Survival Tips

Arriving at College can be a challenging and exciting time. Please check out the COGC website to find out more information about our campuses and to find out how to get ready for college. 

To get you started, here are some tips from our Students’ Association members to get you through the first few days.

Arriving in a new place can be daunting, and it is perfectly natural to feel homesick and anxious. These travelling tips should help keep you orientated in your first days.
Not knowing where you’ll stay when you get here will add stress to your journey! If you haven’t secured accommodation prior to arrival in Glasgow, make sure you have a safe and clean hotel to stay in, at least for the first few days. Check out The College’s Accommodation guide to find out more.
Carrying just enough money to get by in your first few days is advisable until you can access your bank account or a bank machine. Remember that some ATM’s apply a small charge to take out money. If you are an international student, check out our section about opening a bank account in the UK.
Let your loved ones know you’ve arrived safely. Keep your phone charged enough throughout your journey to make sure you can call home. Check your phone settings, internet connection and charges, locate the nearest café with wifi, or ask your hotel/hostel if they have wifi access. This means you’ll be able to let your relatives and friends know you’ve arrived and everyone can sleep easy.
Whatever time you’re arriving, it’s wise to pack some basic essentials so if you are delayed on your journey and arrive late at night, you are not caught short without basic food, water and hygiene products.
It’s always good to read up on the area you’re going to be living in. Check out the nearest supermarkets, surgeries and local amenities before you arrive.
If your phone doesn’t work when you arrive, you need to make sure you know where you’re going. Print out or save a map with your new address on it so you can familiarise yourself with where you’re going when you get here.

Getting around

The following transport services are available in the city. Please note that these services and prices of transport are subject to change. 

Most areas within the city centre are easily accessible by foot, with directions readily available via Google Maps and signposting throughout the city. If you have accessibility needs, many venues and paths have additional support measures in place to cater to your needs.
Glasgow has many cycle paths, making it accessible by bike. Thanks to the NEXTBIKE Project, there are bike stations situated around the city with bicycles for public use. There are also many cycling initiatives where you can purchase 2nd hand bikes or borrow bikes if you need to.


Glasgow is well served by bus routes. The two main bus providers are:


First Group


Anyone who is accustomed to the sprawling subway maps of other cities should check out Glasgow’s own famous subway system, which is referred to by locals as the “Clockwork Orange” due to its circular route. Glasgow’s Subway system is perfect for quick and easy travel around the city centre on both sides of the river. To check out prices and opening/closing click here
Glasgow is well served by trains and has 2 main train stations: Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street. To find out about routes, prices and times visit
Glasgow has many different taxi operators, the main operator being Glasgow Taxis. Only black coloured taxis are allowed to pick people up from the street, and all taxi drivers must have a license visible from their car windows.
Uber is available in Glasgow via downloading the app. Prices vary during peak times, but you can find out more here

Areas of Glasgow

The City Centre of Glasgow has manageable distances by foot, and cycle paths, footpaths and pedestrian zones which maximise its accessibility. Glasgow is also known for its vibrant communities and districts, some of which are listed below.


This area of Glasgow is often described by locals and tourists as being “trendy” or “cosmopolitan”. It is known for its impressive Victorian architecture, public parks, Kelvingrove Museum, Riverside Museum and many boutique shops. Spanning west from Charing Cross, it includes Woodlands, Hillhead, Hyndland, Finnieston and Byres Road. It also includes the lovely Kelvingrove Park and the bustling area of Partick, running from Argyle Street along Dumbarton Road.


Tips: Grab a meal and take a peek up one of the quirky lanes which are usually full of pubs and people!


The Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s oldest quarters, is full of cool bars, restaurants, boutiques and galleries, and is at its most vibrant when the streets come alive with a carnival atmosphere during the annual Merchant City Festival. Your discovery of the Merchant City begins when you wander from Buchanan Street through the iconic 19th Century archways to Royal Exchange Square – home to the Gallery of Modern Art.


Tips: The Merchant City houses the majority of Glasgow’s LGBTQi+ scene; with lively bars, clubs and cafes dotted around the area that aim to represent the LGBTQi+ Community.


Throughout the summer months, George Square is a popular place to relax, enjoy a picnic lunch and people watching.


Tips: Glasgow is the largest retail centre outside London’s West End. Head for Buchanan Street, Argyll Street, Sauchiehall Street, Ingram Street and Royal Exchange Square – one square mile of fantastic shopping! Parnie Street near Trongate hosts free art exhibitions, vintage shops and quirky restaurants.


Drygate Brewery dominates a portion of Duke Street, which is the main artery through this lively district of Glasgow. Within walking distance of the city centre, Dennistoun’s cafes, bars and culture make it worth a visit.


Tips: For anyone looking for homemade, budget-friendly and delicious food.


Shawlands hosts a number of airy coffee shops, cool bars and a buzz in its nightlife. From gig venues to fancy cakes, it’s rivalling the reputation of the west end for local artists – and it’s affordable!


Tips: Great coffees, a multicultural vibe and lots of vegan options.

Student Safety

When it comes to student welfare and safety, it is of paramount importance.

If you are living in City of Glasgow College Halls of Residence, you will be invited to an induction by staff to make sure you are fully aware of safety on campus and upon moving to the city.

Please check out these informative links to help you stay safe, both online and offline:

Police Scotland - Student Safety

Action Fraud 

Youth Link Scotland

Get Safe Online 

City Campus

Students’ Association
City of Glasgow College
Second Floor
190 Cathedral Street
G4 0RF
t: 0141 375 5322

Riverside Campus

Students’ Association
City of Glasgow College
Ground Floor
21 Thistle Street
G5 9XB
t: 0141 375 5600

City of Glasgow College

Registered Charity No: SC036198

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