Glasgow shopping district

Diversity in Glasgow

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CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. On this page, local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter at their location.
The information below is just a broad overview so if you have specific questions or concerns not covered here, please email We would be glad to have local staff share their perspectives, talk with you about accommodations, connect you with resources, and/or put you in touch with a program alum who could speak about their experiences navigating a program in this location.
No matter where you choose to study abroad with CIEE, our staff—all of whom receive regular and comprehensive training in diversity, equity, and inclusion—will be on hand throughout your program to provide advice, resources, and support regarding these issues.



Scots tend to be reserved when it comes to commenting on body size and image, considering it impolite to make direct remarks about others. While the traditional diet in the West of Scotland may not be very healthy, resulting in a higher obesity rate in Glasgow, the city's gym and fitness culture is flourishing. Especially among young people, there's a growing focus on achieving strong, toned bodies. Additionally, Glasgow has a well-established fashion and makeup industry, fostering a culture where people enjoy getting dressed up to go out. Tattoos are also highly popular in Glasgow.



Scotland has swiftly and effectively addressed the needs of every member of society, providing robust support for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Neuroatypical students can expect their needs to be accommodated without hesitation, reflecting a commitment to inclusivity and support across various aspects of life.



The ongoing debate on gender identity and expression in Scotland reflects the nation's progressive stance on this issue. Scotland is recognized as one of the most forward-thinking nations in Europe regarding gender identity and expression, showcasing a commitment to fostering inclusivity and understanding.



It's probable that American students will discuss their Scottish heritage; however, Scots can sometimes be a little dismissive of this. Nevertheless, businesses in Scotland, especially those in the tartan industry, are generally more than happy to assist heritage seekers in connecting to their tartan and clan, providing a resource for those interested in exploring their roots.



Glasgow's population has risen in the last thirteen years after decades of decline, resulting in a mixed culture city. However, these changes are fairly recent and as such, people in Glasgow may demonstrate undertones of old-fashioned racism and sectarianism. While historical prejudices or biases may still be present in certain aspects of the city's culture, many residents are welcoming to foreigners and emphasize the need for continued efforts to address and eliminate such attitudes.



All Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK are obligated to accept and respect all religions. This commitment underscores the importance of fostering an inclusive and diverse environment that accommodates individuals from various religious backgrounds.



It's positive to note that all genders and orientations are fully accepted in Glasgow. This reflects a commitment to inclusivity and diversity within the city, promoting an environment where individuals of different gender identities and orientations feel welcomed and respected.



Glasgow is generally not considered an expensive place to live. Affordable options for grocery shopping include stores like Aldi and Lidl, while Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer are perceived as more expensive options. This variety allows residents to choose based on their budget and preferences.



The UK Supreme Court has rejected the X gender marker as a definition for UK passports. However, no ruling has been made on the validity of X gender marker passports at UK Border Control. It's noteworthy that US passports continue to be accepted without a change in procedure. In the UK, the term "non-binary" is widely accepted, and gender-neutral facilities and inclusion policies are commonplace, reflecting a commitment to inclusivity and accommodating diverse gender identities.

Programs in Glasgow