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Here are some helpful tips to make sure you’re keeping safe and making the most of your time at Strathlcyde.

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COVID Safety

Your safety is our top priority so we can assure you, as a minimum, we will be following the Scottish Government advice that is in place at the time of Freshers. Read all available guidance from the Scottish Government, University and Union.

Welcome to Glasgow

Strath Union and The University of Strathclyde call the vibrant, diverse and energetic city of Glasgow home and for those of you who are arriving in Glasgow for the very first time, welcome!

It may not be the largest place but Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, with a special mix of history, culture, entertainment and education. It has great scran (food), top patter (conversation) and plenty of activities to keep you occupied - when you’re not studying of course...

All of the buildings on campus, including Strath Union and Halls, are located between Cathedral and George Street so you are right in the heart of Glasgow. If you’re in the area before September why not pop into the Union to say Hi!

We understand that coming to a new country and city to study can be challenging as well as exciting. That’s why we’re here to provide you with support both before your programme begins and throughout your studies.


Glasgow Phrases

Glasgow has its own amazingly colourful dialect for you to enjoy, with many slang terms frequently used by locals. Here are some we feel you should know:

  • Aye - Yes
  • Naw - No
  • Scran - Food
  • Patter/Banter - Light-hearted conversation
  • Wee - Small
  • Wae - With
  • Weegie - Glaswegian native
  • Ken - To know something
  • Refuweegie - Adopted Glaswegian
  • Quid - A Pound
  • Fiver - Five Pound note
  • Tenner - Ten Pound note
  • Tea - Dinner, but can also mean the drink

Moving away / staying at home

Moving away to Uni can be quite a daunting experience but you’re certainly not be alone in feeling this. Before you get started, here are some tips whether you move away or stay at home. We want you to have a great experience, so here we go!


Moving away 

Finding a flatmate

If you’re interested in private accommodation and you’re looking for someone to share a flat with, why not check out the Overheard at Strathclyde Group to get started. Our biggest tip is to start looking early!

Explore the Advice Hub housing guides for next steps if you’re struggling to find a flatmate or with housing in general. They’ve got advice on short term options, finding accommodation online and the areas in Glasgow . Jodie, an Advice Hub Advisor, gave her top tips on finding accommodation on our podcast, give it a listen.

Get to know your flatmates

If you’re moving into on-campus halls or even private halls, chances are you’ll meet your new flatmates when you arrive but even before that, why not reach out using the various Freshers’ groups and get a chat going; you’re going to be living together after all!


Planning to move in

If you find your flatmates online before you move it’s a good call to establish who’s doing/bringing what. Once you know what your flat will have and what it won’t, you can save yourself some money and space and buy your flat necessities together (if required). This might stop the “stop using my stuff” arguments too.


Move in week

Establish a cleaning rota

Cleaning up after yourself is, let’s face it, a basic skill that everyone should know. That said, good personal hygiene won’t keep the floors, bins and toilets clean. Get together early on and draft up a schedule on who’s going to clean what and when. As a general rule though, clean up after yourself, dishes and the bathroom especially; no one likes cleaning up after someone else!

Make a group chat

This may seem obvious but make a group chat. You’ll never know when you need to make a group decision or the inevitable “help I’ve locked myself out the flat” or “is there any toilet paper left, I’m at the shops”. Honestly, you’d be amazed how many times people wish they’d done this earlier.

Tell someone if you’re struggling to settle in

It can be tough sometimes to make friends with people you don’t know and now have to live with - little frustrations can escalate into big ones and it might be hard to figure out how to fix them. You could reach out to the staff team at the Student Village office for some support. They can guide you to some options to resolve what’s going on.


Staying at home

Commuting students

As a home student or someone who isn’t living in Student Halls it can sometimes feel that you’re not getting the full University experience. This is a total fallacy - you can get as involved as much or as little as you like. It’s your time, enjoy it!

Make Freshers Count

Get involved as much as you can, branch out and build your network. It's a focused time of year where there are many people in the same boat as you, who are looking to make connections. Try something new, there are literally hundreds of Societies and Sports Clubs to explore, so you’re guaranteed to find something you love.

Don't worry you can engage with most of our Societies and Sports Clubs throughout the year if you don’t sign up at Freshers. There are plenty of other opportunities out there as well, like Volunteering that you might be interested in.

How to get around

The Union is well connected to the city with various transport links including rail, bus and subway services. We're less than 15 minutes walk away from the Central Station, Queen Street Station and Buchanan Bus Station.

All three types of travel are operated by different providers so there is no universal ticket option. They all offer some form of discount for students:

  • First Bus offer discounted rates on ticket bundles (including week and month options) that you can buy in their app. Download the app by searching for First Bus.
  • Under 22s Free Bus Travel - every 5-21 year old living in Scotland for more than 6 months of the year can travel for free by bus with a valid National Entitlement Card or Young Scot National Entitlement Card. Find out more and apply on Transport Scotland's website.
  • ScotRail accept railcards offering up to 33% off on all tickets after a certain time. These have an annual fee and can be purchased on the National Rail website. Between 5th and  25th September 2022 inclusive, students can get 50% off Off-Peak tickets on ScotRail services across Scotland find out more.
  • Glasgow Subway offer savings on travel with their Smartcard scheme. Register online for a card, get it delivered to your door and top up online or at stations around Glasgow.

Scrumptious scran

Cafes and Food

Have a wee boogie


Things to do

In Glasgow

  • Strath Union (51 Richmond St, G1 1XU) - We might be biassed but this is our favourite place in all of Glasgow.
  • City Centre - Just off the corner of campus this area is packed with restaurants and shops. Some of the highlights include Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, NQ64 and the Glasgow Mural Trail.
  • Dennistoun - A great student friendly area with sights to see including Glasgow Green, the Necropolis and Alexandra Park. With plenty of coffee shops and bars you'll be sure to find a place offering a warm Glaswegian welcome!
  • West End - Another great area for students with places like the Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and Riverside Museum. You can take in views of the city and learn more about the history behind it.
  • Shawlands - In the Southside of the city this area is home to Queen's Park and Hampden Stadium. Recently named one of the best places to live in Scotland.
  • Open Top Bus Tours (nearest stop George Square) - The open top bus tour is a great way to see all of Glasgow’s sights and get to know the history of your new home. You can hop on and off these as you wish which makes them a great way to explore the far reaches of the city.

Outside Glasgow

  • Edinburgh - “That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba.” Ok, ok, we’re just kidding… As much as we HATE to admit it Edinburgh is a really beautiful city. It’s got winding streets full of culture, that big iconic castle and hunners of hidden gems.
  • Highlands - It’s a total cop out, and we admit it, to lump the Highlands as one package but this is basically an excuse to say that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. Some highlights include The Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and Glen Coe Valley. If you don’t have a pal with a car there are tours that take you up north like Rabbie's Tours, who offer 10% off to Strathclyde students.
  • West Highland Line - Another way to explore further north, this line takes you to Mallaig from Queen Street Station, along the River Clyde, venturing through Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the Rannoch Moor and the famous 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct. The cinematic landscapes speak for themselves.

There are of course many many more things you can do in Scotland. It’s not a very big country but it’s dense with things to do and see. If you’re at a loss for something to do, explore options on Visit Scotland or the National Trust for Scotland.



  • Morrisons (5 Barrack St, Glasgow G4 0TZ) - A 10 minute walk away from the campus you can get everything you need at this supermarket. If you’re staying the private halls on Havannah Street this shop is particularly handy.
  • Aldi (132, 136,140 High St, Glasgow G1 1QF) - Just down the steps along from the Union, this is a great place for food shopping if you live in on-campus Halls.
  • Sainsbury’s (135 George St, Glasgow G1 1RD) - Ah the meal deal… truly a staple of the student diet, this shop is close enough to campus to grab one in between classes.
  • Tesco (6-7, Merchant Building, High St, Glasgow G1 1NL) - A little further down High Street this shop will be handy if you live in Andrew Ure Halls. Another place to pick up the meal deal staple.
  • Oaka Supercity (130 George St, Glasgow G1 1RG) - This takeaway boasts a wide collection of amazing produce and South East Asian delicacies in their supermarket section! 

Health and Beauty

  • Boots (220 Buchanan St, Glasgow, G1 2GF) - The one stop shop for necessities from shampoo and conditioner to medicine and first aid. With a number of stores across Glasgow they also offer help with any pharmacy needs.
  • Savers (104-114, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3DE) - A great location to save yourself some money when shopping for health & beauty and household cleaning products.

Furniture and Homeware

  • IKEA (99 Kings Inch Drive, Glasgow G51 4FB) - A bus ride away from campus this is the one stop shop for all things home. Keep your eyes peeled for a Freshers’ IKEA trip!
  • Argos (40 Stockwell Street, Glasgow G1 4RT) - Argo sells everything from kettles and toasters to laptops and printers. You can purchase products online or in store with the option to collect online orders at Click & Collect points inside Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

Student-friendly jobs

If you are keen to ‘earn while you learn’ then the Strath Union JobShop is the place for you! We guarantee that every job listed here will pay the Glasgow Living Wage (minimum £9.50) and there is not a zero-hour contract in sight!

The University Careers Service offer CV checking appointments to Undergraduates and Postgraduate Taught students if you need some advice with applications.

International student support

The University's International Student Support Team, offer guidance and information. They've created a handy checklist featuring important things to do once you arrive at Strathclyde to ensure a smooth transition into university life.

We've gathered the highlights to some commonly asked questions:

They have organised guided Welcome Tours for new International Students, get your ticket online. If you arrive into Glasgow International Airport you could be eligible for the Taxi Pick-up service, check your eligibility.

Societies and support groups

We know that settling into university life may not always be straight forward, so the Union offers wellbeing support, a safe space where you can always find someone to talk to, offload your worries, and be signposted to additional support if needed.


The Advice Hub

The Advice Hub is a service available to all Strathclyde students offering free and confidential information and advice. They're independent from the university and can work with you on academic, housing and/or finance related issues, just to name a few. It’s easy to book an appointment, explore services online or send them an email.


Christian Union

The Christian Union isn’t just for those that follow the Christian faith at Strathclyde. It welcomes everyone under its banner and presents new students a fantastic way of networking and expanding within the student community. The CU also organises events and workshops on a regular basis to encourage maximum engagement.


Strathclyde University Muslim Association (SUMSA)

SUMSA is the place for all of our Muslim students to meet and find new friends. There is a dedicated space in the St. Paul's Building on Martha Street. There are prayer rooms, social events and gatherings to discuss faith.


Language Cafe

This society is a wonderful place to meet other students while learning a new language. They regularly host language exchange events with a cup of tea. Who knows, you may have the chance to share your own language too.


Glasgow Students' Nightline 

University can be tough no matter where you’re from. Whether you’re an international student thinking about home or a home student thinking about being anywhere else, or you just need an ear to vent to when it’s late… there is help. Nightline is a non-judgemental and confidential listening and information service run by students for students with volunteers from all 3 universities in Glasgow. Open through the night, Nightline can be contacted by phone, text or online chat for free and in complete confidence.

Student discounts

Explore our dedicated section listing the best student discounts and rewards including:

  • Online discounts - Totum Digital, Student Beans and UniDays offer thousands of student discounts in-store and online, ranging from food and clothing to groceries and tech equipment. All you need is your university email to sign up.
  • Streaming services - A number of streaming services including Spotify and Amazon offer Student discounts worth checking out.
  • Food services - There are a number of Takeaway brands that offer deals to students, especially during Freshers. These include; Ubereats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Pizza Hut and Domino’s.
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