Life in the UK

Living in the UK

The UK is a safe and welcoming place to be an international student. It has a multicultural population, which makes it an interesting and inclusive place to live. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest city in the UK. It is famous for breathtaking scenery, castles and friendly people. Glasgow is an exciting city, with plenty of museums, shops, events and green spaces to enjoy. Students say they feel safe and welcome at Strathclyde.

Weather

You will notice a difference with the weather between each of the UK's 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.   

Summer - June to August

Typically, these are the warmest, sunniest and driest months, with little rain. Average temperatures of around 14-22°C.

Autumn - September to November

After summer, the weather gets colder and windier. Rain is more frequent. Average temperatures of around 8-14°C.

Winter - December to February

Usually the coldest and wettest months, with frost and ice. Snow sometimes falls. Average temperatures of around 2-6°C.

Spring - March to May

After winter, the weather is sunnier and warmer but can still be wet and windy. Average temperatures of around 6-13°C.

Currency and banking

The currency in the UK is the Pound Sterling (£/GBP). Scotland uses the pound but has its own bank notes, which are also accepted in the rest of the UK. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops, bars and restaurants in Glasgow. MasterCard and Visa are the most common credit cards. American Express and other cards are also used.

Regional customs

Men in Scotland often wear kilts to important events and celebrations, such as weddings. The kilt is the traditional national dress of Scotland. It is also worn by men, and some women, at ceilidhs. You will have the chance to take part in one of these evenings of traditional folk dancing while you are living in Scotland.

Travel

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 the UK. It offers regular flights to Europe and across the world. It can take more than seven hours to drive from Glasgow to London, or just over an hour to fly. 
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.

Safety 

Glasgow is known for its diversity and friendliness. Students say they feel safe and welcome at Strathclyde.

International students are treated the same as UK citizens by the UK legal system. If you break the law while you are in the UK, you will face legal consequences. If you are a victim of crime, you should report it to the police.

In an emergency - call 999

To report a crime - call 101