Glasgow

ABOUT THE CITY

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, third most populous in the United Kingdom and is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan destinations in Europe.  Glasgow’s breathtaking Victorian architecture and traditional welcoming embrace have provided a stately inheritance for the city’s commercial resurgence and cultural vigor.

Glasgow has long been famous for shipbuilding and trade due to the city being positioned on the River Clyde. However it is rebuilding itself as one of the world’s most desirable destinations to work, study or simply enjoy a weekend visit. Scotland’s thriving central metropolis is developing and recasting itself to meet the challenge of hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow boasts world famous art collections, the best shopping in the United Kingdom outside London, and the most vibrant and exciting nightlife in Scotland.  You will truly enjoy your time here.

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    About Glasogw

    Glasgow has seen more changes in the past two decades than almost any other British city. From a declining industrial center with widespread pessimism about its future, Glasgow has been transformed into a forward-looking city and one of the hippest spots in Europe. There has always been an enormous sense of pride in the city’s history – the long list of inventors, engineers, writers and architects of the 19th and 20th centuries were part of the driving force of industrialization, tamed by socially progressive values in the ‘second city’ of the British Empire.

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    History

    The exact origins of the city of Glasgow are still a matter of debate amongst historians. However, it is generally acknowledged that in the sixth century the Christian missionary Kentigern – who would become Saint Mungo – founded a monastery around the area where the Molendinar Burn flowed into the Clyde. In 1175, King William awarded an official charter to the town. In the mid-1400s, the first University (and the second in Scotland) was founded on the site of the ancient monastery. By 1492, Glasgow had achieved city status and was a major population centre within Scotland.

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    Fast Facts

    Population

    City: 689,000

    Metropolitan area: 1.7 million

    Area:  198 sq km (76 sq miles)

    Elevation: 200 meters (656 ft)

    Internet country code:  .uk

    Currency (code): Pound Sterling (£)

    Official language: English, Gaelic

    Time zone: GMT/UTC 0

    Calling code: 44 (country) + 141 (city)

    Taxes

    If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living or traveling outside the United States, you generally are required to file income tax returns, estate tax returns, and gift tax returns and pay estimated tax in the same way as those residing in the United States. Your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file a return. Generally, you must file a return if your gross income from worldwide sources is at least the amount shown for your filing status in the Filing Requirements table in Chapter 1 of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad (available at www.irs.gov). The IRS web site has a wealth of information available for the overseas taxpayer. Follow the ‘Individuals’ and ‘International Taxpayers’ links, or search for IRS Publication 54.

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    Utilities

    The monumental heart of Glasgow lies north of the River Clyde. It is divided between the larger and mostly Victorian Commercial Center and the more compact district now designated the Merchant City (in honor of the tobacco and cotton “lords” who lived and ran businesses there from the 1700s). The commercial center is a vibrant modern city. There are art galleries, theatres, multiplex cinemas, music halls — not to mention literally hundreds of bars and restaurants. Meanwhile the adjacent Merchant City is to Glasgow as SoHo is to Manhattan: full of warehouses recently converted to condos, stylish bars, and trendy restaurants. If the river creates a southern boundary for “downtown” Glasgow, the M8 motorway creates both its western and northern limits.

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    Economy

    Glasgow is the largest and most dynamic economy in Scotland and is at the hub of the metropolitan area of West Central Scotland. The city now outstrips most of its European counterparts and rivals most North American cities in terms of growth. Manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and heavy engineering have been gradually replaced in importance by a modern mixed economy, supported by public and private investment and a skilled workforce. Glasgow’s economy is now dominated by key tertiary sector industries such as financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, healthcare, retail and tourism.

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    Climate

    Generally, Scotland is cool, damp and cloudy, but daily weather is unpredictable and extremely changeable. January and February are the coldest months, averaging 41°F to 45°F (5°C to 7°C), and summer has average temperatures of 66°F (19°C) during its warmest months of July and August. Scottish weather is on average cooler than that of England. The coldest areas are the highlands and the northern latitude means short winter days and very long summer evenings. The east coast experiences more sunshine, but colder winters, compared to the west.

    Month Avg Hi Avg Lo Avg Precip
    Jan 43°F 32°F 2.20 in.
    Feb 43°F 32°F 1.70 in.
    Mar 47°F 34°F 2.00 in.
    Apr 52°F 37°F 1.60 in.
    May 57°F 42°F 2.00 in.
    Jun 63°F 47°F 2.00 in.
    Jul 65°F 50°F 2.20 in.
    Aug 65°F 50°F 2.60 in.
    Sep 61°F 47°F 2.60 in.
    Oct 55°F 42°F .60 in.
    Nov 47°F 35°F 2.50 in.
    Dec 44°F 33°F 2.30 in.

    Time Zone & Electricity

    Time Zone
    The definition for time zones can be written in short form as UTC±n (or GMT±n), where n is the offset in hours. Here is an example given the local time in Glasgow and New York City at 12:00 UTC when daylight savings time is not in effect:

    Glasgow Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 0 hours = 12:00pm
    NYC Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC – 5 hours = 7:00am

    Glasgow is on Western European Time and does observe Daylight Savings time.

    Electricity
    240 Volts AC, 50Hz.
    British-style plug with two flat blades and one flat grounding blade.

    Pets

    The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules. The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other diseases.

    Pet rabbits and rodents imported into the UK from any non-EU country must be licensed into quarantine for 6 months. The EU Regulation on the movement of pet animals such as birds, ornamental tropical fish, invertebrates (except bees and crustaceans), amphibians and reptiles into the EU have not yet been set by the European Commission. To bring these animals into the UK they must meet either national import rules or the general rules for trade in the animal species.

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    By Car

    You’re better off using public transportation (especially at rush hour), but Glasgow goes a long way towards encouraging car use with several multi-story parking lots. Metered parking is available, but expensive, and you’ll need plenty of coins to feed the meter, which issues a ticket that you must affix to the windshield. Some zones in residential areas are marked Permit Holders Only. Your vehicle may be towed if you lack a permit. A double yellow line along the curb indicates no parking at any time. A single yellow line along the curb indicates restrictions, too, so be sure and read the signs on what the limitations are.

    If you want to rent a car, it’s best to arrange it in advance. But if you want to rent a car locally, most companies will accept your foreign driver’s license. All the major rental agencies are represented at the airport.

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    Public Transportation

    SPT

    Consort House,

    12 West George Street

    Glasgow G2 1HN

    Phone: 0141 332 6811

    www.spt.co.uk

    SPT is in charge of the local transportation.  It’s a pretty well developed system, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble using it to travel the area if you wish.  Trains connect the outlying suburbs with the city itself.  The Subway system circles downtown, fare is 1 pound.  The SPT provides a variety of different passes that cover days, weekends, etc.

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    Air Transportation

    Glasgow International Airport

    +44 (0)870 040 0008

    www.glasgowairport.com

    Glasgow International (GLA) is 14 km west of downtown Glasgow.  It has good service to the US, Canada, and a few other places.  It connects with London Heathrow, and from there, just about any destination is possible.

    Getting to the Airport

    By Train

    Paisley’s Gilmour Street railway station is the nearest to the airport. Just one mile from the terminal, it can be reached by taxi or by regular bus services from bus stop bay 1 – located just outside the terminal building. There are direct rail services from Paisley Gilmour Street to Glasgow Central, Ayr and Clyde Coast destinations. Rail tickets from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow Central station, via Paisley Gilmour Street station, can be purchased from the SPT Travel Center on the ground floor of the terminal building, adjacent to domestic arrivals. Trains run eight per hour Monday-Saturday, five per hour on Sunday.

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    Local Phone Numbers

    Telephone
    Dialing from New York to Glasgow
    Dial: 011 44 141 XXXX-XXXX
    How the number is composed:
    011 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of U.S.A.
    44 is the international code used to dial Scotland.
    141 is the local area or city code used to dial Glasgow.
    XXXX-XXXX is the local number. Exchange X with your number.

     

    Dialing from Glasgow to New York
    Dial: 00 1 212 XXX-XXXX
    How the number is composed:
    00 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of Scotland.
    1 is the international code used to dial to U.S.A.
    212 is one of multiple city/area codes in use for New York.
    XXX-XXXX is the local number. Exchange X with your number.

    Television

    BBC One Scotland www.bbc.co.uk
    BBC Two Scotland www.bbc.co.uk
    STV (Scottish Television) www.stv.tv
    Channel 4 www.channel4.com

    Radio

    Clyde 1 102.5 FM contemporary music
    96.3 Rock Radio 96.3 FM current and classic rock
    Saga 105.2 FM easy listening music and talk
    Sunny Govan Radio 103.5 FM community station
    BBC Radio 1 97.7, 99.7 FM contemporary
    BBC Radio 2 88-91 FM adult-oriented pop
    BBC Radio 3 90-93 FM classical
    BBC Radio 4 92-95 FM news & speech
    BBC Radio Five Live 693 AM, 909 AM news & sports

    Newspapers

    Glasgow Evening Times www.eveningtimes.co.uk
    The Herald www.theherald.co.uk
    The Sunday Herald www.sundayherald.com
    The Scotsman www.scotsman.com
    Scotland on Sunday www.scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com
    Sunday Post www.sundaypost.com
    Jewish Telegraph www.jewishtelegraph.com

    Dining

    While Scotland’s national drink is loved the world over, Scottish cooking hasn’t exactly had good press over the years. This is perhaps not too surprising, as the national dish, haggis, consists of a stomach stuffed with diced innards and served with mashed tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips). Not a great start. And things got even worse when the Scots discovered the notorious deep-fried Mars bar. But Scottish cuisine has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years and Scotland now boasts some of the most talented chefs, creating some of the best food in Britain. The heart of Scottish cooking is local produce, which includes the finest fish, shellfish, game, lamb, beef and vegetables, and a vast selection of traditionally made cheeses.

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    Attractions

    City Chambers

    80 George Square

    Glasgow G2 1DU United Kingdom

    +44 141 287 0399

    Dominating the east side of George Square, this exuberant expression of Victorian confidence, built by William Young in Italian Renaissance style, was opened by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) in 1888. Among the interior’s outstanding features are the entrance hall’s vaulted ceiling, the marble-and-alabaster staircases, the banqueting hall, and Venetian mosaics. The debating chamber has gleaming oak panels and fixtures.

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    Museums & Galleries

    The Burrell Collection

    2060 Pollokshaws Road

    Glasgow G43 1AT United Kingdom

    +44 141 287 2550

    This museum houses the treasures left to Glasgow by Sir William Burrell, a wealthy ship owner and industrialist who had a lifelong passion for art. He started collecting at 14 and only ended when he died at the age of 96 in 1958. His tastes were eclectic: Chinese ceramics, French paintings from the 1800s, tapestries, stained-glass windows from churches, even stone doorways from the Middle Ages. It is said that the collector “liked about everything,” including one of the very few original bronze casts of Rodin’s Thinker. He did find some art to his distaste, including avant-garde works (“Monet was just too impressionistic”). You can see a vast aggregation of furniture, textiles, ceramics, stained glass, silver, art objects, and pictures in the dining room, hall, and drawing room reconstructed from Sir William’s home, Hutton Castle at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

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    Sports

    Glasgow is the home of several league teams, including Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle and Queens Park. The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is traditionally one of the fiercest between any two sporting sides in the world. Not far behind football in terms of profile is rugby (slightly similar to American Football, but without the excessive padding).

    Celtic Football Club www.celticfc.co.uk

    Rangers Football Club www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk

    Partick Thistle Football Club Ltd www.ptfc.co.uk

    Queens Park Football Club www.queensparkfc.co.uk

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    Business Hours

    General Business

    General business hours for most shops and offices are Monday to Saturday 9:00am to 5:30 or 6:00pm, although you’ll find late-night shopping (until 7:30pm or 8:00pm) commonplace in the larger towns on Wednesdays or Thursdays. The big supermarkets also tend to stay open until 9:00 or 10:00pm from Monday to Saturday, with larger ones staying open 24 hours. Most major stores and supermarkets are now open on Sundays, too, usually from noon to 4:00pm, though some small towns and villages still retain an early-closing day (usually Wednesday), when most shops close at 1:00pm.  Not all motorway service stations are open 24 hours, although you can usually get fuel any time of the day or night in larger towns and cities.

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    Currency & Banking

    Pound Sterling (GBP)

    The pound (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP), divided into 100 pence, is the official currency of the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies. The slang term “quid” is very common in the UK. The official full name pound sterling (plural: pounds sterling) is used mainly in formal contexts and also when it is necessary to distinguish the currency used within the United Kingdom from others that have the same name. The currency name – but not the names of its units – is sometimes abbreviated to just “sterling,” particularly in the wholesale financial markets; so “payment accepted in sterling,” but never “that costs five sterling”. The abbreviations “ster.” or “stg.” are sometimes used. The term British pound, used particularly by the U.S. media, is not an official name of the currency.

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    Embassy & Visa

    U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh, Scotland

    3 Regent Terrace

    Edinburgh EH7 5BW

    44 131 556 8315

    44 131 557 6023 (fax)

    The U.S. Consulate in Edinburgh does not process any type of immigrant or non-immigrant visas. The American Embassy in London handles visa processing for Scotland. Further information may be obtained from American Embassy London Visa Services http://london.usembassy.gov

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    Healthcare

    If you are accepted as ordinarily resident in the UK you may claim help with health costs in the same way as other residents. If you are entitled to National Health Service (NHS) treatment, the following services are free of charge:

    • Consulting a GP (General Practitioner) and most other GP services
    • Treatment in a hospital (both emergency and non-emergency treatment)

    You may need to pay for:

    • Medicines prescribed by your GP
    • Some GP services e.g. travel vaccinations
    • Dental treatment
    • Optical treatment

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    Etiquette

    Punctuality is essential at any business meeting or social event. When making business appointments it is best practice to do so several days in advance.Teamwork is very important, however there exists a strong feeling of individual accountability for implementation and error. Business meetings are often structured but not too formal and begin and end with social conversation. First names are used almost immediately with all colleagues. Exceptions are very senior managers. However, you should always wait to be invited to use first names before doing so yourself. Business cards are an essential prop and are usually exchanged. Normal standards of business attire apply (suits, with ties for men).

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    Postal Service

    Most post offices in towns and cities are open Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm, and Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:30pm or 1:00pm. Stamps can be purchased at Post Office counters, from vending machines outside, or from many news agents and shops. Domestic UK postage costs 32p for first class, 23p for second class. Airmail letters are 44p to Europe, 50p worldwide, or you can buy a pre-stamped airletter for 44p (from Post Offices only). Postcard stamps cost 44p to Europe, 50p worldwide.

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    Utilities

    Services like electricity, water and gas are usually already connected to your home. You should contact local companies to make sure you’re switched on from day one. The electricity and gas markets in the UK are deregulated which means you have a choice of suppliers. Both electricity and gas are metered. You’ll probably also want a telephone and there will be a charge for connecting this. Contact your local telephone company for details. Again, you’ll have a choice.

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    Housing

    Housing

    Depending on how long you are going to be in Scotland, you can either buy or rent a home. Whichever you decide to do, you can look forward to a huge range of housing possibilities, both in town – where you can choose between everything from waterfront apartments and large Victorian villas to more modern houses – and in the country, within easy commuting distance of the city.

    Buying property

    The average price of a house in Scotland is currently £122,511 (Glasgow Area £119,000). This is 32% less than the UK average of £179,425. The annual rate of house price inflation in Scotland is now 14.5%, above the UK average of 8.0%. Prices in Scotland rose by 0.7% in Q3 2006. Over the past five years house prices in Scotland have risen by 91%.

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    Compulsory Education

    Pre-school

    Even before they enter the school system proper, children can get an enjoyable and useful grounding in pre-school nurseries. All local authorities provide free nursery schooling for those who want it. The classes, which are run by qualified nursery teachers with the help of trained nursery assistants, are either full or part-time. The fee-paying sector too provides nursery schooling, should you want to take advantage of it. As an alternative to nursery schools, some councils, churches and occasionally parents run playgroups – usually for fewer hours. The other option if you’re working and need to be away from home is childminders – qualified, officially registered babysitters.

    Glasgow’s Childcare Information Service, offers free, comprehensive, confidential and up-to-date information on a range of services across the city for children 0-18.

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    Higher Education

    Providing they get the necessary grades, children can go on to one of 46 further education colleges and 14 universities in Scotland, offering a vast range of courses. Whilst many of the colleges specialize in subjects such as art and design, printing, building and catering, the universities range from some of the oldest and most highly regarded in Europe to modern, dynamic institutions offering groundbreaking courses. It takes three years to study for an Ordinary degree, four for an Honors qualification. Scottish universities also offer postgraduate study and many are involved in research projects of global significance. Students can apply for university or college through UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admission Services). Application forms are available from the UCAS website (www.ucas.co.uk ), the British Council or your local careers service
    (www.careers-scotland.org.uk ). If your child is still at school or college in the UK, they should get an application form from their teacher. If you yourself are interested in learning new skills, many further and higher education institutions, schools and local authorities also run a range of vocational and non-vocational courses for adults – usually for a nominal fee.