For students in the UAE, when it comes to university, it is safe to say some would prefer the experience of student life abroad, away from home.
For Chris Burgoyn, 22, Student President at Heriot-Watt Dubai (HW), the exact opposite was true. The fresh graduate swapped a university education in Scotland at the home campus for the Dubai student experience.
This makes Burgoyn, who officially graduated last week along with 270 of his peers, the first Scottish student to complete his entire university education at the Dubai campus.
"I had the choice because my mother is there and father is here, so I chose Dubai for an adventure and because I don't really like the cold in Scotland," he said. "The culture of university life in the UAE is different to university life in the UK, but it is still good here."
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However, his university years are not Burgoyn's first experience in the Gulf, having lived in Saudi Arabia, Sharjah and Dubai while growing up.
Although he attended secondary school in Scotland in the city of Moffat and then left for Dubai when it came to university, Burgoyn has little regrets about his decision.
"I knew that coming to the Middle East would present me with lots of opportunities, especially out here in Dubai in comparison to the UK," he said. "If you know good people, you can do pretty amazing things out here."
While a business administration undergraduate, Burgoyn managed to rack up part-time work experience through reputable festivals, one of which is the Sandance at Nasimi beach in Atlantis Hotel. He also gained experience working on the Yasalam, Beats on the Beach segment during the Abu Dhabi Formula One.
"In some respects yes, I do have a few regrets about missing UK university life," he said. "However, I know if I'd stayed in the UK, I wouldn't have studied as hard and would have been partying too hard and probably dropped out in the first year."
He added that UK student life is centred on partying and regular trips to the pub. "Here in Dubai you have to find things to keep yourself entertained," said Burgoyn. "I found a good group of friends and spent a lot of time going to the cinema and bowling instead of just going to the pub; for one thing we spent a lot more time studying than we would have in the UK."
Burgoyn added that in his role as Student President he has witnessed more students attending Heriot-Watt in Scotland, while he chose a studying experience in Dubai for various reasons.
"With the fee hikes in England, we've noticed a few parents have chosen to send their children here as the living cost in Dubai is cheaper than the UK," he said. "The doors are beginning to open from Scotland and we're getting transfer students who love it and say it is brilliant here."
He has witnessed Scottish students going back home to act as ambassadors for the Dubai campus, encouraging more students to make the transfer.
Although he has graduated, student life will not draw to a close for Burgoyn just yet. He was elected and took up his role as Student President on the Dubai campus in August and will remain in the paid position until August next year.
After that he is not quite sure what he wants to do.
"I can run for the position again because we're allowed to run for two terms, but I'm not sure if I'm gong to do that yet … after August I have no plans," he said. "I don't ever see myself living in the UK; when I'm there I can take it for small periods of time, but something about it doesn't appeal to me any more."
Yet, Burgoyn does not see himself confined to the UAE either.
"If I get an opportunity to move somewhere else, I'd do it for sure," he said. "I'm not scared to move around the world or just pack a bag and get on a plane."