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Edinburgh vs. St Andrews

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    Which is "better".

    Can anyone give me the pros and cons of each.

    My son was admitted to St Andrews for International Relations, and is considering applying to Edinburgh as well.
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    St andrews had a sign on the guys toilet saying your not allowed to rub one off cos guys were leaving stains on the floor lol classy I know...other than that it's all right
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    Can't believe I just said that 2 someones father *face palm*
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    Well, as a student at Edinburgh I can tell you that the university in general is fantastic. It's well organised, gives students great opportunities and I've found my course to be of a very high standard. Admittedly, I don't know a lot about International Relations. However, Edinburgh is placed high up in the world university league tables (subjective as they may be...) so that's something to bear in mind as it's always good when international employers recognise your university.

    As for which is 'better', I'm not going to bias because I personally haven't been to St. Andrews. I've heard good things about it and obviously, it also has that 'prestige' factor which is popular abroad. Really though, both of these universities are usually considered to be the best in Scotland.

    I'd advise your son to visit (or revisit) Edinburgh if he has the chance and to check out the course structure online.

    Lastly, one thing to also bear in mind is the area itself. I've heard of some people who love St Andrews as a university but find the area to be dull (how true that is, I don't know), whereas you get the vibrant city-life with Edinburgh.
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    The biggest difference is the location. St. Andrews might be a little more like a lot of American colleges, small town, most of the people around are gonna be college kids. Edinburgh is a pretty big city, so that's gonna be more like going to Georgetown or NYU or something.

    St. Andrew's also has a reputation for being a bit snobbish I think, Edinburgh less so. St. Andrew's probably has more Americans than Edinburgh.

    Really though you should visit them both, because that's gonna be where you feel the biggest differences. Prestige wise, they are pretty similar I think, maybe St. Andrews is a little more well-known, but Edinburgh's International Relations program is supposed to be great.

    They'll both be a lot colder than Florida!
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    (Original post by Fmallabykay12)
    Prestige wise, they are pretty similar I think, maybe St. Andrews is a little more well-known
    Pretty strongly disagree with you there. Having a prince attend the university does not make the university more prestigious. Edinburgh's reputation on the international stage is significantly bigger and better than that of St Andrews.
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    (Original post by nearlyheadlessian)
    Pretty strongly disagree with you there. Having a prince attend the university does not make the university more prestigious. Edinburgh's reputation on the international stage is significantly bigger and better than that of St Andrews.
    Fair enough. That's the impression I got in the UK as well.. However, it seems that in America St. Andrews is just as well known
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    (Original post by Fmallabykay12)
    The biggest difference is the location. St. Andrews might be a little more like a lot of American colleges, small town, most of the people around are gonna be college kids. Edinburgh is a pretty big city, so that's gonna be more like going to Georgetown or NYU or something.

    St. Andrew's also has a reputation for being a bit snobbish I think, Edinburgh less so. St. Andrew's probably has more Americans than Edinburgh.

    Really though you should visit them both, because that's gonna be where you feel the biggest differences. Prestige wise, they are pretty similar I think, maybe St. Andrews is a little more well-known, but Edinburgh's International Relations program is supposed to be great.

    They'll both be a lot colder than Florida!
    ...Edinburgh city is tiny. 10 minutes you're in the country side. Which is awesome - you get the city stuff as well as the calm. Chilling on the meadows with friends in the summer etc. Edinburgh has parks, lakes and things like arthurs seat(massive hill you can climb to view the city) in the middle of the city(like 15 min walk from the University), making views in most buildings and flats stunning!

    I wish i could find the picture of the view from my room in pollock halls =(

    Both universities are 'quite posh'. Edinburgh has a masssss of international students from all over the world.

    With Edinburgh you can live what you like because there's so much to do around here. Aka if you're one for clubbing, then you've got access to all of that which i've heard in st andrews you do not and it's generall quiet/boring. If you're not into clubbing then there's billions of other stuff to do in the city.

    There's also Edinburgh festival =).
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    (Original post by floridadad55)
    Which is "better".

    Can anyone give me the pros and cons of each.

    My son was admitted to St Andrews for International Relations, and is considering applying to Edinburgh as well.
    Hi I am from Canada and I got conditionally accepted by both St. Andrews and Edinburgh, same as your son, Im going to study International Relations in 2012.
    I personally have never been to the UK, but my dad has been to both of the universities. According to him, Edinburgh is more internationally well know for its good quality of education and the university has a better location, as the city is really fascinating and students will not get bored so easily. St. Andrews, in comparison, is less famous academically. Well the fact that the prince has attended there definitely makes St. Andrews sound more "attractive." But the location of it is not as appealing as Edinburgh...
    But St. Andrews apparently had a higher requirement, which I had to apply many other additional materials.

    Since I do not want to be trapped in a small town and based on my father's advice, I think I chose Edinburgh over St. Andrews...
    and well Edinburgh has lower conditions which I can meet quite easily
    Hope that will help
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    (Original post by kateko)
    Hi I am from Canada and I got conditionally accepted by both St. Andrews and Edinburgh, same as your son, Im going to study International Relations in 2012.
    I personally have never been to the UK, but my dad has been to both of the universities. According to him, Edinburgh is more internationally well know for its good quality of education and the university has a better location, as the city is really fascinating and students will not get bored so easily. St. Andrews, in comparison, is less famous academically. Well the fact that the prince has attended there definitely makes St. Andrews sound more "attractive." But the location of it is not as appealing as Edinburgh...
    But St. Andrews apparently had a higher requirement, which I had to apply many other additional materials.

    Since I do not want to be trapped in a small town and based on my father's advice, I think I chose Edinburgh over St. Andrews...
    and well Edinburgh has lower conditions which I can meet quite easily
    Hope that will help



    Kateko:

    Personally, I agree with your father. But I think my son feels differently. By the way, it seems the Edinburgh is ranked much higher on the "world university" rankings than St Andrews, but that St Andrews is ranked higher than Edinburgh in the "UK only" rankings. Which is kind of curious. Anyway, best luck. This should be the opportunity of a lifetime for you. I hope you will remember to thank you father from time to time for giving you that opportunity. Sounds like you have a good father.
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    (Original post by AshleyT)
    ...Edinburgh city is tiny. 10 minutes you're in the country side. Which is awesome - you get the city stuff as well as the calm. Chilling on the meadows with friends in the summer etc. Edinburgh has parks, lakes and things like arthurs seat(massive hill you can climb to view the city) in the middle of the city(like 15 min walk from the University), making views in most buildings and flats stunning!

    I wish i could find the picture of the view from my room in pollock halls =(

    Both universities are 'quite posh'. Edinburgh has a masssss of international students from all over the world.

    With Edinburgh you can live what you like because there's so much to do around here. Aka if you're one for clubbing, then you've got access to all of that which i've heard in st andrews you do not and it's generall quiet/boring. If you're not into clubbing then there's billions of other stuff to do in the city.

    There's also Edinburgh festival =).
    Lakes? LAKES?! There are no lakes in Scotland for a start, only lochs. Plus the 'massive hill' is hardly massive considering we have the highest mountains in the United Kingdom. And it's called Arthur's Seat.
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    (Original post by Emliy)
    Lakes? LAKES?! There are no lakes in Scotland for a start, only lochs. Plus the 'massive hill' is hardly massive considering we have the highest mountains in the United Kingdom. And it's called Arthur's Seat.
    One would assume that the poster knew that but they were explaining it to someone who doesn't. If you say "there's also Arthur's Seat" then move on that's hardly helpful to someone who doesn't know what Arthur's Seat is which is why it was explained as a massive hill. In relation to Edinburgh itself Arthur's Seat is a massive hill. The fact that there are big mountains several hours away somewhere in Scotland doesn't really have anything to do with it as obviously in Edinburgh people denote landmarks in relation to the immediate scenery around them, they don't go "okay well today we're going to climb Arthur's Seat. Imagine Ben Nevis, its much much smaller than that -- can you guess which landmark in the city I'm talking about?" The poster wasn't saying that Arthur's Seat is a massive hill in the context of the whole wide world of hill heights, they were saying it is a massive hill in relation to the other hills in the city scape of Edinburgh to distinguish it from say, the Castle or Carlton Hill.

    There are no lochs in Edinburgh city centre - one would assume that they were talking about the ponds/pools/lakes/whatever you want to call a small pool of water in Holyrood Park. That is certainly not a loch.
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    (Original post by Emliy)
    Lakes? LAKES?! There are no lakes in Scotland for a start, only lochs.
    What about poor old Lake of Menteith? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_of_Menteith

    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    There are no lochs in Edinburgh city centre - one would assume that they were talking about the ponds/pools/lakes/whatever you want to call a small pool of water in Holyrood Park. That is certainly not a loch.
    Actually, it is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holyroo...garet.27s_Loch
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    (Original post by Emliy)
    Lakes? LAKES?! There are no lakes in Scotland for a start, only lochs. Plus the 'massive hill' is hardly massive considering we have the highest mountains in the United Kingdom. And it's called Arthur's Seat.
    LOL

    Loch is the same thing as a lake....You call it a loch, we call it a lake.

    What has Ben nevis got to do with anything?

    And I was describing Arthurs seat which can only be described, in Edinburgh, as the massive hill you can see from most places - what's your problem eh? Not many who are not in Edinburgh are going to know what Arthurs seat is.
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    (Original post by nearlyheadlessian)
    What about poor old Lake of Menteith? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_of_Menteith



    Actually, it is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holyroo...garet.27s_Loch
    Lakes and lochs are the same thing though...
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    (Original post by AshleyT)
    LOL

    Loch is the same thing as a lake....You call it a loch, we call it a lake..
    Not really. It's Loch Ness rather than Lake Ness. Loch Lomond, not Lake Lomond. Just as Lake Coniston is a lake, not a Loch. You can't start messing with the toponomy of established names...
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    (Original post by nearlyheadlessian)
    Not really. It's Loch Ness rather than Lake Ness. Loch Lomond, not Lake Lomond. Just as Lake Coniston is a lake, not a Loch. You can't start messing with the toponomy of established names...
    Aye, but in the context of speaking about 'there being lots of lakes around' - its the same thing. It would be like arguing with someone French for calling what they see a 'lac'.
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    Princes St. Gardens used to be the old Nor Loch where people in the old days would dump rubbish, sewage and the occasional body. Obviously, it was filled in years ago and there are now no longer any lochs in the area. That said, I've just lived in this city all my life and never studied at the University, so what do I know about anything that goes on here? :smug:

    You're also forgetting Dunsapie Loch which can be found on Arthur's Seat... there are swans there. Good road for test driving cars on. Also, Carlton Hill doesn't exist. Again, not a student at the University so how would I know? Also, Edinburgh isn't "tiny" - if you live and work here you'll discover it's much bigger and much harder to get around than you might have previously thought.

    To bring a semblance of this thread being moderately on topic, I should also add that I attended St Andrews for two years and even back then it could be seen to be losing its edge and prestige on the international stage and, anecdotally, the students are getting very slightly less satisfied year on year from those I have spoken to. I found the University to be very disorganised, inefficiently run and all too willing to wash its hands of students who ran into personal problems which inhibited their capacity to study. Apparently losing your mother immediately before Christmas isn't an acceptable excuse for underperforming in your exams? :holmes: happened to a friend of mine and he nearly got kicked out.

    For prestige and global presence, stick with Edinburgh as it's a much more "trusted brand" IMO. Everyone I know who went there has loved it with minimal complaints, unlike St Andrews which was Moan Central. Edinburgh also seems to be lacking the arrogant head-in-the-clouds management and looming financial problems (£4m? Let's spend that on refurbishing the Principal's house and we can postpone the urgent library upgrade for another two years ) that St Andrews is faced with.
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    (Original post by ch0llima)
    Princes St. Gardens used to be the old Nor Loch where people in the old days would dump rubbish, sewage and the occasional body. Obviously, it was filled in years ago and there are now no longer any lochs in the area.
    Apart from St Margaret's Loch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holyroo...garet.27s_Loch

    Just as legit as Nor Loch surely (given that Nor Loch was man made)...

    Dunsapie Loch counts, as does, surely, Duddingston Loch?

    (Original post by ch0llima)
    Also, Edinburgh isn't "tiny" - if you live and work here you'll discover it's much bigger and much harder to get around than you might have previously thought.
    Yeah, but that's a typical student opinion - most students won't get beyond the east or west ends of Princes Street, further north than Queen Street or further south than the Meadows.
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    Both are great universities, my cousin studies in St. Andrews but I applied to Edinburgh (and I'm definitely accepting their offer). My cousin's doing IR as an outside course, but he doesn't like it, says it's too much about politics or something. He loves the Econ and Philosophy courses though. But, while he's enjoying the university, he also said that St. Andrews has about 3 streets and the whole place is about as big as a shopping mall. He did say that he has to go to Dundee for shopping, but I think he may have been exaggerating. Though, it IS beautiful, but so is Edinburgh.

    I think with Edinburgh you get a more rounded experience, and that's just my opinion. You get city life (it's no London but it's a bit more urban than St. Andrews), pretty meadows, castles, history, culture, festivals, as well as an amazing education. Oh and they both have a LOT of international students apparently, and are very well respected worldwide, though as people have said Edinburgh edges St. Andrews on the global rankings.
Updated: July 21, 2013
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