University of St. Andrews, Scotland: A Wonderfully and Unique Exerpience Past Review

By (English/Music Performance/Pre-Med, Tulane University) for

University of St. Andrews: St. Andrews - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to really understanding and experiencing another culture. I feel like I became a more mature, adult person who can handle anything life throws at me after living thousands of miles away from my home, my family, and things that are familiar and comfortable. It made me want to explore graduate schools options in the U.K.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The University of St. Andrews has a very different grading and teaching style from my home university, with more of a focus on independent study, with little class time. I enjoyed having more free time and small group time to study the subjects on my own and bring my own ideas and opinions to the classroom. Figuring out what letter grade my grades would transfer to from the U.K. was a challenge because there is not exact grade exchange. Overall, I found the challenge of the academics were less because we were given so much independent time to study and do the work. It would have helped had someone explained exactly what the university wanted in their papers because their style and expectations are extremely different from that of my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were supportive, offering lost of get-together to meet other study abroad students,written and verbal information, and general guidance and support. They were aware of the challenge of living in a new place far away from what is familiar. They were welcoming and helpful in every way, trying to fix anything that would be fixed to make your stay better. They also offered weekend trips to see the rest of the country, which really helped visiting students see and experience more of the culture they were visiting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The residence hall itself was a wonderful place to live. It was a lovely, old building with lots of charm and wonderful people. It was centrally located to all of my academic buildings and the center of town. I had to buy another blanket because the rooms were kept chilly even in the winter, and a top sheet. The only problem I had was with my roommate, who was not academically orientated, and who focused more on drinking enjoying herself and studying. She was also a freshman, living in a section of the building that was all third and fourth year women. She was a definite distraction and made the room an unpleasant place to live because she was immature and unhygienic, getting constant infections and parasite, such as pin worms. I had to ask to be moved because of her. Otherwise, the building and other people in the hall were a joy to live with, and I made many friends that I keep in touch with from my hall.

* Food:

It was basically healthy food, but it lacked variety and taste. On the budget they were cooking on, however, the food was decent. It all followed the government rules for healthy eating in schools. The food at the restaurants, pubs, and groceries in the town all had moderately prices, excellent food that was eaten routinely on the weekends for dinner because the dining hall did not cook on the weekends at dinner time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We tried a variety of Scotch Whisky, learned about the history and culture of the highland clans. We went on school organized weekend trips to see historic monuments and learn more about the culture and history of Scotland. There were lots of castle to explore, and lots of natural beauty. Hall sanctioned pub crawls were an excellent way to meet and get to know people. My favorite unique experience was the 'ceilidh,' which is basically a Scottish country dancing party. It was amazing and so much fun!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt uncomfortable at any point in my stay. I never felt unsafe, even late at night. I got very sick one week at the end of my stay and getting to the doctor, making an appointment, etc was all extremely easy through the university.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It was probably about $45 a weekend for everything at most. We walked most places, and only had to eat two meals out of hall. Pub food is cheap, and many of the places offer weekend deals for students, like two burgers for the prices of one, or half-price dinner plates of fish and chips if you ate earlier in the evening.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Airplane prices if you wish to travel anywhere outside of the country. Get a student railcard if you plan on using the train system in any country. The card pays for itself in one train ride, cutting your cost for later ones.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who is good at independent work, can manage their time well, and is mature will do well on this program. It is too easy to get behind on the work in this program because class meets so few times a week. Be open to every new experience and try to get involved in everything. Do your best to miss out on nothing.