"Yer aff yer heid” if you don’t want to travel to the land that brought you Harry Potter and the Loch Ness monster. Working abroad in Edinburgh will give you stunning views of magical castles, mystical mountains, eerie lakes, and welcoming locals. In a city bristling with opportunities, you’ll be able to admire views from Arthur’s Seat or stroll across the country’s many museums. Enjoy a glass of traditional scotch on your days off and listen to the melodious tone of Auld Lang Syne—which echoes through all timezones every New Years Eve, (you know you want to)!
What you need to know to work in Edinburgh
Scotland is known for its strong economy and presence in several different industries. Jobs in Edinburgh for expats range from the finance industry to arts and tourism. Got talent? Maybe being a professional bagpiper is more up your alley? (Dreams can come true!) Do your research about each employer to get all the deets.
Short term jobs/summer jobs vs. long term jobs. To all my peeps out there who want that summer work experience—without having to flip burgers all day long— now is your time to shine! Edinburgh is home to giant corporations like Apple, Deloitte, Tesco, IBM, McDonald’s, and so on. Each corporation offers summer jobs for promising individuals, which may even lead to possible careers! Those looking for a long-term job can expect to find openings that range from six months to two years (or longer if you reaaallly want to become a proud Scot).
Popular work fields. It’s time to put your business skills to the test! Edinburgh has turned into a financial paradise (sorry London). Giant corporations have set up bases here to decrease internal costs and increase exterminal improvement. Job opportunities in Edinburgh can be found as analysts, research engineers, store managers, human resource support and more! Education & linguistics are also popular areas to dive into. Don’t like the idea of office life? Head into the tourism and hospitality industry! New careers can range from hotel managers, ghost tour guides, to even travel writers! Work in the city that gave birth to Harry Potter and channel your inner J.K Rowling. Not to mention, Edinburgh serves as a great home base for traveling across the rest of Europe. The more you know about the tourism industry, the better you can help increase visitors to Edinburgh—and maybe help defeat the misconceptions of Haggis (well maybe…).
Unpaid. vs. paid jobs in Edinburgh. Lucky for you, Edinburgh has a variety of jobs that will pay for your time and effort. Salaries can range from $30-$70 a day or up to $5,000 a month. On average, Scottish workers make about $50,000 a year. Those working unpaid jobs may find it difficult since the city can be quite a bit more expensive when compared to the United States. However, some organizations do provide you with accommodation and benefits? Some companies pay for various expenses and offer discounts on accommodations, meals, and activities (free deep-fried Mars bars anyone). Contact companies directly to determine what they offer as alternative income. But if it gets difficult along the way, do as the Scot’s would do and head on over to your local whiskey joint!
Life in Edinburgh
As a city, Edinburgh is a perfect mix of traditional scottish culture and modern wonders. Known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other top tourist attractions include Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse Palace, Calton Hill, and Museum of Scotland. Each year, Edinburgh continues to rank as a city with one of the highest qualities of life—and it’s no surprise why! Locals are Scottish FIRST, as goes the French proverb “proud as a Scot.” No matter how you choose to spend your days, you’ll find yourself surrounded by spirited individuals and lucious scenery.
City life offers reasonable rental rates, reliable and cost-effective transportation, and abundant activities such as museums, castles, shops, rafting, golfing, and cycling. Depending on where you want to live and work in Scotland, accommodations cost about $700-$2,000 per month. Be sure to contact specific companies to determine if they offer housing – either for free or at a discounted rate.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for Expats in Edinburgh
While English is Scotland’s official language, it’s really important to try and understand the Scottish lingo. Not to worry though, after you make a few mukkers (friends), you’ll be well on your way to understanding that special Scottish vocabulary. Here are a few phrases to get you started:
- Tidy- Beautiful, stunning, delicious, fantastic, outstanding
- Scran- Food
- Chum- Friend or acquaintance
- Aye right- expressing feelings of sheer disbelief
- Chancer- a person who takes risks
- Haud yer wheesht- to be quiet or shut up
After mastering the slang, you may be ready to even understand the local news! But just a heads up to my daily soap opera watchers, a fee must be paid if you have a TV in your home according to the U.K television license policy. While this may take some getting used to, you’ll still be able to binge shows on Netflix. Or even better, get outside the city and explore the rich rugged landscape in the highlands! Why settle for watching Game of Thrones on your laptop screen when you can check out areas where it was filmed?? (Tyrion would be #proud!)
Any country whose national animal is the unicorn is definitely a country worth visiting. Furthermore, any city whose castle is built on an extinct volcano, is also worth your presence. Working abroad in Edinburgh will give you the opportunity to live in a clean, compact, and safe environment, while still enjoying the unforgettable sights of kilts and bagpipes! In the echoing words from Braveheart, “Every man dies, but not every man lives.” So live your best life working abroad in Scotland!
Don’t let the haggis scare you away! Read our comprehensive guide on jobs in Scotland.