St. Andrews - An American University in Scotland July 29, 2022

By (Politics, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/11/2022 to 05/23/2022 with

Arcadia: St. Andrews - University of St Andrews

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I travelled a lot while abroad and this was an amazing experience. This made studying abroad worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall, my experience was good not great. I studied IR which was not rigorous at all. I only took two classes (which is normal) and each met for only two hours per week. I got very bored, especially because the town of St. Andrews is tiny so you run out of things to do. However, it’s is very beautiful there and it is really easy to get to Edinburgh.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

If you don’t study in Edinburgh Arcadia does next to nothing. They helped me move in which was great and they run fun weekend excursions. Outside of this I had no contact with them. If possible I would recommend direct enrollment to save the money - Arcadia is not worth it, I don’t really know what I was paying for.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing was great!

* Food:

The food itself at St. Andrews is fine. However the dining halls are only open for 1 hour per meal and if you miss this window you are out of luck. I paid for a lot of meals I wasn’t able to actually eat because I had class or another commitment and missed the mealtime.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

St. Andrews practically has more Americans than Scottish people, cultural integration was not a problem.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got COVID while abroad and St. Andrews connected me to helpful resources. Everyone there has a private gp so the school itself doesn’t really have an actual health center.

* Safety:

St. Andrews is in rural Scotland. You feel very safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I really loved Scotland but if I were to do it again I would study in Edinburgh. St. Andrews is very American and very small. I got bored very quickly and being in a bigger city would have been much more exciting. I also think I would have met more interesting people.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I had a meal plan so most meals were taken care of (if I was able to go to the dining hall during the mealtime). However groceries and going out is St. Andrews and everywhere in the UK was very expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • St. Andrews is beautiful
  • The other Arcadia students were great
  • Proximity to the rest of Europe/ease of travel
* What could be improved?
  • Rigor of classes
  • Exposure to local/non-American students
  • Food/dining system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? St. Andrews has a massive American population. Most of the time I did not feel like I was in Scotland.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.