Essentials

Electricity

The British standard plug is different from continental Europe and the network uses 240V/50Hz. If you are not able to buy a converter before you leave your own country it is easy to find one here in appliance shops and supermarkets.

Post Office

Post offices are usually open Monday to Friday 9-5pm and Saturdays 9-12pm, but this can differ depending on which post office you go to. The nearest one to students living in Glasgow University accommodations is on Great Western Road and for those living in the Strathclyde University halls, the central post office is on St Vincent Street. For more information on sending parcels and letters please visit www.postoffice.co.uk

Bureau de Change

You can convert foreign currency in a number of places, usually any travel agency or post office. Banks charge a commission fee and usually do not have the best rates. You can also find a Bureau de Change in the airports and in Central Station.

Telephones

Pay-as-you-go mobile phones are cheap to buy and calls and texts are cheap. Ask an LC member and they will show you where to buy one. The four major operators are:

Vodafone (www.vodafone.co.uk)
O2 (www.o2.co.uk)
Orange (www.orange.co.uk)
T-Mobile (www.t-mobile.co.uk)
Lebara (www.lebara-mobile.co.uk) offer cheap calls abroad to family and friends as well as free calls between Lebara phones and for this reason was a popular choice with trainees last year.

You can buy sim-cards in many shops in Glasgow, though you should not pay for the sim card itself, only for the required top up that goes with it.

Shops

Most shops are open from 9am-6pm Monday to Sunday, till 8pm or 10pm on Thursdays. Shops are open on Bank holidays though the opening time may be shorter. Supermarkets are generally open till 10pm.

The main supermarket chains are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencers, Cooperative, Morrisons and Asda. Asda and Tesco are cheap but Lidl is a lot cheaper (especially for fruit and vegetables) although you may have to walk further to get there. In the west end there are also a number of fruit and vegetable shops that offer organic produce, mainly Roots Fruits and Flowers on Byres Road and Great Western Road. Waitrose on Byres Road has some good produce but is very expensive. Glasgow is an international and multi-ethnic city so there are many shops catering to various diets and tastes. Please speak to an LC member and they will point you in the right direction – you may even be able to find some food and drink from back home!

What do things Cost?

1 pint of beer in a bar: £1.50-£3.50 (average is about £2.30)
2 litres of milk: £0.70 – £1.50
Cheese 200g: £2.50 – £3.50
Ham 100g: £1 – £2
Bread: £0.50 – £1.50

Depending on where you are coming from, you may find the cost of everyday items in Glasgow quite expensive. The price of bread and vegtables has risen quite a lot in the past few years. Generally however, the cost of living in Glasgow is reasonable compared to London.

Recycling

Glasgow City Council offers recycling for most materials though most common blue bins found with the refuge bins, are for plastic bottles and waste paper. If you wish to recycle other things such as glass, batteries and clothes, please visit www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Environment

Dropping litter, including cigarettes on the street can result in a £50 fine.

Worship

Most religions are catered for in Glasgow and many of the cathedrals and churches are worth a visit in their own right. Here are a few:

Glasgow Cathedral (Presbyterian) – www.glasgowcathedral.org.uk
St Lukes Cathedral (Greek Orthodox) – www.stluke.org.uk
Glasgow Central Mosque – www.centralmosque.co.uk
Garnethill Synagogue – www.garnethillsynagogue.com
There are also worship facilities available on campus at Glasgow University, Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University.