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If you’re thinking about moving to Scotland, you probably have a lot of questions. From wearing kilts and playing bagpipes to some more important dilemmas such as: is it even a country, and can we even move there? We’ll try to address them all and help you get a sense of how your future Scottish lifestyle might look like.

Have you decided to change your life and found a place to settle across the pond? Here are things you should know before you call this European gem your home.

Can I Immigrate to Scotland?

People who are moving across the world to Europe, or more precisely Scotland, often go there to study, find a job, or just move abroad for love. So if you’re wondering if you can immigrate there, the answer is yes, as long as you have a valid reason to obtain a visa. Many go there to travel and explore, and then fall in love with Scottish landscapes and decide to find a way to move there or even retire since this could easily be one of the best places to retire in Europe.

The political status might seem confusing because, in a way, it’s a country, and again it’s not. Together with Wales, England, and Northern Ireland, Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, although Northern Ireland does have a special status, and it’s sometimes referred to as a province or even as a country.

Beautiful nature means you'll need a lot of free time to travel and explore.

Can US Citizens Move to Scotland?

US citizens can travel and stay there for up to 6 months without a visa, but you’ll need a visa for everything more than that. Explore your options and different types of immigration visas well, and keep in mind that some regulations might change since the UK is officially in the process of leaving the EU. Consult your attorney to check which documents you’ll need for moving internationally. Future expats should keep in mind the outbreak of the Coronavirus and how it could affect their relocation.

You planned to travel, but you've decided to come back and find a home because you like this place so much? You're not the only one.

Is Finding a Job as an Expat Hard?

If you’re wondering how to get a job in Europe as an American, that can be easier than you thought. Working in Europe as an American is not impossible because there is a vast offer of English speaking jobs. Therefore, you won’t have to struggle with breaking the language barrier.

Although English is the official language, some like to speak Scottish and Gaelic as well. Learning a few phrases can do no harm, so you should consider some tips for learning a new language. You’ll have to find a new place to work, adjust to some things, but also find some free time to travel and explore your surroundings.

Finding a place to work as an expat is not so hard, especially in Edinburgh, where most expats like to spend their time.

Is It Expensive to Live in Scotland? Housing Costs and More

The cost of living can vary depending on whether you want to live in the countryside or cities such as Edinburgh, but overall, it is all doable. Edinburgh is the most expensive city, so keep that in mind if you want your new home to be close to your work and other things you could do in your free time. Now, let’s compare some prices between Edinburgh and Glasgow, according to Numbeo, to get a sense of the actual cost of living in some of the most popular cities for expats.

CityWhat a single person needs for one month (rent excluded)Average monthly net salaryRent for 1-bedroom apt in the centerRent for 1-bedroom apt outside the center
Edinburgh$830$2,300$990$780
Glasgow$760$2,340$780$580

What You Need to Know Before Moving to Scotland? 7 Things You’ll Experience Once You’re Already There

Forget about everything you thought you know about this country, and let us surprise you with these seven facts.

#1 Avoid Debates on Scottish Independence

Scottish people are very opinionated, and you’ll always get their genuine opinion, but there is one topic you should not insist on. In 2014 Scottish people voted on the referendum to determine whether they should be independent of the UK. The majority of people, 55.3% to be precise, said, “no.” Since it was such a tight win, it’s clear why it is still a burning topic and an ongoing debate.

#2 Country That Welcomes Expats With Open Arms

You might think that Scottish people are very traditional and think their culture is superior, but that is far from reality. They appreciate everyone else’s tradition just as much as theirs and are known for being extremely friendly.

#3 Midges Season

If you come from a humid area, you know how annoying mosquitoes can be. Well, midges will give you pretty much the same experience, so make sure always to have enough insect repellent during the midge season.

#4 Going Offline, Literally

Have you ever wanted to go off the grid and disconnect from everything and everyone? There you can actually do it because there are some remote places with a lack of signal and no internet connection.

#5 Driving Around Country Roads in Scotland is Beautiful, But…

We’re all used to freeways, wide roads, and multiple lanes, but these tiny narrow roads might give you driving anxiety. Two cars can barely fit, so pay attention when someone’s coming your way and slow down.

#6 Scottish Weather Might Make You Question Your Decision to Leave the US

Here you’ll get a chance to experience all four seasons in just one day properly. That’s right. The weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you always have a plan B for clothing. Winters are cruel, but sunny days make it all worth it.

#7 Kilts and Bagpipes Are Not Scotland’s National Invention

That’s right, kilts come from Ireland, bagpipes come from Central Asia, and even tartans are not their original foundation, but originate from the bronze age Central Europe. Local whiskey is excellent, though, and it’s the only thing Scotch.

The Cost of International Relocation

When relocating internationally, handling moving stress seems almost impossible. International moving by sea can last for weeks, so you’ll have to learn how to live from a suitcase while your belongings don’t arrive. Tracking your shipment 24/7 is a helpful service, as are getting a storage unit or packing services, but it all adds up to the costs. International relocations are pricey, so make sure you find a reliable company with no history in scamming.

International relocations are time-consuming and expensive, so before you pack your entire life and find a new home, take some time to just travel and get used to the European way of life.

Ready to Change Your Life and Live in Europe?

If you’re ready to find your new home in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or somewhere in the beautiful countryside, it is the right time to start packing for moving overseas. Generally speaking, life in Europe is different from the US. But if you like challenges and aren’t afraid to change your work environment, even if you never lived outside of the US, follow your gut and chase that European dream.