Starting a life in another country can be challenging. Here you’ll find information about living in Scotland.

Finding a home

Finding a home is an important part of feeling settled in a new country. There are many housing options available to you in Scotland.

Renting a home

A wide range of property types are available to rent across Scotland. Private rented homes are usually advertised online. There are laws in place to protect you and you’ll have rights when renting.

Find out more about renting a home on

You can also check Shelter Scotland’s guide to finding a private rented home.

If you’re already renting, check your rights if you have a private residential tenancy on Shelter Scotland’s website.

Buying a home

There are a wide range of properties available to buy in Scotland. House prices are competitive and, on average, cheaper than other parts of the UK.

If you are considering buying a home, check Shelter Scotland’s guide on buying a home.

Finding a job

There are a wide variety of career opportunities across different sectors in Scotland.

Find out more about Scotland’s job sectors at Scotland Development International (SDI).

You can search for jobs many different ways, for example through job sites or recruitment agencies. SDI has some great information to help you start your search for a new career in Scotland.

If you already have a job and need advice on your employment rights, check advice about work from Citizens Advice Scotland.


Scotland has a publicly funded healthcare system called the National Health Service Scotland (NHS Scotland).

Some NHS treatment is free and available to anyone who needs it. This includes treatment in a hospital Accident and Emergency department.

Whether you can get other free NHS services depends on the length and purpose of your residence in Scotland.

Find out if you're entitled to free NHS healthcare.

If you are living in Scotland you need to register with a local doctor called a General Practitioner (GP). Check how to find a GP.

Schools and education

The school year starts in August in Scotland. Children normally start primary school when they are 4 ½ or 5 years old. Children normally start secondary school when they are 11 ½ or 12 years old.

Citizens Advice Scotland has information on how to choose a school for your child.

Early learning and childcare

We have a broad range of early learning and childcare services available for children from birth to starting school. For example, private nurseries, childminders and funded school nurseries.

There are schemes available to help with the cost of childcare if you are working. All children aged 3 and 4 are eligible for free part-time early learning and childcare.

Find out more about early learning and childcare.

Culture and leisure

Scotland has beautiful natural landscapes, lively cities and rich cultural heritage. You’ll have a wide range of things to do and see in your free time. We can’t wait to share Scotland with you.

To discover more, check our advice about the Scottish lifestyle.

Other useful information

Check if you can drive in Great Britain on a non-GB licence on GOV.UK.

Find out more about  English for speakers of other languages on the Scottish Government website.

If you want to improve your English language skills, contact your local college or university to check what courses are available.  

Booking an appointment with Citizens Advice Scotland

If you need more help, find out how to book an appointment with Citizens Advice Scotland.

Learn More