Living in Scotland

Experience student life

The UK is a friendly and welcoming place to be an international student. It has a multicultural population, which makes it an interesting and inclusive place to live. Make the most of UK culture, find out more about typical British weather and what life is like in Scotland for students.

What is life like living in Scotland, UK?

Scotland was voted the Most Beautiful Country in the World by Rough Guides in 2017, and it’s easy to see why. The country is famous for its breathtaking landscapes with magnificent mountain ranges and historic castles. It is the perfect location to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from hill walking, skiing and mountain biking to water sports and paint-balling.

The beautiful Scottish scenery is also popular with filmmakers. Dramatic Glen Coe was featured in James Bond’s Skyfall and if you visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands, you will recognise it from the Harry Potter films.

The University of Strathclyde is in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is an exciting city, the largest city in Scotland and the third largest city in the UK. It offers plenty of museums, shops, events and green spaces to enjoy. Find out more about student life in Glasgow

Where is Scotland? 

Scotland is part of the UK and in the northern part of Great Britain. The country has 800 small islands including Arran, Lewis, Harris and Skye.

International Study Centre students can look forward to organised trips to help them settle in to living in the UK. Maha travelled to the UK from Saudi Arabi and talks about weekend trips around Scotland:

 

Historic cities

Scotland has many historic cities, including its capital city, Edinburgh. It is home to the Scottish Parliament, the famous Edinburgh Castle and many museums, galleries and cultural venues. Stirling is another historic town, home to cobbled streets, a castle and the National Wallace Monument. 

Scottish culture

Culture and customs in Scotland are similar to the rest of the UK, but there are some regional customs too. Men in Scotland often wear kilts to important events and celebrations, such as weddings. The Highland Games are annual events across Scotland showcasing Scottish culture, sports and music. You will also often hear bagpipes at traditional events such as Ceilidhs (dances) and even university graduation ceremonies. 

Nairman from Oman talks about her experience of studying in the UK and why she smiles every single day:

Explore the great outdoors

Stunning landscapes and more than 10,000 miles of dramatic coastline make Scotland a perfect destination for exploring the great outdoors. Scotland has amazing beaches such as Scarista Beach on the Isle of Harris. It also has the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis.

Download Visit Scotland’s VR App to explore more. 

Weather

Living in Scotland, you will notice a difference with the weather between each of the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. But it is not as extreme as in some countries. Strathclyde is located in the southwest of Scotland. This is one of the more northerly parts of the UK, which can mean more annual rainfall and sometimes snow in winter. Average temperatures in summer range between 14 and 22°C. Average temperatures in winter range from 2-6°C. One of our students, Maha from Saudi Arabia, said it was 'magical to see snow' for the first time.

Practical travel information

Travelling around Scotland and the rest of the UK is convenient and simple with excellent road and rail networks, and international airports. 

Glasgow Central is the city’s major mainline rail station. It connects you to the other cities, towns and villages within the UK’s national rail network. Ask at the station about student discounts. For more information, visit nationalrail.co.uk or thetrainline.com

Regular coach services travel between cities, and to popular tourist destinations, such as Edinburgh Castle or the famous Loch Ness in Inverness. Visit the National Express and Megabus websites for more information.
Glasgow International Airport is one of the largest international airports in Scotland. It offers regular flights to Europe and across the world. You can fly from Glasgow to London in just over an hour. 
Glasgow has frequent, inexpensive buses that make it easy to travel around the city and to local towns. Services are operated by First Group and SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport). Glasgow has an underground rail service. Tourists know it as the ‘Clockwork Orange’, and locals call it ‘the Subway’. 

Glasgow has over 300 kilometres of cycle lanes and hundreds of cycle racks throughout the city. If you walk, you get to see more of the beautiful architecture and experience more of its vibrant culture.