Study Abroad in Scotland at the University of St Andrews

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About Program

The University of St Andrews, founded in 1413, is located in the historic small town of St Andrews which is nestled on the clifftops above the North Sea. Our 9,000 students live and study in a campus spread out across our compact, walkable community. We are one of the top 25 most international universities in the world with over 45% of our students from outside of the UK. The University is regularly ranked in the top three universities in national UK rankings and is regularly rated first in the UK for the high quality of our student experience. Each year we welcome hundreds of study abroad students from around the world to take part in a one semester or full academic year study abroad.

Program Highlights
  • Founded in 1413, making us the 3rd oldest university in the English-speaking world
  • Medium-sized university in a small town near the world-class city of Edinburgh
  • Over 140 societies and 50 sports clubs
  • Ranked in top 100 universities in the world (QS world rankings 2019)

Program Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 7.5
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9
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Yes, I recommend this program

Do Not Miss Out On St Andrews

My year abroad in St Andrews was one of the absolute best of my life. I took four forth year English Literature courses and every one of them was absolutely brilliant. The professors and lecturers are some of the best in the UK and every one that I personally had were very enthusiastic about the subject they taught and were very engaged with their students. Depending on your discipline and the academic background you come from, St Andrews academics may be very challenging for you so come prepared to cram your brain full of knowledge and plan to become well acquainted with their well-stocked library.

Socially, St Andrews is very unique. If you're coming to study abroad in the fall or for the year you may have the option to be "adopted" by a third year into an academic family whose job it is to help integrate you into life in the town. You may become quite close with your academic family or you may learn from them what you need to know, get through Raisin and then choose to carve out a more independent path. I personally am still in close contact with my academic family even now after I've returned to America. Since St Andrews is about an hour away from the nightlife of Edinburgh, a very interactive array of student societies (or clubs as we call them in America) have sprung up over the years and there's never a lack of anything to do in town whether it be a themed night out at the pub with your society (Quidditch Pub Crawl with the Harry Potter Society is not to be missed!), a Bop in the Student Union, or a film playing. If you're not keen on extracurricular activities, there are usually a plethora of house parties, pub quizzes, and other things I'm sure you'll find your way into. The town has one tiny but veritable "night club" called The Lizard in the basement of one of the local hotels and you must go at least once just to experience it. If I had to pick one social highlight of my time in St Andrews though it would be the balls that are thrown periodically. Nothing is more fun and foreign from American college culture than dressing up in a glamorous dress or tuxedo and dancing the night away in some magical, classy location your fellow students have slaved over planning and setting up.

Since Scotland is a relatively small country and has amazing public transportation via trains and buses, it's quite easy to use your weekends to head north and explore its beautiful Highlands and Lochs, or take the train or a cheap 10 pound overnight Megabus from Edinburgh down to London. There are lots of cheap flights that fly out of Edinburgh to other European cities as well if you've got the time and cash to spare.

If you couldn't tell so far, I adored my time in St Andrews and it's made me greatly consider obtaining my post-graduate degree in Scotland just so I can go back. The only downsides that I heard my fellow Americans gripe about were the weather (it's very, very windy in St Andrews and sometimes rainy so pack accordingly!), the food (I quite like British cuisine but picky eaters sometimes find eating out difficult), and of course the dollar to pound conversion. I consider none of these deterrents though, and I hope you don't either!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have closer contact between the study abroad officers and the students who have come in on a program. I would also include during orientation what to do if you encounter a mental health hurdle as they don't currently do that.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Semester in Scotland

My semester abroad was an amazing experience! I was able to keep up with my necessary credits for school and travel Europe. I was enrolled simultaneously at Baylor and St. Andrews. While there, I took Arabic, Middle East History, a class on Tolkien, Scottish Hiking, and Scottish Music. I learned a lot in my classes there, but I learned far more outside the classroom. The program provides a BritRail pass; so I was able to travel around the UK all the time. I made multiple trips into Edinburgh and went to Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Inverness, Stonehaven (home of the best fish and chips in the UK and also boasts the castle where Hamlet was filmed), and other locations I can't think of at the moment. Most weekends I spent in St Andrews though. I made great friends there and we spent weekends exploring the charming town and taking in the night life. While it is a small town, the VIC is the club frequented by most St Andrews students and there are many pubs. St Andrews is the birth place of golf and it has three courses. St Andrews is also surrounded by water and has three beaches on the North Sea. There are cathedral ruins and a castle. There is a beautiful walking trail and the shops are adorable. The scones and macarons are amazing! I can't put into words how much I miss it right now. I did most of my traveling during Spring Break and during the two week review period before finals. The trip provides a 5 day trip to London during spring break. We stayed at a fabulous hotel and were given tickets to see Les Mis. On my own, I explored more of England; I went to York, Nottingham, and Penzance - all places I could visit with my BritRail pass. I also went to Paris and Dublin. I also had the opportunity to participate in the historic tradition of May Dip, where you plunge into the North Sea on the first day of May at dawn. This program is definitely one I would recommend. It is affordable, it's the same cost as normal tuition and I made lifelong memories. You have the opportunity to travel, you will get a great education, you will feel emersed in history, and you will make great friends!

3 people found this review helpful.

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