A Pleasant But Interesting Experience Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/28/2018 to 05/25/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a good experience, but I felt very isolated because of the strikes (no routine, no class setting to make friends). So I matured in a lot of personal ways. I also feel more confident traveling and making decisions.

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 professors were on strike during my entire semester, so I was barely taught material-- and when I was, the material was very confusing because of missed class time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Neutral. They did not offer much assistance, but I didn't feel like they would be inaccessible if I were to need something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Less funding for food than in the US.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Very easy and free for me.

* Safety:

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

I found the strikes to be really disruptive, I never went to class/had a routine/made friends or felt settled because of it. I would have also liked to be somewhere where the weather is not as treacherous. However, at the same time I really loved Scotland, loved walking on the beaches, and loved the town of St. Andrews. My experience with the school was just odd.


* 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 ate in town a lot more than in my catered Hall because the dining hours were short 30 minute windows, and it often took me 30 minutes to walk from my class to my dorm.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? it varied, but probably 100 or so


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

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?

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?
  • setting
  • ability to travel
  • local Scottish friends
* What could be improved?
  • organization
  • food quality in dorms
  • feeling more welcomed and included (maybe more emphasis on abroad students in Halls)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that class registration is nothing to stress about, and that it is all taken care of easily when you get there.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Scottish Literature

Course Department: English
Instructor: Peter Mackay
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was fine, I have a hard time assessing because of the teacher strikes the entire semester. Class was not held very frequently, and when it was, the material was a little confusing because it seemed out of order and to be missing background info (that would have been covered if classes were held). The professor was cheerful, energetic and clearly passionate, however.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am an A student, and am receiving B- for both classes that I worked very hard in. I would hope that students are aware of this before choosing to enroll, and can afford the GPA hit.
Course Name/Rating:

Writing Poetry

Course Department: English
Instructor: Emma Jones
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was great, even though it was affected by the strikes. The environment was really friendly and Emma made it very comfortable to share work out loud and in front of other students. The class was not very challenging, but more enjoyable and relaxing. It seemed more focused on the joy of literature than rigid schooling.
Credit Transfer Issues: Again, I would normally have earned an A in this class, but I think I am receiving a B or B-. It is upsetting, considering the fact that I put a lot of effort in.