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    Hi!

    I'm a slightly uninformed yank that wants to study here. Would anyone be interested in messaging me to answer a few questions on studying in St. Andrews?

    Thanks! =D
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    What kind of things would you like to know?
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    What kind of things would you like to know?
    A lot! haha.

    How selective is the school?

    What are your favorite parts about it?

    What are you studying?

    What makes it stand out from other schools?

    Why did you choose to go there?

    Thats it for now. I'll have more soon enough! Thanks
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    (Original post by icehockeyolive)
    A lot! haha.

    How selective is the school?

    What are your favorite parts about it?

    What are you studying?

    What makes it stand out from other schools?

    Why did you choose to go there?

    Thats it for now. I'll have more soon enough! Thanks
    I guess it's pretty selective in terms of grades and how competitive it is to get in. I think most people here have AAA or AAB at A-level or AAAB at Scottish Higher(about 555 in AP and/or 700 in SAT subject tests I think). It’s maybe not as difficult to get into as some unis (like Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial etc), but it’s more so than most.

    Fav parts: Pretty town by the sea; nice place to study; how friendly and active some of the student societies are; plenty to get involved in and events to goto (you need never be bored unless you want to be); how great my course and tutors are.

    I’m studying medicine, the medicine faculty and teaching here is great. I’ve heard mixed reports about other faculties, but I think it mainly depends on how much you like a particular professors teaching style; although in the spirit of old unis and eccentric academics, some of the faculties can be a bit disorganized at times.

    What makes St A stand out: Small picturesque town on the North Sea; tons of photo ops and the occasional glimpse of the Northern Lights; loads of weird and wonderful traditions (Raisin Weekendand the 1st year foam fight in the quad, May Dip, the pier walk, the pier jump, the Gaudie); what feels like hundreds of balls, ceildhs and other student events; oldest university in Scotland and 3rd oldest in the English speaking world. Scotland’s gorgeous too.

    I came here because I really liked the medical school and staff on the open day, felt that the course content and structure really suited me, and fell in love with the town.

    It seems most people either love it or hate it here, which is mostly down to it being such a small and isolated town, wedon’t call it ‘The Bubble’ for nothing. The closed off feeling here is more psychological and social than geographical– Dundee is only 20-30 min away and Edinburgh 1 ½ hours on the train, but a lot of people feel claustrophobic later on in the semester. In some ways it’s nice, being immersed in student life and your friends, but it can also seem a bit unreal until you go home or out of town for a bit and get some perspective. Just be sure you’d be happy being in a small town, the social life here can be great as long as you don’t only like the kind of nightlife that a big city can provide.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    I guess it's pretty selective in terms of grades and how competitive it is to get in. I think most people here have AAA or AAB at A-level or AAAB at Scottish Higher(about 555 in AP and/or 700 in SAT subject tests I think). It’s maybe not as difficult to get into as some unis (like Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial etc), but it’s more so than most.

    Fav parts: Pretty town by the sea; nice place to study; how friendly and active some of the student societies are; plenty to get involved in and events to goto (you need never be bored unless you want to be); how great my course and tutors are.

    I’m studying medicine, the medicine faculty and teaching here is great. I’ve heard mixed reports about other faculties, but I think it mainly depends on how much you like a particular professors teaching style; although in the spirit of old unis and eccentric academics, some of the faculties can be a bit disorganized at times.

    What makes St A stand out: Small picturesque town on the North Sea; tons of photo ops and the occasional glimpse of the Northern Lights; loads of weird and wonderful traditions (Raisin Weekendand the 1st year foam fight in the quad, May Dip, the pier walk, the pier jump, the Gaudie); what feels like hundreds of balls, ceildhs and other student events; oldest university in Scotland and 3rd oldest in the English speaking world. Scotland’s gorgeous too.

    I came here because I really liked the medical school and staff on the open day, felt that the course content and structure really suited me, and fell in love with the town.

    It seems most people either love it or hate it here, which is mostly down to it being such a small and isolated town, wedon’t call it ‘The Bubble’ for nothing. The closed off feeling here is more psychological and social than geographical– Dundee is only 20-30 min away and Edinburgh 1 ½ hours on the train, but a lot of people feel claustrophobic later on in the semester. In some ways it’s nice, being immersed in student life and your friends, but it can also seem a bit unreal until you go home or out of town for a bit and get some perspective. Just be sure you’d be happy being in a small town, the social life here can be great as long as you don’t only like the kind of nightlife that a big city can provide.
    Alrighty. Thanks! Do they like volunteer hours and work experience? I have a lot of that. I want to study environmental earth sciences there and got a 5 on the AP US history test, planning to take the AP government and AP macroeconomics tests. Also will take a math and chemistry SAT. My grades are A's but I did get a few B's because I got a concussion right before final exams and wasn't allowed to study!

    Sounds awesome! How far is it from major cities and that? Is there a train station?

    Cool. Do you know much about the earth sciences department?

    Nice! Sounds like a neat place then!

    Thats cool. I may visit during the 1st week of April!

    That will be fine with me. I prefer the small town feel because I grew up in one so I think I'll be able to survive!

    Also...

    How expensive is living there? What is the housing situation like?

    Thanks for the help I really appreciate it!
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    (Original post by icehockeyolive)
    Alrighty. Thanks! Do they like volunteer hours and work experience? I have a lot of that. I want to study environmental earth sciences there and got a 5 on the AP US history test, planning to take the AP government and AP macroeconomics tests. Also will take a math and chemistry SAT. My grades are A's but I did get a few B's because I got a concussion right before final exams and wasn't allowed to study!

    Sounds awesome! How far is it from major cities and that? Is there a train station?

    Cool. Do you know much about the earth sciences department?

    Nice! Sounds like a neat place then!

    Thats cool. I may visit during the 1st week of April!

    That will be fine with me. I prefer the small town feel because I grew up in one so I think I'll be able to survive!

    Also...

    How expensive is living there? What is the housing situation like?

    Thanks for the help I really appreciate it!
    I think they like to see volunteering and work experience, especially if it's relevant to what you want to study - they like to see in your personal statement that you are dedicated to your subject.

    The nearest cities are Dundee and Edinburgh, Dundee is a lot closer but also smaller and not as nice. St Andrews doesn't have it's own train station (they closed in in the 1960s - stupid, right?), so you have to get the train to/from Leuchars which is about 15 minutes away by bus, the bus service here is pretty good, there's a big bus station in the middle of town and regular buses to and from Leuchars. Dundee takes about 20 minutes to half an hour on the train, Edinburgh 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 40. If you're interesting in ice skating (as i assume from your username ), Dundee is where the nearest rink is and the ice skating club do regular trips there.

    Sorry, I don't really know anything about the earth sciences department (other than a girl in halls in first year moaning about the maths content of her geology module!).

    If you're thinking of coming here you should definitely come to one of the open days, it really helps you decide whether you like it or not, and you don't want to be stuck all the way over the pond if you end up not being that keen on the place you'll have to study at for 4 years.

    Unfortunately, it's really quite expensive to live here (partly because it attracts wealthy tourists), the Tesco (supermarket) here is apparently the most expensive in the UK.
    Honestly, rent is horrific most places as the town is overcrowded with students and tourists and there's not all that much accommodation available; there's a bit of a housing crisis really. For first year you're guaranteed a place in halls, some of which is very expensive (catered single ensuite is around £7500 a year I think, and shared standard catered around £6000), although you can request one of the cheaper halls (Albany Park or Andrew Melville, around £3000 and £5000).
    In terms of renting privately, prices vary a lot and are most expensive nearer the centre of town, I'm paying £500 a month (not including utilities) for a room in a shared flat a bit outside the town centre (10 to 15 min walk from town centre or my uni buildings). Prices can be as low as £350 if you don't mind being further out; town centre can be £650 or more a month.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    I think they like to see volunteering and work experience, especially if it's relevant to what you want to study - they like to see in your personal statement that you are dedicated to your subject.

    The nearest cities are Dundee and Edinburgh, Dundee is a lot closer but also smaller and not as nice. St Andrews doesn't have it's own train station (they closed in in the 1960s - stupid, right?), so you have to get the train to/from Leuchars which is about 15 minutes away by bus, the bus service here is pretty good, there's a big bus station in the middle of town and regular buses to and from Leuchars. Dundee takes about 20 minutes to half an hour on the train, Edinburgh 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 40. If you're interesting in ice skating (as i assume from your username ), Dundee is where the nearest rink is and the ice skating club do regular trips there.

    Sorry, I don't really know anything about the earth sciences department (other than a girl in halls in first year moaning about the maths content of her geology module!).

    If you're thinking of coming here you should definitely come to one of the open days, it really helps you decide whether you like it or not, and you don't want to be stuck all the way over the pond if you end up not being that keen on the place you'll have to study at for 4 years.

    Unfortunately, it's really quite expensive to live here (partly because it attracts wealthy tourists), the Tesco (supermarket) here is apparently the most expensive in the UK.
    Honestly, rent is horrific most places as the town is overcrowded with students and tourists and there's not all that much accommodation available; there's a bit of a housing crisis really. For first year you're guaranteed a place in halls, some of which is very expensive (catered single ensuite is around £7500 a year I think, and shared standard catered around £6000), although you can request one of the cheaper halls (Albany Park or Andrew Melville, around £3000 and £5000).
    In terms of renting privately, prices vary a lot and are most expensive nearer the centre of town, I'm paying £500 a month (not including utilities) for a room in a shared flat a bit outside the town centre (10 to 15 min walk from town centre or my uni buildings). Prices can be as low as £350 if you don't mind being further out; town centre can be £650 or more a month.
    Alrighty, thats good to know!

    Cool! Sounds good but kind of isolated. Are the buses expensive? How hard it is to get around?

    Haha, it's alright, thanks!

    Geez...thats expensive. I honestly don't think I can afford that :/ Does the school give financial aid of any sort?

    I've looked into the tuition price, which is pretty high as well compared to other British schools. The reason I want to go to the UK is because tuition is cheaper in many areas, it is an English speaking country, and the schools are good. St. Andrews seems awesome but I really don't think I can afford it since it is at the high end of my budget. Thanks anyways for the help though I really appreciate it!

    I am certainly considering it for a graduate degree though so your answers are still very helpful!
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    (Original post by icehockeyolive)
    Alrighty, thats good to know!

    Cool! Sounds good but kind of isolated. Are the buses expensive? How hard it is to get around?

    Haha, it's alright, thanks!

    Geez...thats expensive. I honestly don't think I can afford that :/ Does the school give financial aid of any sort?

    I've looked into the tuition price, which is pretty high as well compared to other British schools. The reason I want to go to the UK is because tuition is cheaper in many areas, it is an English speaking country, and the schools are good. St. Andrews seems awesome but I really don't think I can afford it since it is at the high end of my budget. Thanks anyways for the help though I really appreciate it!

    I am certainly considering it for a graduate degree though so your answers are still very helpful!
    Yeah, it's definitely isolated! A bus to Leuchars is about £2, I don't know about to Dundee or Edinburgh as I always take the train (£13 to Edinburgh, £11 if you have a student railcard). tbh most people don't bother to travel out of St Andrews very often even if their school schedule allows it (mine doesn't most of the time).

    The university does offer financial advice and support such as accommodation bursaries and the discretionary fund if you are from a low income family. There are also various scholarships and academic bursaries you can apply for. I would never have been able to afford it here without them!
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    Does anyone know about the Management department in terms of postgraduate courses? Theresheglows, maybe you've heard something?
    And, in general terms... are there a decent amount of postgrads? because I am fine with being in a small town, but I'm 24 and if the whole place is only filled with 18-20 folks, it could become claustrophobic for me, in terms of social life (don't want to offend anybody here, but it's normal to be more keen on hanging out with ppl of the same age). Moreover, I am Italian and never lived in Scotland, so I still have to discover everything about scot uni culture :-)
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    Yeah, it's definitely isolated! A bus to Leuchars is about £2, I don't know about to Dundee or Edinburgh as I always take the train (£13 to Edinburgh, £11 if you have a student railcard). tbh most people don't bother to travel out of St Andrews very often even if their school schedule allows it (mine doesn't most of the time).

    The university does offer financial advice and support such as accommodation bursaries and the discretionary fund if you are from a low income family. There are also various scholarships and academic bursaries you can apply for. I would never have been able to afford it here without them!
    Alrighty, seems good. How far is the nearest international airport?

    Do they offer that for international students as well? I'll consider it. The high rent is a big drawback.
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    The nearest international airport is Edinburgh Turnhouse, which is about 50 miles away. There are trams to Edinburgh Park and Haymarket train stations. The ticket is £5. There is a construction work being carried out at Guardbridge and bus trip between St Andrews and Leuchars train station may take longer. Sharing a taxi with 4 other people costs around £20 and takes over an hour.
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    (Original post by SmarTone)
    The nearest international airport is Edinburgh Turnhouse, which is about 50 miles away. There are trams to Edinburgh Park and Haymarket train stations. The ticket is £5. There is a construction work being carried out at Guardbridge and bus trip between St Andrews and Leuchars train station may take longer. Sharing a taxi with 4 other people costs around £20 and takes over an hour.
    Alrighty. Sounds good, thanks!
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    Hello! Please can anyone tell me about the shopping in St.A? Are there any high street stores there? x
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    (Original post by memeuni)
    Hello! Please can anyone tell me about the shopping in St.A? Are there any high street stores there? x
    Yes, there are high street stores here, just not a large range as it's a very small town. There's a Boots, Tesco, WHSmith, Rymans, Paperchase, H&M, New Look, Superdry, Jack Wills, Bobbi Brown and a few others. If you really enjoy shopping the closest cities are Dundee or Edinburgh.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    I guess it's pretty selective in terms of grades and how competitive it is to get in. I think most people here have AAA or AAB at A-level or AAAB at Scottish Higher(about 555 in AP and/or 700 in SAT subject tests I think). It’s maybe not as difficult to get into as some unis (like Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial etc), but it’s more so than most.

    Fav parts: Pretty town by the sea; nice place to study; how friendly and active some of the student societies are; plenty to get involved in and events to goto (you need never be bored unless you want to be); how great my course and tutors are.

    I’m studying medicine, the medicine faculty and teaching here is great. I’ve heard mixed reports about other faculties, but I think it mainly depends on how much you like a particular professors teaching style; although in the spirit of old unis and eccentric academics, some of the faculties can be a bit disorganized at times.

    What makes St A stand out: Small picturesque town on the North Sea; tons of photo ops and the occasional glimpse of the Northern Lights; loads of weird and wonderful traditions (Raisin Weekendand the 1st year foam fight in the quad, May Dip, the pier walk, the pier jump, the Gaudie); what feels like hundreds of balls, ceildhs and other student events; oldest university in Scotland and 3rd oldest in the English speaking world. Scotland’s gorgeous too.

    I came here because I really liked the medical school and staff on the open day, felt that the course content and structure really suited me, and fell in love with the town.

    It seems most people either love it or hate it here, which is mostly down to it being such a small and isolated town, wedon’t call it ‘The Bubble’ for nothing. The closed off feeling here is more psychological and social than geographical– Dundee is only 20-30 min away and Edinburgh 1 ½ hours on the train, but a lot of people feel claustrophobic later on in the semester. In some ways it’s nice, being immersed in student life and your friends, but it can also seem a bit unreal until you go home or out of town for a bit and get some perspective. Just be sure you’d be happy being in a small town, the social life here can be great as long as you don’t only like the kind of nightlife that a big city can provide.
    Tell me anything about the medicine course at St Andrews (that makes it different from other unis?)
    How are the facilities?

    How many contact hours/ lectures/ anything else per week? (Is attendance to everything monitored?)

    What do you need to get in? (Anything specific or anything thats very important? Apart from work experience, futher reading, volunteering is there anything else you'd recommend?)

    What grades did you get? In which subjects?

    Is the accommodation nice? Very close to classes? Good food?

    Anything you dont like about the university?

    Anything else?

    (All the questions I have at the moment 😂)
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    Thank you for getting back to me! x
    (Original post by theresheglows)
    Yes, there are high street stores here, just not a large range as it's a very small town. There's a Boots, Tesco, WHSmith, Rymans, Paperchase, H&M, New Look, Superdry, Jack Wills, Bobbi Brown and a few others. If you really enjoy shopping the closest cities are Dundee or Edinburgh.
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    (Original post by RiahDawson)
    Tell me anything about the medicine course at St Andrews (that makes it different from other unis?)
    How are the facilities?

    How many contact hours/ lectures/ anything else per week? (Is attendance to everything monitored?)

    What do you need to get in? (Anything specific or anything thats very important? Apart from work experience, futher reading, volunteering is there anything else you'd recommend?)

    What grades did you get? In which subjects?

    Is the accommodation nice? Very close to classes? Good food?

    Anything you dont like about the university?

    Anything else?

    (All the questions I have at the moment 😂)
    Medicine in St A is very different from other unis, mainly because after 3 years of pre-clinical and a dissertation you graduate with a BSc and then move on to another partner medical school for the 3 years of clinical to get the MBBS. The feeling I get from med students at other unis is that we get more anatomy content, and probably more basic sciences than some other med schools.
    Facilities are great, the med school is brand new and state of the art, bright and airy, our lectures are all recorded (video as well as audio), the dissection room is the nicest I've seen; the only downside is that we don't have a dedicated medicine library, although we do have the anatomy resource centre, which is basically a study room with textbooks and anatomical models. And Galen (the online system) is awesome.

    Hours per week vary hugely year to year, semester to semester and week to week, you can have 6 hours one week and 14 the next. Lectures themselves mostly aren't compulsory, but if you don't either go or watch them on lecture echo you'll have had it when exam time rolls around every 6 weeks. For tutorials and practicals such as communication skills, clinical skills and dissection you have to sign in to prove attendance.

    As far as I can tell, once you meet the UKCAT cutoff and academic requirements, they look at all aspects of your application and judge them on an individual basis. I think they like you to be a good all-rounder and to have interests both within and outside the medical field. Emphasis your strengths in the personal statement, especially what you have learned from work experience.

    I did A-levels (A* bio, chem, psych, A eng lit), but this is by no means representative of the average grades of successful applicants.

    Accommodation is ok, varies a bit between halls, some people love it and some hate it. There's nowhere in St Andrews that's far from class compared to other unis; most halls are very close, no more than a 20 min walk for the furthest away. Food isn't great in my experience, but again varies between halls.

    One major problem is that there is an accommodation shortage here, so you're only guaranteed accommodation for first year, and the situation with private housing is crazy - competition for flats is intense and rent is hugely expensive (probably as high as London).

    There are always going to be things you don't like about any university. A lot of people here don't like how cliquey it can be; some of this varies with year groups, but the environment seems to unintentionally encourage it.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)

    One major problem is that there is an accommodation shortage here,
    No, there isn't. There may be an *affordable* accommodation shortage, but there's not a shortage of accommodation. They might be expensive, but, (http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...odation-level/) there were 155 empty beds in halls and 207 empty beds in private halls in November this year. Plus, the uni is building more bed spaces (http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/...modation-plan/).

    We also have a relatively high % of students in halls. If you look https://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/3313, about 21% of student live in halls across the UK. The St Andrews prospectus says 44% of our students live in halls.
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    (Original post by la_banane_verte)
    No, there isn't. There may be an *affordable* accommodation shortage, but there's not a shortage of accommodation. They might be expensive, but, (http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...odation-level/) there were 155 empty beds in halls and 207 empty beds in private halls in November this year. Plus, the uni is building more bed spaces (http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/...modation-plan/).

    We also have a relatively high % of students in halls. If you look https://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/3313, about 21% of student live in halls across the UK. The St Andrews prospectus says 44% of our students live in halls.
    Shortage of affordable accommodation is due to a shortage of actual accommodation pushing up rental prices, and is as good as an actual shortage: how many people do you think can afford £840 a month for private halls? (if you believe everything the saint says.... http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...-10000-a-year/ and they are also the paper that said there was a housing crisis http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...ousing-crisis/). These kind of costs make this kind of accommodation out of reach for most students. Empty beds in halls are a part of the problem, not an indication that there is more than enough accommodation (correlation is not causation), the university have said that they are holding back rooms due to an 'uncertain recruitment environment' (https://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/lo...ordable-homes/), this means that then when fewer students accept places than expected rooms are left empty leaving less accommodation available for students that are actually here (in previous years halls have usually been full, and everyone I knew who applied to stay in halls for 2nd year was turned down due to lack of rooms). Hence why first years are being shoehorned into postgraduate halls.
    The building plans may ease the situation, but are not due to be fully completed for at least another couple of years, by which time the number of students is likely to have increased even more. The university is taking on over increasing numbers of students, which is driving the problem. Not to mention the question of whether the new accommodation is going to be affordable, with the previously affordable Fife Park being demolished and replaced with apartment rooms that will cost £6300 per year hope is fading.

    The reason so many students live in halls is because the private sector rent is often prohibitively high and students are put off by the competitive market (https://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/lo...in-st-andrews/) and tales (most founded in reality) of unscrupulous behaviour by letting agents and landlords; there is not necessarily more hall accommodation proportionally than other unis, just that the demand for university accommodation is unusually high.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    A lot of people here don't like how cliquey it can be; some of this varies with year groups, but the environment seems to unintentionally encourage it.
    I also study Medicine at St A and would agree with everything you've said. The facilities here are top of the range and lecture echo is a life saver.

    However, sadly, I would also agree with the point I've quoted you on. Not necessarily isolated to the med school, it's a uni-wide thing. That, plus the prohibitively expensive cost of accommodation, means I now live in Dundee. My rent is ~1/3 of the price and it's nice to not be in the cliquey St A bubble.

    Also, lots of exams. I would say too many. I'm in third year so about to leave, but I've been on the verge of burning out more than once.
 
 
 
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