11-Step Guide to Avoiding Culture Shock

A helping hand from someone who has experienced the embarrassment first-hand.


Thought I’d assist some of my fellow international students with a list of 11 things I wish I had known before moving to Edinburgh. 

1. For starters, “takin the piss” is not literal. Imagine my initial confusion.

Took me a couple of days, for sure

Took me a couple of days, for sure.

2. If you’re headed to Princes Street, don’t bother dressing up.

Next to this lovely lady, you'd just look silly.

Next to this lovely lady, you’d just look silly.

 3. This will undoubtedly surprise many of you, but alcohol is a lot cheaper in this country than what I’m used to. Took me a good while to realise that bringing £50 on a night out is rather excessive.

Shots for everyone!

Shots for everyone!

 4. Really wish I would’ve brought an extra suitcase packed with food.

I'm not convinced...

I’m not convinced…

5. Preparing for the rain is a smart move but don’t buy an umbrella. It won’t last.

Pretty accurate.

Pretty accurate.

 6. Get ready for a huge rugby-culture. Don’t insult the game and maybe even learn some rules.

7. I was under the impression that kilts were a classic example of a stereotype but alas! they can be spotted relatively often.

8. The Edinburgh Castle’s “One o’clock Gun” will sound every day except Sunday. Don’t let it scare you.

Got me the first time.

Got me the first time.

9. Start watching the most popular television shows as soon as you can. Mainly Made in Chelsea.

You won’t understand much if you don’t.

You won’t understand much if you don’t.

10. Do not refer to Scots as English or vice versa. Do. not.

You'll soon regret it.

You’ll soon regret it.

11. Finally, pants means panties, not trousers. Don’t think I need to elaborate on that one.

Definition according to Urban Dictionary.

Definition according to Urban Dictionary.