s most successful singing twins. Unlike Trainspotting, this is a film that’s safe to watch with your grandmother.