Expats moving to Glasgow will find Scotland's largest city nestled snug along the River Clyde in the country's central lowlands. About an hour west of the capital city of Edinburgh, Glasgow grew from its shipping and trade origins to embrace its role in the engineering and manufacturing post-industrial period. Subsequently, Glasgow also became a major player in the Scottish Enlightenment movement, producing impressive art, music and architecture. This evolution has produced a city of contrasts, carefully combining beauty and rugged functionality.
Once settled in, expats will encounter honest enthusiasm and a generous spirit among Glaswegians, finding many residents eager to chat. A word of caution though – the Scottish people are vehemently proud of their country and do not take kindly to any aspersion cast on their native land, so expats should flavour any criticisms they may have with a large amount of praise.
Glasgow's financial and business services sector is large, rivalling Edinburgh's, and many expats arrive already having secured a job in this field. However, to the newly arrived expat with no such arrangement, finding work is an extremely competitive process. Employers will have a great many applicants for each position and expect the highest of standards in their candidates. Networking is key and many will find that going through an employment agency will yield the best results.
That being said, even the best networker is no match for some witty banter at the pub on a Friday evening. To some extent Scottish culture and lifestyle still revolves around the consumption of alcohol in social settings. Many will find new friends on an evening out in the city centre, which is alive with pubs, bars and clubs.
Football is also a serious pastime in Glasgow, where the declaration of support for one club over another can mean far more than simply backing a home team. The two 'old firm' teams in Glasgow – Celtic and Rangers – have rival Catholic and Protestant roots going back over 100 years.
Getting around in Glasgow is a fairly uncomplicated matter. Trains run out of two major stations in the city centre and provide affordable travel options both within the city, as well as to the rest of Scotland and as far south as London. The bus system is equally as efficient with a reliable and comprehensive timetable servicing the entire city.
Arriving in Glasgow may seem overwhelming at first, but expats who give it a little time will feel just as proud to live amongst the city's Victorian architecture as the born-and-bred Glaswegians.