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Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Old Mar 13th 2015, 6:31 am
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Question Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Hello everyone,

I am hoping you can help me please.

I am a SA citizen, and might be immigrating to Scotland soon.

I have searched for forums that can help and assist me on the immigration process and general 'Know How' of the UK / Scotland, and didn't come across anything current except this wonderful forum.

I apologize in advance for the scrambled questions, but things are happening very fast and we need any advice we can get.

So here goes - PS - I have read articles on most of my Q below (they were not current), I would like to get some REAL opinions and feedback

- What is Glasgow like in terms of quality of life?
- Whats the crime levels like?
- I know that the schools are good, so I will presumably say that the std of education is also very good
- How much, in you opinion, is a decent salary to earn to live comfortable and not worry about the next payslip. (we are a family of 3 with a little 4 year old)
- What is the general cost of day care? I read some where that it is funded for a few hours a week?
- Which areas are nice to rent near good public schools
- What are the general "hidden" costs that surprises people new to the UK when it comes to housing, and purchasing a car?
- What bank is the safest to open an account while I am still in SA to transfer some funds?


As you can see, my thoughts are all over the place right now.

We have so much to wrap up here in SA, and very excited to start our new life..

Very afraid aswell - I guess that it a normal feeling, right?

If there is any advice/useful links that you can share, over and above ALL my questions please feel free
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

See below for ballpark answers (I work in Glasgow)

Originally Posted by Silvermist View Post
Hello everyone,

I am hoping you can help me please.

I am a SA citizen, and might be immigrating to Scotland soon.

I have searched for forums that can help and assist me on the immigration process and general 'Know How' of the UK / Scotland, and didn't come across anything current except this wonderful forum.

I apologize in advance for the scrambled questions, but things are happening very fast and we need any advice we can get.

So here goes - PS - I have read articles on most of my Q below (they were not current), I would like to get some REAL opinions and feedback

- What is Glasgow like in terms of quality of life? As with all cities, it depends a LOT on where you live. Glasgow has some very leafy, scenic suburbs and some very rough areas that are among the most deprived in Scotland]
- Whats the crime levels like? Same answer as above
- I know that the schools are good, so I will presumably say that the std of education is also very good Same as above
- How much, in you opinion, is a decent salary to earn to live comfortable and not worry about the next payslip. (we are a family of 3 with a little 4 year old) Ballpark, I'd say you need to be bringing home about £2k per month. How much that will be in gross salary depends on your income tax situation - calculator here: Income tax calculator: Find out your take-home pay
- What is the general cost of day care? I read some where that it is funded for a few hours a week? Not sure (I don't have small kids), but yes, the Scottish Government is more progressive than the UK in this regard, I believe (thanks to the Barnett Formula, Scotland receives a higher per capita share of UK tax revenue). Search news sites for the latest
- Which areas are nice to rent near good public schools I don't know about this - don't have small kids
- What are the general "hidden" costs that surprises people new to the UK when it comes to housing, and purchasing a car? I'd say (a) having to pay a large upfront deposit due to having no credit record, and (b) difficulty getting credit to buy a car, for similar reasons
- What bank is the safest to open an account while I am still in SA to transfer some funds? Safest??? They're all safe!


As you can see, my thoughts are all over the place right now.

We have so much to wrap up here in SA, and very excited to start our new life..

Very afraid aswell - I guess that it a normal feeling, right?

If there is any advice/useful links that you can share, over and above ALL my questions please feel free
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

You will find it difficult, if not impossible, to open an account with a "high street bank" before you arrive in the UK. You might try an off-shore bank in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands as they cater to an international clientele.

You didn't ask how widely English is spoken in Glasgow!
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You will find it difficult, if not impossible, to open an account with a "high street bank" before you arrive in the UK. You might try an off-shore bank in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands as they cater to an international clientele.

You didnae ask how widely English is spoken in Glasgow!
FIFY.
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
What is the general cost of day care? I read some where that it is funded for a few hours a week? Not sure (I don't have small kids), but yes, the Scottish Government is more progressive than the UK in this regard, I believe (thanks to the Barnett Formula, Scotland receives a higher per capita share of UK tax revenue). Search news sites for the latest
It's funded in the rest of the UK too, 15 hours a week free for any child over the age of 3.

HTH.
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

You didn't ask how widely English is spoken in Glasgow!

They speak English in Glesga?
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by colchar View Post
They speak English in Glesga?
Not sure.
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
It's funded in the rest of the UK too, 15 hours a week free for any child over the age of 3.

HTH.
Nicola Spurgeon was on telly a while back telling the world that the SNP and Scotland were morally superior to the rest of the UK in terms of the provision for childcare, so you might want to tell her that.

I can't recall the details as it doesn't affect me other than paying for it out of my taxes.
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Nicola Spurgeon was on telly a while back telling the world that the SNP and Scotland were morally superior to the rest of the UK in terms of the provision for childcare, so you might want to tell her that.
Of course she was, charming woman that she is.
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Of course she was, charming woman that she is.
She is, as they say around here, a "Nippy-Sweetie"
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Old Mar 13th 2015, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
She is, as they say around here, a "Nippy-Sweetie"
Just looked that up, and think my husband (who works with her on occasion) would agree. Still, on the plus side he thinks she's an improvement over Mr Potato Head.
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Old Mar 14th 2015, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

- What is Glasgow like in terms of quality of life?
I would say it's very good as there is a lot to do, it's not remote at all like parts of Scotland further up north. Again, it all depends on where you live. Glasgow is a pretty big place.
- Whats the crime levels like?
People are of the idea that there is more crime in Glasgow than there really is. In general it's very safe, but do avoid the more shady areas.
- I know that the schools are good, so I will presumably say that the std of education is also very good
In general, education is good. However, not all are as good as others, so do your research before you choose a school.
- What are the general "hidden" costs that surprises people new to the UK when it comes to housing, and purchasing a car?
In the UK, getting a small car with a small engine can make a big difference to your insurance. Don't buy one larger than you need.
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Old Mar 16th 2015, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

By saying Glasgow you would also include surrounding towns and districts.
The best schools tend to be in the best areas and people pay more for housing to get into the catchment areas of these better schools.
I would think that Giffnock and Newton Mearns would be the best areas in the south side of the city and there are several good schools.
Bearsden and Milngavie (pron: Mill-guy) are probably the best in the north side.
The West End is the best area for a more central location.
They do not do league tables for schools in Scotland but you can view school inspection reports.
The main competition is to get your child into a good secondary school.
Note: Roman Catholic children attend different schools from non-Catholic children.
Glasgow has the best shopping centre(s) in Scotland.
It has 1. a major exhibition centre (SECC) and 2. an auditorium (armadillo) and 3. a concert venue (Hydro) and 4. the Royal Concert hall as well as several museums and several large city parks. There is also a science centre.
There are three universities.
If you avoid certain peripheral housing areas and the city centre at night then it is as safe as any other large city.
I would suggest that you rent somewhere initially and give yourself time to check out what suits you best.
The residents are bi-lingual - they learn English at school from an early age
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Old Mar 17th 2015, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

If you want to live rurally the network into Glasgow is good for commuting. There's always loads to do that's cheap or free and it's more child friendly than London. I'd agree with Cyrian about the areas. I'd avoid Govan. As an incomer I also found Renton and Alexandria off putting but we rented in Paisley for a while and it was OK.

If you want to be right in the city I love the West End and it's as safe as anywhere but it some areas can be noisy as there's lots of university students. The more expensive the housing the better the area usually.

If you've never lived in Scotland before I'm only half joking when I advise
buying a dictionary buying a dictionary
, there's a lot of old Scots word still in every day usage and the accent and speed of speech can be really scary when you first arrive. Glaswegians are, generally, lovely though. Very friendly and really willing to help.

We rented for nine months while we settled down and spent lots of weekends driving round visiting areas. We then bought a place and have spent a long time renovating it. Housing is lots cheaper as soon as you move a little out the city. I have a large, detached, four bedroom, old stone farmhouse on a ten acre smallholding for the same costs as a three bedroom flat in the West End of the city.

Many of the museums, art galleries and other places are free. The Science Centre is great fun for children and the exhibition centre always has something on. There's lots of multi screen cinemas, endless shopping and the street buskers are always good to watch and listen to. I walk round the city on my own quite happily and feel safer there than I did when living in London. There's some areas you don't go into, especially after dark, but they are pretty obvious if you start straying into them and no different to any other large city in the UK.

Big surprises for me were the weather and the parochialism you sometimes meet. The national religion is football and people can still be prickly about Catholic and Protestant issues although the schools round me are mixed. The weather is pretty dire, summer is usually a few days around May/June. We're at risk of frosts in the garden anytime from August to early June and we normally have 3-5 bouts of snow per winter ranging from an inch to a foot. If you live in the city the snow doesn't fall as often or as thickly. The good thing is that the country is geared up to cope with it as it happens so often. It's windy and very wet. Heating is expensive, especially if you buy an uninsulated property.

Having moaned about the weather the countryside is SPECTACULAR. It never gets old and it's one of the most beautiful countries I've ever lived in. There are heaps of large country parks but it's easy to be out into the lush, green countryside very quickly. Even the city is very green with lots of trees and parks.

Public transport is great, if you live in the city you may not need a car at all. We didn't when we first lived there.

You could look on S1 Rental for places to rent at first.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Advice Needed for move to Scotland, Glasgow

Thanks for all of the replies

We currently weighing our options for places, schools etc ...decisions, decisions.

For those that had made the move, how did you move money from your "home country"to the "new country"

We are looking at ways (less minimal ito fees) to move money from SA to UK, but its proving very difficult as most banks require us to be in UK in person to activate that account...

I tried Investec and HSBC and they don't have readily available ATM's that I can draw money - so this is not a viable option for us

Absa Barclays - require an initial upfront HIGH deposit, and then they charge fees over and above that...

Any advice is appreciated as to your lessons learnt.

Thanks again
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