Best Semester Ever: A Highland Tale Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/23/2017 to 05/12/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was DEFINITELY worthwhile. I got comfortable doing things myself, learned how to cook, and got a whole different style of teaching that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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 teaching approach was hands off, very student motivated. I preferred this style of teaching, because it allowed me great flexibility in my schedule. I am used to writing lengthy papers, so the 2000 word papers (including citations) that St. Andrews wanted was well within my academic prowess. Though office hours were difficult to come by sometimes, I found my professors to be overall accommodating and helpful. I also thoroughly enjoyed the setup of the modules: two one-hour lectures and two one-hour discussions per weeks. It was really nice being able to have an input in the material I was analyzing, and found my classmates to be engaged in the work too.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved DRA for its big beds, great food, and my own bathroom, but the distance was the only thing keeping this from being perfect.

* Food:

The food in DRA was much better than I thought it would be. They have a full breakfast every morning, and a salad bar for lunch and dinner. They did everything from burritos to classic Scottish dishes. I particularly loved their chicken!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was not as much cultural integration as I thought. Because DRA was so far away from town center, it was always a hike to get anywhere. I didn't mind that, but it meant I mostly kept to the other study abroad students who lived in the same complex as me. Also, I lived with a bunch of first years who were very self-centered and frankly rude. They had their own group of friends and I think they saw my living in the suite as an invasion.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Though a little confusing, I was quickly treated for my illness and my prescription was filled in about 15 minutes.

* Safety:

I would go out running at night and never felt like I was insecure.

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

The friends I made there really made the program. I loved the area, the people, and my classes.


* 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 was on the meal plan and just shopped at Tesco, so I didn't spend much.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20 pounds
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use Amazon Pantry to ship a large quantity of something you always love eating. For me, it was rice. For others, pasta is something cheap and filling. That way, you always have food at home and there is no excuse for having to "go out". Also, there are always student discounts at restaurants, especially takeaways, so don't be afraid to ask.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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
  • Hotel
* 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?
  • Other International Students
  • Access to Other Cities/Room to Explore
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • My Accommodation
  • The Orientation for JSAs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It will be difficult to make friends that are locals. I found many of them already have friends and aren't really looking for anything more. Don't expect things to naturally come to you (deadlines to be announced, programs checking in on you), be self-motivated, and just enjoy!

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.