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    Hi all, I'm a Canadian student, and I'm debating between St. Andrews and Edinburgh for a semester-long student exchange. I had been set on Edinburgh for a while, but looked into St. Andrews in case, and found out that I really liked a lot of what was being offered. I'm a history student. I need help deciding which university is better, so I'd appreciate any help or advice! Please note that grades nor cost of tuition is a concern because I only pay my basic fees to my home university.

    1) Is on-campus accommodation at St. Andrews filled primarily with first-year students? I'll be 21/22 while on exchange and I don't want to be the oldest one there.

    2) The university seems very sports-based and I'm not into any sports whatsoever. Will that be a problem?

    3) I'm not massively into partying either, though I do enjoy it sometimes. Are there still things for me to do in terms of a nightlife?

    4) Is the university as pretentious as the stereotype makes it out to be?

    5) How long would it take to get to the airport in Edinburgh from St. Andrews if you're taking a bus/train? I want to travel to other places in Europe on the weekends.

    Thank you so much in advance!
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    I spent a semester as an exchange student in St Andrews myself, and loved it so much that I came back for a full postgraduate degree. So I would personally recommend St Andrews, but it depends on which university offers a stronger degree and courses you like better, whether you prefer living in a city over living in a very small town, etc. I've looked into studying in Edinburgh as well and the university made a positive impression on me, but when I got my offer from St Andrews the choice was still very easy for me after the great semester I'd had here.

    As for your questions:
    1) There is different accommodation for undergraduate and (post)graduate students, but I'm going to assume you would be coming as an undergraduate. Yes, it is mostly first-year students in student accommodation. But there will always be some students from other years, and not all new students are 18 anyway. Most halls have many opportunities to meet residents other than your close neighbours and you will be able to find people you like. I was 20 when I lived in undergraduate accommodation and one or two years older than many people I met there, but there were plenty of people older than me. It also depends on the accommodation: David Russell Apartments, Fife Park and Albany Park also have buildings with postgraduate students (but not undergraduates and postgraduates living in the same building I think).

    2) Not being into sports is no problem at all. The town attracts a lot of golf tourists and there are many sport clubs, but I wouldn't call the university sports-based.

    3) For people who want a very exciting night life St Andrews can be too small, but there are plenty of pubs, a wide variety of societies organising events, and parties in students' homes. In my experience, there tends to be a 'party kitchen' or 'party floor' in university accommodation, to make use of or ignore as you wish.

    4) Well, there are a lot of rich students, students and staff wear gowns to official events, centuries-old traditions are taken quite seriously and the university likes to have elaborate ceremonies with torch-lit walks and people wearing silly hats. You could call it pretentious.

    5) It's a little less than 2 hours from St Andrews to Edinburgh airport. There is also an airport in Dundee, much closer, which now has flights to Amsterdam, from which you can fly to most places.

    One last thing, I thought the exchange office here was very helpful, I could come in with questions every day and they would help right away. They might be just as helpful in Edinburgh; I just know that it was much harder to get things done at my home university at the time.

    Good luck with your choice!
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    (Original post by Elinen)

    One last thing, I thought the exchange office here was very helpful, I could come in with questions every day and they would help right away. They might be just as helpful in Edinburgh; I just know that it was much harder to get things done at my home university at the time.

    Good luck with your choice!
    Elinen, thanks so much for the reply! This has helped me out so much. Good luck with your postgraduate degree!
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    (Original post by Selinaaa)
    Elinen, thanks so much for the reply! This has helped me out so much. Good luck with your postgraduate degree!
    No problem, feel free to send me a message if you have more questions!
 
 
 
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