woman smiling in conference room


The following pictures and information are provided to help employees who are considering an assignment in Aberdeen, Scotland, to see what it is like to live and work there.
Aberdeen is located in North East Scotland on the North Sea, with small villages at the mouth of the River Dee (to the south) and the River Don (to the north). Nicknamed the Granite City because many of the city's buildings incorporated locally quarried gray granite during the mid-18th to 20th centuries, Aberdeen's rich history dates back 8,000 years. It is the third most populous city in Scotland, with approximately 200,000 people. Including the many surrounding towns and villages, the population of the area is closer to 400,000. Aberdeen's location in relation to the equator is roughly the same as Moscow's. During the winter solstice, the sun rises at 8:47 a.m. and sets at 3:27 p.m. During the summer solstice, the sun rises at 4:12 a.m. and sets at 10:09 p.m.
The climate is chilly with an average high of 16° C (61° F) and an average low of 10° C (50° F). In the winter the average high temperature is 6° C (43° F) and an average low of 0° C (32° F).
Aberdeen's airport, Aberdeen Regional Airport (ABZ), hosts 20 airlines and offers flights to about 40 cities in 13 countries.

work environment

Chevron has two buildings - Chevron House and Seafield House - in Aberdeen. They are located on the west side of the city on the Hill of Rubislaw. Both facilities offer a highly collaborative work environment with cubicles, huddle rooms, and interactive cafés. Chevron provides state-of-the-art office furniture with sit/stand desks to promote the healthy behavior of alternating between sitting and standing throughout the workday.

The buildings also have IDE rooms (integrated decision environment) with video conferencing, which helps improve the speed and quality of decision making in key areas such as safety, reliability, environment and production.

There is also a fitness facility that has the latest exercise equipment. It is open to employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Chevron House has a cafeteria that serves breakfast, lunch including salads, soups, sandwiches, two hot-meal choices and snacks.


Aberdeen offers a variety of housing choices, including single-family homes, duplexes, terraces and flats also known as apartments. The decision as to where to live is usually based on personal needs, lifestyle preferences, and proximity to work and schools.

Expatriate employees typically live along the North Deeside Road corridor in Cults, Bieldside, Milltimber, Peterculter or Maryculter, so as to be near the International School of Aberdeen. Commute times from these areas to the Chevron office vary from 5 to 20 minutes which is approximately 3 to 16 km, or 2 to 10 miles.

Most expatriates usually find that housing in Aberdeen is more expensive compared to their home location, and they generally choose to live in a smaller house with smaller appliances.

Employees can bring their own furniture or rent partially or fully furnished houses or apartments. Pets may be allowed, depending on the landlord and what is negotiated in the lease.

Leases for houses and apartments are usually on a two- or three-year term basis, with payment on a monthly basis.


  • Power and Gas: Power and gas services are set up by the local relocation consultant. Employees pay quarterly bills for these services.
  • Telephone: Employees are responsible for setting up their own telephone service.
  • Water and Trash Collection: Water and trash collection services are included in the annual tax bill from the Aberdeen City Council. Chevron's relocation provider pays the tax bill. Employees reimburse Chevron for the water and trash collection.
  • Internet: In general, homes have Internet service capabilities. Internet service is available through a number of providers, such as British Telecom (BT) and Sky. Employees establish and pay for their own Internet service. Coffee shops often provide a free wireless connection for their customers. Local libraries have computers with Internet access for public use.

support services

This section includes information about medical care, transportation, household help, banking and security.

Two types of medical services are available in Aberdeen:

The U.K. national government provides national health services. Chevron also offers coverage for health care through private medical providers. Dentists and pharmacies (sometimes called chemists) are also available in Aberdeen.

Chevron does not provide drivers for expatriates in Aberdeen but does provide driving lessons for employees and spouses. The Aberdeen bus system provides convenient and inexpensive transportation around the city.
Most households in Aberdeen operate without the assistance of outside help. Cleaning, baby-sitting and gardening services are available for hire. Most outside-help providers come on a daily or scheduled basis and rarely live in the home. 

It is very important to interview and check references of those you are considering. The phone book, neighbors and other employees are good references for these services.
Aberdeen has many large international banks, such as HSBC, RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), Clydesdale Bank, NatWest and Barclays. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are available all over the city.
Several post offices are located throughout Aberdeen. Parcels can be sent for a fee that is based on weight and destination.
The city of Aberdeen and its surrounding areas are considered safe communities. Expatriates interested in additional security may choose to live in communities that offer security services. Homeowners can also install security alarm systems, which are monitored by security service companies for a fee.


There is one international school in Aberdeen for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade: International School in Aberdeen (ISA). It is highly rated by Chevron employees. The city also boasts two universities: University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, and The Robert Gordon University, founded in 1750.

Founded in 1972, ISA offers internationally recognized co-educational studies for students of all nationalities. To meet the needs of its student body, ISA's program was developed by using the best examples of United Kingdom, United States, and international curriculum models. The ISA is jointly accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council of International Schools.

The school is organized into three sections:

  • Elementary School (pre-kindergarten through 5th grade)
  • Middle School (6th through 8th grade)
  • High School (9th through 12th grade)

Approximately 490 students, representing more than 35 nationalities, attend ISA. The school's teaching staff (who are from the United Kingdom, the United States and 10 other nations) are all university-certified, and more than half hold advanced degrees.

The school campus on North Deeside Road, is approximately 4.5 km (2.75 miles) from the downtown City Center and 3.5 km (2 miles) from the Chevron office. Children can walk to school, take a bus or get dropped off by their parents. The school year starts in August and ends in June.

School facilities include a swimming pool, library, computer lab, tennis courts, and two theaters. Extracurricular activities include sports, choir, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, computer club, environmental club, and Spanish club. A complete list of sports and extracurricular activities is available on the school's Web site.

ISA has limited resources available for accommodating students with special needs; however, local Aberdeen resources may be available.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum, leading to certificates in individual subjects or a Diploma. The International Baccalaureate provides an international pre-university curriculum and an international university entrance qualification. The IB is gained by externally moderated course work and externally set exams following two years of study at the end of upper secondary education. 

Based on the pattern of no single country, the IB programme is a deliberate combination of the specialisation required in some national systems and the breadth preferred in others.
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view slideshows about aberdeen so you can know what to expect in the following categories:


A variety of local and imported food, clothing, furniture and household items is available in Aberdeen.

There are four main grocery store chains in Aberdeen:

Asda (owned by Walmart)

There are many malls in Chengdu, such as Raffle City Shopping Mall, The Mix City Shopping Mall, Pacific Department Store, Wang Fu Jing Department Store Ito Yokado, Isetan, Renhe Spring Department Store, Mansion Mode and Wan Da Shopping Mall.


Employees commute to work by car, bus, bicycle or walking. Most expatriates live within 5 to 30 minutes of the Chevron office. In general, traffic is heaviest during the peak morning and evening hours of 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
A U.S.-issued driver's license is valid for the first year in the United Kingdom. After one year, expatriates are required to obtain a U.K.-issued license. EU nationals and commonwealth national drivers have different driving rights and some are able to direct apply for a UK license. 

Drivers drive on the left side of the road in the United Kingdom.
The bus system in Aberdeen is extensive and inexpensive. The bus system's hub is downtown. This means that, depending on the end destination, a transfer to another bus via the downtown hub may be required.

The national rail system has routes throughout much of Great Britain. Edinburgh is a popular day trip from Aberdeen.

recreational and entertainment

The American Women's Association is open for active membership to women who are U.S. or Canadian citizens. Women not eligible for active membership may apply for associate membership.

Activities available to members include:

  • Book Club
  • Bridge
  • Bunko
  • Mah-Jong
  • Culinary Caravan
  • Stitchin' Chicks (quilting and sewing)
  • Moms and Tots
  • Scrap & Flap
  • Theatre Buffs
  • Tennis
  • Walking for Wussies (hikes up to 5 km or 3 miles)
  • Explorers (hikes up to 16 km or 10 miles)
  • Golf

Kippie Lodge is a private sports and country club that provides quality dining and leisure facilities for its members. The lodge building hosts a lounge bar, conservatory, dining facilities, a conference suite, and snooker room. The lodge's sports complex includes:

  • 18-meter swimming pool
  • All-weather tennis courts
  • Squash courts
  • Fully equipped gymnasium
  • Saunas
  • Steam room
  • Driving range
  • Nine-hole golf course

An alternative to Kippie Lodge is David Lloyd's, which offers:

  • 25-meter indoor swimming pool
  • Indoor splash pool for children
  • Indoor and outdoor tennis courts
  • Badminton courts
  • Open-plan gym
  • Spinning bikes
  • Free weights
  • Stretching zone
  • Aerobic studios
  • Sauna
  • Steam room
  • Indoor whirlpool
  • Restaurant and bar
  • TV lounge
  • Function suite
  • Saks hair and beauty salon
  • Sunbed
  • Internet café
  • Soft play area for children
  • Nursery

Scotland is the birthplace of modern golf, and golf is very popular there. In fact, Scotland is home to more than 500 public and private golf courses. Many of the private clubs allow visitors to play within restricted times.

Popular courses include:

North East Courses
Royal Aberdeen
St. Andrews
Kings Barns
Cruden Bay

More information about golf in Scotland is available on the Scotland - The Home of Golf website.

Aberdeen Football Club (also known as The Dons, The Dandies, The Reds or The Dandy Dons) is a Scottish professional football (soccer) club based in Aberdeen. The Dons compete in the Scottish Premier League, they have the third-largest fan base, and they are one of the most successful teams in Scotland (they've won four league titles and seven Scottish Cups). They are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, both in the same year.

Scotland is a walker's paradise. Throughout the country there are thousands of trails, ranging from short hikes to long-distance journeys. Hikers seeking a challenge can try one or more of the Munros, which provide stunning views and vistas (each one of the 283 hilltops is above 914 meters/3,000 feet).

More information about Scotland's trails is available at:

Visit Scotland
Undiscovered Scotland: The Ultimate Online Guide

The bicycle was invented in Scotland, near Dumfries, so it seems appropriate that traveling by bike is one of the best ways to explore the countryside. Most towns and cities, however, are not particularly bike-friendly. Very few have bike paths, and bike security can be an issue. Bikers should stick to rural back roads, especially unclassified roads and country lanes, which are not numbered but are signposted and marked on Ordnance Survey topographic maps.

Scotland is famous for its whisky. The Whisky Trail offers a memorable tour of various distilleries in the area. Tour participants learn how distilleries create the distinctive taste, texture, color and smell of whisky, and participants are treated to samples of different whisky varieties along the way.

More information about Scotland's whisky and the Whisky Trail is available at:

Information Britain
Hamish's Guide to Aberdeen

North East Scotland is home to hundreds of castles and castle ruins, providing a wealth of history to explore.

More information about Scotland's castles and the Castle Trail is available at:

Visit Scotland.com
Hamish's Guide to Scotland
Dunnottar Castle

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world. Fringe attendees can enjoy theater, comedy, music, dance, exhibitions and much more. In 2009, 1,859,235 tickets were sold for 34,265 performances of 2,098 shows in 265 venues over 25 days. There were an estimated 18,901 performers from 60 countries.

There is no selection committee to approve the entries, so any type of event is possible. The Fringe often showcases experimental works that might not be admitted to a more formal festival. In addition to ticketed events, there is an ongoing street fair on the Royal Mile.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo hosts a celebration of talent from four continents. The talent includes pipers, gymnasts, singers, dancers and an amazing motorcycle display team. Held at Edinburgh Castle, the program features the music of the Massed Pipes and Drums and the Massed Military Bands.

Many fast-food outlets, such as Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks, can be found along the city streets and inside the shopping malls. There is also a variety of ethnic restaurants, including French, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese and Middle Eastern.

A few high-end dining establishments include:

Royal Thai
Falls of Feugh

Expats also enjoy the following restaurants:

Prego Aberdeen
Bistro Verde
Eat on the Green
The Cock and Bull
Pizza Express
The Bieldside Inn

Many organizations provide opportunities for expatriates to engage in community support activities. Specifically, some of the women's organizations have social welfare volunteer programs.

additional information

Daily interactions and tasks will be completed in English. It is a good idea to gain a basic understanding of the Scottish culture and history.
Dogs, cats and other pets are not allowed to be imported directly into the United Kingdom from the continental United States or other countries designated as "non-rabies-free" zones. Contact your expatriate assignee counselor for a list of "non-rabies-free" zones. In general, pets may enter the United Kingdom after completing a six-month quarantine. More information is available on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website.

Just as in other Western countries, dress is a form of expression. Because people from many cultures live here, dress varies from conservative and covered up to revealing.

In general, employees are encouraged to dress as appropriate for the business environment in which they operate. In most circumstances business casual, as outlined below, is acceptable. However, more formal attire (such as business suits) may be appropriate for meetings with third parties.

Examples of business casual dress include:

  • Men - Trousers, shirts with collars, casual shoes other than sneakers.
  • Women - Trousers, skirts, sweaters, blouses, casual shoes other than sneakers.

Unacceptable attire under normal circumstances include, t-shirts, casual sports shirts, shorts, casual sandals, tennis shoes or trainers and track suits.