I LOVE St Andrews! Past Review

By (Anthropology, University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 01/21/2016 to 05/27/2016 with

USAC Scotland: St. Andrews - Undergraduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was completely worthwhile! I learned so much while abroad - how much I can handle, my ability to get myself through the world by myself, and just how wonderful the world can be. Most of all, I learned to be confident in myself and my abilities and that I can do anything I put my mind to. I truly fell in love with St Andrews and with Scotland as a whole and I can't wait to go back.

Review Photos

USAC: St. Andrews, Scotland - University of St. Andrews Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: St. Andrews, Scotland - University of St. Andrews Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: St. Andrews, Scotland - University of St. Andrews Undergraduate Courses Photo USAC: St. Andrews, Scotland - University of St. Andrews Undergraduate Courses Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My classes were very rigorous, but it could be difficult to find the resources, like books, that you needed, as oftentimes many people were required to use the same material at the same time

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Most of the university administration I encountered was great, but the study abroad office was not very helpful when I went there to submit some paperwork for my home institution. It was very small and the staff was unorganized. The USAC administration was not very helpful during my time abroad. They were rarely in contact with us and when they did make contact it was minimal. This may have been due to a staffing issue, as there was a change in program advisor while I was abroad, but it was still sometimes concerning that USAC was not as supportive as they might have been

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my living arrangements! I was in a dorm call St Regulus. It's one of the smaller dorms at the university, with about 180 residents. My roommate was another study abroad student, but most of the dorm was full time students from all over the world. I enjoyed the communal meals, proximity to the center of town, and the private bathroom facilities. I made most of my friends within my dorm and I'm so glad I received the rooming assignment I did.

* Food:

The food was good, if a bit simple and sometimes repetitive. There were also fewer options than at home, but that is understandable as the kitchen was preparing food for a much smaller number of students

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated in the student community. It was easy to join clubs and I made friends quickly among the full time students in my dorm. That said, I did not feel I integrated fully into Scottish culture, as St Andrews is a very international university, with students and faculty from all over the world. This, along with the general "posh"-ness of the University, meant that there was sometimes a divide between the University and the town.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any experience with the healthcare, but a friend who did had a positive experience. I did catch a bit of a sniffle about halfway through the program, but it was very easy to find the medicine I needed, as there are two pharmacies in town.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in St Andrews. Access to my dorm was restricted to its residents and my room had lock and key. The town itself always felt safe and friendly, even at night.

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

Despite the lack of support from USAC while abroad, I would definitely 'do it all again' with the same program because of the greatness of St Andrews and the pre-departure guidance given by USAC.


* 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)

While the program and housing were fairly expensive, once I got there, expenses were fairly minimal. In my living arrangement, all meals were provided except for dinner twice a week. There were many restaurants in town at all price ranges as well as grocery stores to get food. Most of my books were from the library and there were several charity shops in town if I needed clothing or other things.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are willing to wait a day or two to get bedding and towels, there is a Primark in Dundee (about a 30 minute bus ride away), where you can get things like that cheaper than in town. There are also many charity shops where you can find some necessities or clothing - I got a dress for my hall ball for only 5 pounds!


* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • Friends made
* What could be improved?
  • More support while abroad
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the relationship I would have with USAC while abroad. I also wish I had known with absolute certainty that all of the stress, paperwork, packing, and pre-departure anxiety would be 100% worth it!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'