Settling into Scottish life

Part of moving to Scotland for work is also getting to know the rich culture, customs and connecting with the local people. Find out how you can do this.

Woman overlooking Loch Lomond

Scotland is the perfect place to build a brilliant career and enjoy an excellent quality of life. When you’re not working, there are plenty of ways to get to know the rich culture and customs of the country – and connect with its friendly people.

Join a local meetup

Meetups are face-to-face gatherings that happen in cities and towns across Scotland. You can join a meetup group for free to connect with locals and other internationals who share the same interests as you. Meetup interests are broad and can range from Celtic culture, nature enthusiast or cooking groups – and everything in between.

Perfect your English or learn a new language

If you want to improve your English, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides information, resources and training. It offers courses across Scotland for beginners through to more advanced speakers.

You can also try to learn Scotland’s other language – Gaelic.


Use your existing skills, discover hidden talents and make new friends by volunteering. There are thousands of ways to volunteer in Scotland – from helping at events, fundraising or assisting a particular group of people, such as the elderly.

Join the ‘I Know Community’

VisitScotland’s online ‘I Know Community’ allows members to share and exchange stories, experiences and tips about Scotland. You can contribute to discussions, ask questions and explore diverse and insightful topics.

Get musical

Whether you’re interested in making music, joining a band or singing in a choir, you can find the right group in Scotland to unleash your talents. Get involved in choral societies, symphony orchestras, festivals and more.

Get active

Scotland offers ample opportunity to get moving and meet new people – often in spectacular surroundings. Watch from the sidelines as a spectator or take part by joining one of the many amateur teams and clubs. You can choose:

  • Walking and hiking – some of world’s best and most accessible trails and routes
  • Running and jogging – clubs for every level and distance
  • Cycling – terrain caters to cycling, mountain biking or road racing
  • Football – the national sport. Watch, or play with many amateur leagues
  • Golf – more than 500 different Scottish courses to choose from
  • Snow sports – skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and dog sledding
  • Extreme sport – canoeing, white-water rafting and BMX biking
  • Fishing – from crystal clear lochs to small streams and the classic salmon rivers
  • Water sport – sailing, surfing, canoeing, water skiing and scuba diving
  • Highland Games – caber toss, hammer throw and weight-over-the-bar toss competition
  • Shinty – the oldest ball game in the world. A cross between field hockey and lacrosse
  • Curling – play on ice, sliding heavy stones with handles towards a target 

Get social

Spice Scotland’s 10,000 members enjoy sports and social activities right across the country. Make new friends while pursuing your passion or even learning a new hobby.

Experience all Scotland has to offer

Hiking and hillwalking in majestic landscapes. Exploring museums and galleries galore. Sampling year-round eclectic gigs and festivals. And more. VisitScotland highlights the endless ways to fill your spare time in Scotland – no matter what your interests are.