People and Culture in Scotland

Astonishingly mystical and utterly compelling, Scotland is a country of breathtaking natural beauty with an incredible heritage that quickly becomes addictive.

Remember how your parents used to tell you to keep your elbows off the table during meals? Or that it’s rude to slurp your soup? Well there’s good news guys, these American cultures and customs don’t always translate to other countries! While the local people you meet won’t expect you to be fluent in their culture and customs, it is important to familiarize yourself with them.

Do you know how kissing, snoring and other things sound in other languages? That’s right, even sound effects can be translated!

#CISabroadtip: Do some more research into the Scottish customs you’ll experience while abroad.

Check out this website for tips and tricks from real Scots.

Things to know-

1. It’s rainy. ALOT. Prepare to see very little of the sun.

2. The Scottish people are very friendly, warm and helpful.

3. In the UK as a whole life is not consumer centered. Prepare for stores to close as early as 5:00pm and to not be open at all on Sundays. Usually tourist areas have hours that are longer or more flexible.

4. There are castles. Real ones! Castles and ancient historical sites abound. Scotland has a long and important history and they have preserved it beautifully.

5. The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

The most important thing to remember while you’re abroad is that things will be different. But, different doesn’t mean wrong. Be open, be curious, and read more about the culture you will be stepping into. Get excited about LIVING the life you’ve only dreamt and read about until now!


“Do your best to fully immerse yourself in the culture and take advantage of the opportunities abroad. This is your chance to experience many new things: new people, new food, new places, new traditions, new languages, new everything! Even if you feel physically or emotionally tired, get out there, leave your fear at home, and bring a positive attitude. Don’t take anything for granted. Even the most seemingly insignificant experience will become a highly valuable memory in the future.” – Debora C., Intern in Barcelona Alumna.

Resources on Scotland:

CIA Factbook

Lonely Planet