Scotland is well served with a variety of shops that sell everything you need for your stay. The main food stores in the UK are:

The main clothes shops are usually in the city centre, and will suit a variety of budgets. There are also shopping centres in and around the main cities that can be reached by car or public transport:



Walking is normally easy and often the best way to get around and avoid traffic jams. Be aware that many of Scotland’s cities are hilly and in winter there can be ice and snow.

Public transport

Local bus services, express coaches, national rail services, ferries, Glasgow subway and Edinburgh trams together make up Scotland’s transport network. You can find information about all of these forms of transport on Traveline Scotland.


Cycling is a cheap, healthy, efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transport. You could either get a brand new bicycle from one of the many bike shops in Scotland, or get a second hand one from Gumtree or eBay.

Cycling Scotland is the national cycle training and engineering organisation for Scotland. Visit their website for events, news and services.

Bank account

We are not able to recommend specific banks to students but it is a good idea to use a bank with a branch near the campus or your address.

What you may need:

  • Your passport.
  • Visa or Biometric Residence Permit.
  • Letter from the Programme Administrator confirming your student status.
  • Proof of address.
  • For more information please see advice for international students from the BBA.


You should register with a local doctor (called a GP, or General Practitioner) as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are ill. GPs are based in local offices (called GP Surgeries) or Health Centres.

Find your local doctors in Scotland - NHS Scotland.

To register, you will need:

  • A letter from your college confirming that you are a full time student.
  • Your passport.
  • Immigration documents.
  • Proof of address.

You should ask to be added to the list of National Health Service (NHS) patients. This means you will not have to pay a fee to visit the doctor.


The UK is generally a safe place with low levels of crime. But whenever you travel to a new country, it is vital that you look after yourself.

We strongly recommend that you read the Police Scotland Personal Student Safety Guide. This guide is designed for international students, and covers essential advice about staying safe in Scotland.

In an emergency, call 999 to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance.

If you need to report a crime or an incident that is not an emergency, dial 101.

Find out more about living and studying in Scotland

Scottish ways and customs

Read about Scottish etiquette, customs and how to feel right at home in no time.

Learn more

Study requirements

Read about international entry requirements and accepted language tests.

Learn more

Visas and immigration

Visa and immigration policies can seem a little daunting at first. But not to worry, we've got all the guidance you need to start your very own Scotland adventure!

Learn more