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Monday 22nd March – Friday 26th March 2021

Join in Celebrate Culture 2021 which celebrates the diversity of nationalities enrolled at UWS, whilst promoting Scottish culture. Engaging with the local community, we aim to develop a shared understanding of ethnic and cultural differences through a range of different events, activities and promotions throughout the week.

Details of these activities, supported by Foundation Scotland, are included on this page. Register for all events by 10am on the day of the event unless specified.

Based on feedback from our Celebrate Culture student focus groups we have put together some links for you to explore Scottish culture in your own time and from the comfort of your own home.

In the meantime, check out the video below which sees some of our international members of staff talking about their experiences of Scotland and Scottish culture. 

UWS staff experiences

photo and video competition

As part of our build up to Celebrate Culture, we asked our international students and students who had taken part in study abroad initiatives to send us some videos and photos that explained their experiences of different cultures.

You can view the winning video and runner-up photo below.

Thanks to everyone who took part

Winning video

Lucile Caron, BA (Hons) Business (Year 3), Paisley Campus

Runner-up video

Muhammad Danish, MBA, London Campus

Runner-up photo

Swapna Karari, MBA, Lanarkshire Campus 



Celebrate Culture Events Calendar

For more information about any of the events below please email the International Student Support Team at

You can also follow us on twitter at @UWS_IntSupport

Monday 22nd March 2021

Celebrate Culture Craft Course, 12 noon (registration now closed)

In recognition of this difficult year for international and EU students, UWS is delighted to provide an opportunity for 25 students to take part in an online ceramic craft course. At the ceramic workshop you will paint and decorate your own mug and ceramic hanging decoration (paints and ceramics will be posted to you before the workshop). You will need an internet connection to be able to connect to the online workshop and you will need to have your camera and microphone on. The workshop will be led by a professional ceramic crafter who will give you full instructions on how to use your paints to create your mug masterpiece.

The theme of the workshop is celebrating Scottish and your own culture and you will use this theme to design your mug (you could combine your flag and the Scottish flag for example or choose colours or simple images that mean something to your own culture and Scotland/UK). You are not required to have any artistic talent to take part as your instructor will give you full guidance but thinking of some ideas before you start will help make sure you get to the fun part (creating your mug) straight away.


Engage in Conversation, 4-5pm

A session for BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background) people living and learning in Renfrewshire. Student life should offer exciting opportunities and experiences. There is always a chance to bring something new to your student community and take something away. Would you like to share experiences?

Join in the next ‘Conversation’ by Engage Renfrewshire, focused on your experiences of studying in Scotland. What are the challenges you faced during the pandemic, particularly as a BAME learner? Join in the community conversation.

This interactive session, using Mentimetre as an online, anonymous, live polling tool is designed to give you the opportunity to share insights/experiences and influence local change. 

Register at 

It's all about Burns (explore anytime)

Listen to an audio version of an ‘Address to a Haggis’ from our very own UWS colleague Claire Mackie. To find out more about the traditions of eating haggis and Robert Burns (Scotland’s national poet), please visit the Visit Scotland website.

Listen to one of the popular Burns poems ‘Tam O’Shanter’ spoken in Scots at the National Trust Website.

UWS Voices (explore anytime)

During Celebrate Culture week, recognising the diversity of staff, students and alumni and the importance of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, take the opportunity in your own time to listen to the stories and perspectives told through the UWS Voices campaign. 

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Mind and Draw: Online creative session with discussion and drawing, 12 noon - 1.30pm

Mind and draw is a community project that offers workshops and sessions with the aim of letting people express themselves and build confidence through the art of being creative. This session explores Scottish culture and cultures from around the world through drawing and discussion.  All ages and abilities are welcome, no previous artistic skill required.

What you need:

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Colour pens, pencils or crayons

This session will run on Zoom. Register at


SAMAN Workshop (Indonesian dance), 3pm (registration closes 3pm, 23 March)

Try something new! Introduced by UWS FOTBS (Friends of the Bee Society) learn how to SAMAN dance from the comfort of your own home!  Saman dance is one of the most popular dances in Indonesia.  You don’t event need to get off your chair….

Register at

Registration closes at 3pm on Tuesday 23rd March.

Song Writing Workshop, 6-7.30pm

Join Paisley-based songwriter Linzi Clark (UWS alumna of BA (Hons) Commercial Music and MA Songwriting) for a music themed workshop celebrating the rich songwriting culture Paisley has to offer. With information on how to get involved in the local music scene as well as some tips on how to get started in songwriting, this interactive workshop aims to inspire you to celebrate your inner musical creativity. Whether you're a complete beginner, a music fanatic or an experienced song writer, let's come together to celebrate all things music in Paisley.

Register at

Paisley and the local area (explore anytime)

If you have still to arrive in Scotland or would like to familiarise yourself with some contemporary Scottish culture, Renfrewshire Leisure have provided some useful links to music, audio performances and short films.

Take a virtual tour around Paisley, visit some of the famous historical sites online at Renfrewshire's Doors Open Day videos

Find out more about the Paisley Pattern and discover walks around Paisley which will introduce you to fun facts about the history of Paisley by Renfrewshire Council.

Find out what’s going on in Glasgow and all about events and festivals that might be coming up later on in the year at WhatsonGlasgow.

Scottish music (listen anytime)

Get a taste of Scottish music from our very own UWS member of staff, musician Davie Scott, Programme Leader of the MA Songwriting & Performance.  In your own time, tune into Radio Scotland “The Classic Scottish Albums” on BBC Sounds.

Wednesday 24th March 2021

Celebrate Scottish Culture - Scotland's Connections to the Rest of the World, 1.30 - 3pm

Join us as we celebrate Scottish culture and show just how connected to the rest of the world this little country can be. It was a Scot that pioneered the television, it was a Scottish Monarch that almost united the country with France and our national dish doesn't always seem to be so 'local'. UWS campuses are even connected to history themselves. We'll take you on a tour of Scotland with a difference as we celebrate culture from around the world and connect it back to Scotland. Hosted by Gary Brown from the ‘Keltic Ginger’ and the UWS International Student Support Team.

Register at


Scotland's Heritage (explore anytime)


Find out all about Scottish Tartan. Visit Scotland has information on Scottish Tartan Kilts and the traditional Highland Games 

You could even have a go at designing your own tartan by visiting the TartanDesigner


Looking to read a Scottish novel? International Student Support Team top reads are: ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman (Scottish author) and ‘Espedair Street' by Iain Banks (set in Paisley).  Some libraries will allow you to download e-books or audio books. Check out our own UWS library resources. 
Find a recommendation about a book set in Scotland or from a Scottish author by the Scottish Book Trust.

Culture and Traditions
Experience Scotland at home, discover all about the Scottish traditions through a virtual tour and learn a spot of gaelic or old scots on the Visit Scotland website. This includes some online festivals and events for you to experience the Scottish Culture.

Thursday 25th March 2021

Relaxation Through Art, 12.30 - 1.30pm (registration closes Monday 8th March)

In recognition of this difficult year for international and EU students, UWS is delighted to provide an opportunity for 25 students to take part in a Relaxation through art session (online).

The workshop will be led by professional artist Brenda Coyle.

This taster session will enable students to explore new meditative art techniques, and to discover how to approach art in a stimulating and contemplative manner. It will also help in uncovering and encouraging individual skills, whilst sharing and communicating with each other - within the group format.

Artist Brenda Coyle will give full instructions on how to use paints. Individual guidance will be given along with continuous demonstrations wherever needed during the session. Students will be able to follow an organised step by step approach to meditative learning which nurtures creative growth, strengthens memory, promotes problem solving, increases motor skills, fosters stress relief, which in turn improves and supports wellbeing and emotional balance.

Students will be able to walk away with clear instructions on how to approach each artistic challenge. They will create Beautiful Meditative Postcards, which can be posted to family and friends or shared on social media platforms. Students are not required to have any artistic talent to take part as the instructor will give full guidance.

On the day students will need to have ready:

  • An internet connect to be able to connect to the online workshop
  • Camera and microphone switched on
  • Watercolour paint set
  • Watercolour postcard pad
  • Watercolour brushes
  • A jar of clean water
  • Some kitchen towels or a few sheets of toilet paper
  • Any scrap papers you may have lying around - back of old photocopy papers/old envelopes/newspapers/inside of old cereal boxes/any type of scrap paper etc
  • A smile :-) 

Booking details 

Please email: with ‘Relaxation through Art’ in the subject title to book and provide your Banner ID and confirm your current UK address

Registration closes on Monday 8 March

The workshop will take place on Thursday 25th March at 12:30pm – 1:30pm with Brenda Coyle

Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis. You will need to be living in the UK to take part so that we can post the art kit out to you.  Or, if you have your own paints etc. and do not require a kit to be posted out, please let us know.

Resilient Voices: ‘Surviving the Pandemic & Educational Resilience - What Can We Learn? 1.30 - 2.30pm

Come and join us to hear stories and discuss ‘Surviving the Pandemic & Educational Resilience -   What Can We Learn?’  Pachedu and UWS will be hosting an informal open session joined by Dr Mohammed Ishaq, Reader at UWS and Board Member of Pachedu.

Hear inspiring stories from our local community about coping with the pandemic as well as learning how UWS students have coped. This is an opportunity for you to share your own stories and find out what we can learn from your experiences. It will also be a chance to find out more about Pachedu  ‘Promoting, diversity, tolerance and dignity for all humanity" and how you can become more involved in the local community. Come along in national dress if you can, in recognition of Celebrate Culture week.

Register at

Jambo! Radio (explore anytime)

Jambo! Radio, which is based in Renfrewshire, is the only radio station for people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland, serving Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  It broadcasts programmes in multilple langugaes that are commonly spoken by people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland such as Swahili, Pidgin, Igbo, Yoruba and Lingala. Why not give it a try and listen in. More details on:

Friday 26th March 2021

Introduction to UK/Scottish Culture, 11am - 12.30pm (registration closes 2pm, 25 March)

Introduced with a reflection on living in the UK/Scotland by Jonathan Powles, VP (Learning, Teaching & Students). A light-hearted, interactive introduction to UK Culture where you can find out more about British Culture, social etiquette and making friends. Learn some British jokes and slang. Find out about weird and wonderful festivals and superstitions.

Register at

Registration closes at 2pm on Thursday 25 March. 

‘Story Telling Session – ‘What I brought to Scotland; A coming to UWS Scotland’, 4-5pm (registration closes at 2pm, 25 March)

Every international student who comes to Scotland brings with them lots of valuable skills and experiences from their home country and families who already live here in Scotland, have a lot to learn from.

Join Inspiring Families Development Network Scotland (INFADENS) Storytelling session. UWS international students from around the world and in particular Afro-Caribbean and ethnic minority backgrounds are encouraged to join in and share their inspiring stories while also learning about what Scotland has to offer. INFADENS will also highlight its work in the community and the volunteering opportunities as well as featuring traditional music. Come along in national dress if you can, in recognition of Celebrate Culture week.

Register for this event at

Understanding Scotland, 7pm (registration closes 7pm, 26 March)

Take part in quizzes and games with fun facts sprinkled on top in the most entertaining way yet to understanding Scotland. A fun evening organised by UWS FOTBS (Friends of the Bee Society).

Register at

Registration closes at 7pm on Friday 26 March. 

Baking and Cooking (explore anytime)

It’s the end of the week, why not treat yourself to some home baking? Learn how to make some traditional Scottish/UK cakes (chocolate brownies, empire biscuits, lemon drizzle cake) by going along to ‘The Three Sisters’ free bake along sessions on Facebook.

Or why not try out a new recipe and improve your cooking skills? Migrateful runs cookery classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants struggling to integrate and access employment. The cookery classes provide ideal conditions not just for learning English and building confidence, but also for promoting contact and cultural exchange with the wider community.

Sunday 28th March 2021

Creative Recipe Writing Exchange, 2pm

Organised by Renfrewshire Leisure

The Recipe Exchange.

What’s the crucial ingredient that sets your favourite recipe apart from all the others? Come together to chat about the cultures that shape our food; share recipes and compose new ideas for dishes. Have you discovered a new recipe during lockdown to make you smile? Or perhaps you would just like to connect with other foodies and share your favourite ingredients or culinary tips? “The Recipe Exchange” is a chance for people to come together and talk about their relationship with food and culture.

Register at