I’ve been living in Edinburgh for 2 and a half years. I know it’s not a very long time, but I’d like to give you some friendly advice on living in Scotland. You may think that some of the advice I am going to give you is just common-sense, but when you are in a foreign country, you have to be able to adapt to their culture.

Sometimes the differences can be shocking! For example, when I saw my new neighbour walking the dog early in the morning at the beginning of February, in short pants! I was shocked. It was 4 degrees outside! How could he do that? Was he ok? I was genuinely worried about him. But of course he was absolutely fine. It was just different to what I was used to back home in Italy.


Umbrellas are overrated.

windswept-umbrellaIn my imagination, British-men all wear bowler-hats and carry umbrellas. But umbrellas are useless in Scotland! In Scotland, it rains a lot but the wind is always very strong. The direction of the rain is unpredictable (sometimes horizontal!) and trying to place your umbrella above your head can be difficult. The wind is unpredictable and can eventually break your umbrella. Everyone who lives in Scotland knows that! It’s always funny to watch people who do not know this, fighting against the wind with their umbrellas. Anyway, a good waterproof jacket is always the best solution!


6260703154_f344ff9e4b_bScottish food is actually pretty good.

I would like to take this opportunity to praise Scottish food. The fresh salmon is delicious, the berries are very tasty, and their porridge is extremely nutritious and easy to cook. Moreover, cedar cheese is very flavourful and red meat steaks are excellent. So, if you can cook and if you buy your food locally then you will definitely find some very tasty ingredients for a very cheap price.



2730798_9dffe0e3Edinburgh’s old architecture is beautiful in winter time

Winter in Scotland is very long and cold, but walking down the street of central Edinburgh in January is one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. I think that the reason is the colour: it looks like the colour of the sky matches the colour of the buildings perfectly; even in the cold everything is very beautiful.


2743831229_7e32018c96_bTry some of Scotland’s different types of tea

Finding strong coffee, like the coffee I am used to drinking in Italy, can be very difficult. Eventually I got over my need for strong coffee and bought a mocha or two! However, in the UK you can find an amazing array of teas. Many different types and many different tastes; black, breakfast, earl grey, herbal… So far I have tried a lot of them and each one was superior to the average tea I was used to drinking in “South Europe”.



Scottish people are very generous; maybe too generous. Try and remember to give this generosity back!








Written by Clara Bigatti, student at the Caledonian Language School



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