The Official University of St Andrews Applicants Thread 2021

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Hello all,

Welcome to the The Official St Andrews Applicants Thread 2021. Below I have compiled an FAQ which I have tried to make as unbiased as possible, which is difficult as I obviously chose St Andrews for good reasons!

  • What course you are applying for:
  • GCSEs (or equivalent, eg. GPA or SATs):
  • A level / IB / Highers predicted or achieved:
  • Extra curriculars relevant to your subject:
  • UK region or country you are from:
  • Fee status (EU, rUK or Overseas):
  • University choices, in order of preference:
  • Why St Andrews?:



St Andrews FAQ:

  • Degree structure
  • Distance/size
  • Student body and diversity
  • Nightlife
  • Traditions
  • League tables
  • Expensiveness
  • BSc/MA degrees
  • The weather


What is the degree structure like?

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In St Andrews, undergraduate degrees last four years and the Scottish degree structure allows you to explore two other subjects outside of your degree in your first year. This gives you more time to decide on your future (both academic and career-wise). Also, the extra summer holiday is potentially an additional opportunity to get internships.

Fresher’s year

  • You take 3 subjects each Semester, one of which must be the degree you applied for. I applied for Biology but I got to study Economics and Psychology modules too which were really interesting

  • Avoid taking unnecessarily difficult subjects for your optionals (which tend to be subjects that require prior knowledge)

  • Your grades do not count towards your final degree – you only need to pass with a 7 on the 20-point scale.

Second year

  • You can continue to take three subjects depending on module sizes in your department, but students normally focus on only one or two at this point

  • You no longer have to continue with the subject you originally applied for so you can change your degree

  • Your grades still do not count towards your final degree – you need a grade 11 out of 20 (a Lower Second or “2:2”) overall to progress to Honours and specifically in modules that are prerequisites for the following year.

'Honours years' three and four

  • You only study your degree subject; or two if you take Joint Honours. There is also a Triple Honours language degree

  • Your final degree grade is taken from the weighted average of third and fourth year modules

  • One of the reasons for high Student Satisfaction ratings at St Andrews is that by fourth year you can expect your class sizes to only be 5-12 students and your dissertation supervisor will only have one or two other students at most.

Three year degrees

  • If your A level grades are good (at least AAA usually) you can apply for Direct Entry to Second year. You will miss out on the social aspects of Freshers year but this is an option for people who want to save on costs. Direct Entry is in fact the standard route for English students studying Physics and Maths, so you will not be alone but is rare for all other subjects.

  • Undergraduate medicine is only a 3 year degree, after which you complete your three clinical years at a partner university.

Will St Andrews be too remote, too far from home or too small for me?
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Is St Andrews remote?

  • St Andrews feels fairly remote to people used to city life – but for a town without a train station it's surprisingly well connected: from the centre of St Andrews there’s a bus that leaves every five mins or so and takes only 10 mins to get to Leuchars railway station. And then from Leuchars there is a regular train that gets to Edinburgh in 45 minutes. Also, there are buses every five mins from St Andrews to Dundee in half an hour, or a bit less coming back after a night out in Dundee

Should I be worried about the distance St Andrews is from home?

  • Around a fifth of the students are from the US and I’d guess around a fifth of them are from California and Seattle – so they made me feel ridiculous complaining about how far St Andrews is from London when they have come that far! If you need to come home every two weeks then St Andrews will not be the uni for you, as most people can only really come home during half-terms

  • To get from London to St Andrews you can either take the East Coast train or you can fly by Easyjet or Ryanair:

    The train journey takes 6 hours and either goes straight from London Kings Cross to Leuchars or via Edinburgh. It's a really comfortable journey and even feels a bit of an adventure with the picturesque Scottish East Cost along the way

    The flight takes just 1 hour and you can go from either Gatwick or Stansted to Edinburgh. Then you have to get the St Andrews shuttle to the uni in 1.5 hours. The Shuttle is just a shared student taxi to and from the airport, which costs £20 and can be nice for meeting other students who also have late night Christmas or Easter flights home to catch.


Is St Andrews too small for me?

  • For day-to-day shopping and eating St Andrews is amazing and you honestly couldn't ask for more... but for fashion and big stores it is very lacking and you'd need to head to Dundee or Edinburgh. The centre of town has two full-size High Streets which are connected by two mini High Streets: there are probably hundreds of shops and food places with a 50:50 balance of chain stores and independent shops; the same goes for the food places – so you have your familiar Starbucks, Pret and Subway but then lots of niche coffee shops and restaurants. There is also a Tesco Metro, a mini-Sainburys’ and a bit further out an Aldi and M&S Food. On the edge of the town is a very large Morrisons

  • It takes 30 minutes to walk from the edge of town (where Morrisons is) to the coast at the East Sands beach – so it is certainly not a tiny village as you might imagine, but obviously not a metropolis. In a Facebook poll, 45% of students said the town was bigger than they expected before visiting, 20% said smaller and the rest said it was around as expected. Unlike the idea of a ‘small town’ in many countries such as the US, it is densely populated and constantly busy so you will feel claustrophobic if you do not take regular trips to Dundee, Edinburgh and maybe beyond. St Andrews certainly never feels isolating as the town is dominated by students (which is how I imagine I would have felt as a student in London) but you cannot spend 16 weeks without venturing out once

  • Other than shops, there is an aquarium (featuring penguins, seals, native sharks and meerkats!); the golf course where the sport began, which holds events with celebrities every year (we've had Obama, the Clintons, singers, Hollywood actors..); beaches (where the opening to Chariots of Fire was filmed); there is a medieval castle and cathedral ruins with vaults and a tower overlooking the town you can climb; a 13th century chapel, museums with medieval relics; a cinema, botanical gardens; an observatory; a leisure centre with a swimming pool, a small natural history collection, new music and sports centres and a nearby country park

  • On the edge of the town, opposite Morrisons there is an integrated hospital, GP surgery and dentist practice.

How diverse is St Andrews and what are the students like compared to other unis?
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St Andrews is the #1 most diverse uni in the UK in terms of internationalism, but one of the least diverse in terms of domestic students, however, it heavily depends on your degree and halls of residence. After visiting unis I realised Durham would mostly feel like three years with just other English students, which is fine, but St Andrews, despite being a remote Scottish town is more like a mini-UN – half of the students are internationals (the largest contingent of which are Americans), Europeans, Australians, and 'third culture kids' from international schools, but they are balanced out by the Scottish, Northern Irish and Northern English students there. There are also lots of students from India and South East Asia.

International students

  • International students from outside the EU make up 35% of the student population which is the third highest in the UK. They have a higher offer rate than any other contingent of applicants.

  • Although LSE and Imperial have a higher % of international students, they tend to come from a small number of countries and at every uni, there is a reputation for international students to be poorly integrated; that they tend not to mix with other students (through no fault of their own). St Andrews is arguably the only university where the internationals are known for being genuinely integrated which is due to the inclusive traditions the uni life is built around: academic families, Raisin weekend, May Dip, Gaudie/pier walks, Ceilidhs, as well as the tight-knit community of the student town.

Americans

  • It can’t go without mentioning that a significant proportion of the foreign students are from the US, who make up around a fifth of the student population when you include study abroads. Although Will & Kate did bring additional recognition to the university, the number of Americans is actually mostly due to the fact that St Andrews recruits heavily in US High Schools; has historic links to America dating back to the Founding Fathers (who received honorary degrees at the time); also the fact that St Andrews is the home of Golf where Hollywood celebs descend upon every year so it is very well known over there. Also, in particular, the university’s International Relations programme is held in very high regard in the States, which is what a plurality of Americans come to St A to study

  • Under the US liberal arts system, you can only get around 1/3 of your degree credits from your 'major' – the rest must come from a) optional subjects outside of your major and b) mandatory General Education subjects/a Core Curriculum...conversely, with English degrees you only study one subject for all three years so you have to drop out of uni and reapply if you change your mind about what to study. Scottish degrees are therefore seen as a half-way house between the US and English systems.

Europeans

  • 10% of the student population are EU students. This is much higher than at almost any other university due to the fact they don’t currently pay tuition fees in Scotland – but the university is extremely selective for them (for some degrees the offer rate is as low as a 1.5% offer rate for them)

  • In the future it appears EU students will have to pay International fees due to Brexit so expect the numbers to fall significantly

  • Check out, Adela from the Czech Republic who vlogs on Youtube about her experiences at St Andrews.


Domestic students

Many of the British (and EU students) have actually come from International schools in places like Beijing, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai. While this may distort the Overseas statistics a little bit, they all have wordly experience to contribute to the university’s culture.

So it really feels like a student UN at times that you simply don’t get at any other uni in the UK – at Durham or Bristol you will mainly spend 3 years making friends with other English Students, whereas at St A your friends really will come from the US, Europe, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Asia and beyond to a much greater extent. But 55% of the student body are nonetheless registered as domestic students:


  • 65.5% of students are from State schools; 34.5% are from Independent schools (a few years ago it was closer to 50:50)

  • 12.3% of students are from ethnic minorities which is more than at Durham (11.7%) and around the median of UK universities; yet is tiny compared to many city universities such as Queen Mary (70.5%) and Aston (82.4%).

It is quite obvious that privately educated students are massively overrepresented, however:

  1. They are still in the minority. 2. Privately educated people tend to be just as nice as State school students. Snobbery is unheard of in St Andrews and normally you won't know whether students went to a fee-paying school or not without asking them. The only thing that struck me as a Londoner was how many there were from small towns and villages I’d never heard of rather than big cities. Other than that, the posh contingent is mostly a source of banter. 3. It strongly depends on your degree and Hall of residence: your History of Art lectures will be 99% white and middle class whereas Medicine will be very ethnically diverse, and Physics tends to be more state school. Andrew Melville Hall and DRA are very diverse, whereas Sallies Hall is not. 4. Whether or not you agree with this approach, the university is taking huge steps to give contextual offers to offers from those from poor backgrounds, although this is also being done by all top unis bar Oxbridge


  • As far as ethnicity goes, black people are in a very small minority. In recent times it has become a major talking point and it is a problem that the university struggles to attract black applicants. However, even the most underrepresented of people at the uni are generally really well integrated into the student community rather than outcasted. Perhaps at some unis where there are large minorities of students from a single community they tend to stick together as cliques; on the other hand it is striking (and deeply regrettable) how few black students there are on campus, but all of the black students in St Andrews I do know are extremely popular.

What is the nightlife like?
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The St Andrews experience is completely unique, partly because of the 'unconventional' nightlife there, and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love it, however if you need proper nightclubs, it is not the uni for you.

  • This is one of the most common concerns when applying. When I was applying to unis I asked a student this question, to which he answered “at St Andrews we make our own fun”. At the time this sounded like BS, but I now know what was meant – the St Andrews experience is essentially a student-run 'events culture', societies, flat parties and traditions such as academic families, Raisin weekend, May Dip, Gaudie/pier walks, Ceilidhs. There are unfortunately no ‘proper’ nightclubs aside from the union and occasional trips to Dundee, but St Andrews has a higher density of student bars than any uni town so there are no shortage of places to drink. Students who are big on nightclubs compensate for it with the 'events' culture here, but if clubs are one of your priorities then other unis such as Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Glasgow and Birmingham will be more for you

  • Some students like Mid Fife Crisis, Kameron Cooper and Sean Gordon have made 'One second a day' videos which condense the social side of an academic year pretty well into short videos and youtubers such as STAR: St Andrews Radio and Hebe Topping have covered the topic.

Societies

  • The social life at St Andrews is very much built around the societies that anyone can set up and usually cost around £3-10 a year to join – most societies will have weekly socials. Societies do exist at other unis but they aren’t ‘a thing’ as they are in St Andrews – you could never get people together in that way at Leeds or Manchester. One of the main societies is through the Charity Campaign:

Student-run events culture

  • While students at other unis in big cities have nightclubs, at St Andrews the calendar has regular events that are normally things like fashion shows, balls, polo, gigs etc, and things like On The Rocks festival. Crucially, they are not organised by the Student Union but by students themselves through the Charities Campaign

  • Essentially this means that some of your friends (and honestly at times it feels like most of them) get involved in organising big events that everyone goes to and that is something good they can put on their CVs. For example there are several fashion shows throughout the year (like this), where students volunteer to be fashion designers and catwalk models, but there are also project managers who pull everything together, graphic designers who create banners for people's Facebook profiles and creators of promotional videos (like this). It's part of the St Andrews experience because anyone can get involved and it is not controlled by the Student Union.

What are the traditions?
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Other unis have traditions but at St Andrews uni experience is built around the traditions (such as academic families). I can't put better what has been written before so I will link you to a couple of articles:

https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/22/nobod...fight-8063408/
www.thesaint.scot/2015/08/guide-to-st-andrews-traditions/
https://www.facebook.com/uniofsta/vi...64820914840811

How should I use uni league table rankings?
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Why is St Andrews usually ranked 3rd in domestic league tables but 80-100 in International league tables, behind other respected unis such as Sheffield?

  • Domestic league tables focus on factors such as academic Student Satisfaction and generally things which impact the undergrad experience. Throughout recent years St Andrews has always been #1 or close as far as Student Satisfaction scores, hence the high rankings

  • International league tables use criteria that interest researchers but would not matter much to undergrads. For example, one criteria they use is Citations per Faculty. Being a small and undergrad-focused university, St Andrews does not output as much research as large institutions such as Sheffield. Does Citations per Faculty matter much to undergrads? I personally think there is merit in choosing a uni like St Andrews for undergrad and a uni like Edinburgh or one in London for postgrad. The London unis and Edinburgh are amongst the biggest research universities in the world but are always near the bottom of the league tables every year for Student Satisfaction.

Below are some links to guides and other stats


Is St Andrews an expensive place to live?
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  • While St Andrews is cheap to live compared to any uni in London, it is expensive compared to any other Scottish uni, in particular Dundee which is only down the road. Most students who are head-over-heels about St Andrews would agree this is its Achilles heel. If saving money is your #1 priority, St Andrews is not the uni for you but it also isn’t that bad – the uni offers a range of bursaries and scholarships for those who can’t afford it and there are cheaper accommodation options. If you are fortunate to have flexibility on costs, any difference in expensiveness compared to other Scottish unis will not be so much money in the long term; if not, look at the accommodation options and work out how much your Student maintenance loan will cover – the bursaries will normally offer at least £1k a year

  • On the plus side, the town is very affluent (whilst still being very compact) which is associated with the town having a very low crime rate – you can go out at any time of night alone and feel completely safe which really added to my experience there.

What do I need to know about BSc and MA degrees?
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Why are Arts degrees MA instead of BA?

  • Like in England, undergraduate degrees in Science are BSc; but at the four Ancient Universities of Scotland, a Bachelor of Arts degree is an MA instead of BA for purely archaic reasons. This is confusing for sure but a Four year ‘MA’ degree could look good on your CV – just make sure you don't lie about it at interviews!

Should I apply for the MA or BSc Psychology (or Economics, Geography etc.)?

  • For subjects that allow you to do a degree in either the Science or the Arts faculty, there is NO difference between the course content – one course is not more scientific or essay based than the other

  • The only important factor in whether to choose BSc or MA is whether you want your two other subjects in Freshers year to be Science or Arts modules: if you applied for BSc, your other subjects must be mostly sciences and vice versa for Arts – you can however still do 1 or 2 subjects from the opposite faculty. For example, if you choose MA Psychology, you can take History and Biology alongside it, but you can’t take Chemistry and Biology with it.

What is the weather like?
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How cold is St Andrews?

  • St Andrews is nowhere near as cold as you expect but it is cold for longer than you expect it to be.... this makes sense because Fife is not too far north of Scotland, but you arrive in September when the summer is over and leave at the end of May just before the summer begins

  • September and May are lovely, warm months but the rest are fairly cold, although not overly chilly... even in December the temperature is very rarely sub-zero during the day. Scotland does not get the snowstorms and blizzards that places like New York and Boston in the US are known for, and I only saw it snow properly once in my four years in St Andrews. The temperature is usually 2-5°C lower than London and you will notice, but if you wrap up well you will find that you get quite hot walking around the town. Also, central heating in the halls is very good.

Does it rain a lot?

  • Fortunately, it's mainly the West Coast of Scotland that is known for the rain, and it doesn't rain any more frequently or heavily than it does in London.

I can't visit before applying, can you recommend any sources?
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  • An unoriginal suggestion perhaps, but there really is no better source than Youtube to get a feel for the town. To put some originality (and tongue-in-cheek) in my answer, I would recommend The Other Guys (St Andrews' a capella group) whose videos are great for nosing around the town – I would recommend Royal Romance and St Andrews Girls in particular. More seriously, STAR: St Andrews Radio and Kiki and Tom have some useful Youtube videos.

Why did you choose St Andrews?
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  • Four year degree and getting to study two subjects alongside Biology in my first year
  • Strong for my subject
  • Everything within walking distance – potentially being able to roll out of bed at 8:55 for a 9am lecture whereas at other unis you may have to take the bus
  • Medieval cobble-stoned town with a castle and cathedral ruins
  • Beaches and the idyllic Fife coast
  • Arcane traditions and a genuinely international experience
  • Good choice of bars, societies and events as a substitute for full nightclubs
  • Great reputation, particularly with high Student Satisfaction
  • Only an hour from Edinburgh and 10 mins from Leuchars railway station on the East Coast line.

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04MR17
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You can find a big list of applicants' threads for other unis here. :woo:
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What course you are applying for: probably International Relations and Economics
GCSE grades (or SAT/ACT score; GPA..): 998A*A*A*A*A*A
A level / IB / Highers, AP predicted or achieved grades: don't know yet, covid pressed pause on our year 12 mocks
Extra curriculars relevant to your subject: Politics society, youth for peace, various sports, piano
UK region or country you are from: London/Wales
Your fee status (Home/EU, rUK or Overseas): Home
Universities you are thinking of, in order of preference: St Andrews, Durham, Edinburgh and two more, haven't decided
Why St Andrews?: I'm not a massively clubby person and love the flexibility of the Scottish uni system
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Frankiekenworthy
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(Original post by Anonymous)
What course you are applying for: probably International Relations and Economics
GCSE grades (or SAT/ACT score; GPA..): 998A*A*A*A*A*A
A level / IB / Highers, AP predicted or achieved grades: don't know yet, covid pressed pause on our year 12 mocks
Extra curriculars relevant to your subject: Politics society, youth for peace, various sports, piano
UK region or country you are from: London/Wales
Your fee status (Home/EU, rUK or Overseas): Home
Universities you are thinking of, in order of preference: St Andrews, Durham, Edinburgh and two more, haven't decided
Why St Andrews?: I'm not a massively clubby person and love the flexibility of the Scottish uni system
does st andrews have a good night life
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apolaroidofus
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(Original post by Frankiekenworthy)
does st andrews have a good night life
My parents went there (so obviously was a while ago!) and from what I can tell, it's not your average clubbing scene but they definitely know how to have fun. Dad was absolutely wild in his 20s and he says St Andrews was the best time of his life - and got very offended when my sister chose not to apply there because she was worried it would be 'boring'!
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Frankiekenworthy
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(Original post by apolaroidofus)
My parents went there (so obviously was a while ago!) and from what I can tell, it's not your average clubbing scene but they definitely know how to have fun. Dad was absolutely wild in his 20s and he says St Andrews was the best time of his life - and got very offended when my sister chose not to apply there because she was worried it would be 'boring'!
That's made me want to go so much more haha
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I’m considering applying to St Andrews this year for Philosophy, it’s 3rd in UK for philosophy and you need AAB so I feel like id be silly not to give it a go but the distance really puts me off! It’s almost 6 hours to get there from me and as I lowkey feel like I’d appreciate the occasional weekend or day home I feel like it wouldn’t be the best? But St Andrews it’s beautiful, everyone stresses about the lack of nightlife but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest....i feel like it’s my perfect uni (aside from the distance and lack of diversity haha, as a black female my other concern is that I’ll stand out a tad😂)
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(Original post by justjas33)
I’m considering applying to St Andrews this year for Philosophy, it’s 3rd in UK for philosophy and you need AAB so I feel like id be silly not to give it a go but the distance really puts me off! It’s almost 6 hours to get there from me and as I lowkey feel like I’d appreciate the occasional weekend or day home I feel like it wouldn’t be the best? But St Andrews it’s beautiful, everyone stresses about the lack of nightlife but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest....i feel like it’s my perfect uni (aside from the distance and lack of diversity haha, as a black female my other concern is that I’ll stand out a tad😂)
I’m a black female and I have an offer to study at St Andrews this year. The lack of diversity also put me off, so I’ll investigate and then get back to you lol
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(Original post by rrzz8)
I’m a black female and I have an offer to study at St Andrews this year. The lack of diversity also put me off, so I’ll investigate and then get back to you lol
Oml hahaha thank you - I hope it goes well for you though!
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What course you are applying for: Modern History
GCSE grades (or foreign equivalent eg. SAT/ACT score; GPA): 9888777765
A level / IB / Highers, AP predicted or achieved grades: Not sure, probably A*A*AA I think though
Extra curriculars relevant to your subject: Just a lot of reading
UK region or country you are from: North East
Your fee status (Home/EU, rUK or Overseas): UK
Universities you are thinking of, in order of preference: St Andrews, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Manchester
Why St Andrews?: Really like the look of the course and I'm not massively keen on somewhere with a lot of nightlife
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Frankiekenworthy)
does st andrews have a good night life
(Original post by justjas33)
I’m considering applying to St Andrews this year for Philosophy, it’s 3rd in UK for philosophy and you need AAB so I feel like id be silly not to give it a go but the distance really puts me off! It’s almost 6 hours to get there from me and as I lowkey feel like I’d appreciate the occasional weekend or day home I feel like it wouldn’t be the best? But St Andrews it’s beautiful, everyone stresses about the lack of nightlife but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest....i feel like it’s my perfect uni (aside from the distance and lack of diversity haha, as a black female my other concern is that I’ll stand out a tad😂)
These are two of the most common questions which I have attempted to answer in the FAQ (see my original post), let me know if you have any other questions
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
These are two of the most common question which I have attempted to answer in the FAQ (see my original post), let me know if you have any other questions
Ah thank you so much - sorry for some reason I didn’t see the FAQ!
Can I ask, about the distance again, how did you move to uni? Did you take everything by train or plane? Also, would you say travelling adds up to be quite expensive? My family honestly don’t have much money at all, I’m not sure yet obvs what I’ll be granted for uni but I don’t really want to blow loads on travel. Also, can you leave your things in your accommodation over the Christmas and Easter breaks or do have to fully pack and move out?
I also heard that breaks at St Andrews are longer than UK unis (Easter break lasts a month) is this true? If so that’ll help with the distance issue as I can be home with family longer.
I found it interesting what you said about black students at St Andrews. I’m quite shy and introverted so I don’t think I’ll end up being one of the extremely popular ones😂 but hey as long as there’s no racism horror stories that’s good at least. I’m just desperate to go somewhere that’ll make me happy - St Andrews ticks all my boxes aside from distance (mainly) and diversity.
Also - a long shot - do you have any opinions on philosophy at St Andrews? I know it’s 3rd (or 4th) in the league tables and I’ve heard it’s just a really good place to study philosophy but it’ll help if you happened to have any insider knowledge (obviously it’s okay if you don’t!)
Thanks again - sorry for the bombardment of qs
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by justjas33)
Ah thank you so much - sorry for some reason I didn’t see the FAQ!
Can I ask, about the distance again, how did you move to uni? Did you take everything by train or plane? Also, would you say travelling adds up to be quite expensive? My family honestly don’t have much money at all, I’m not sure yet obvs what I’ll be granted for uni but I don’t really want to blow loads on travel. Also, can you leave your things in your accommodation over the Christmas and Easter breaks or do have to fully pack and move out?
I also heard that breaks at St Andrews are longer than UK unis (Easter break lasts a month) is this true? If so that’ll help with the distance issue as I can be home with family longer.
I found it interesting what you said about black students at St Andrews. I’m quite shy and introverted so I don’t think I’ll end up being one of the extremely popular ones😂 but hey as long as there’s no racism horror stories that’s good at least. I’m just desperate to go somewhere that’ll make me happy - St Andrews ticks all my boxes aside from distance (mainly) and diversity.
Also - a long shot - do you have any opinions on philosophy at St Andrews? I know it’s 3rd (or 4th) in the league tables and I’ve heard it’s just a really good place to study philosophy but it’ll help if you happened to have any insider knowledge (obviously it’s okay if you don’t!)
Thanks again - sorry for the bombardment of qs
  • Train at the beginning of September and end of May, Plane at Xmas and Easter hols
  • Trains are expensive (maybe like £60 if you book well in advance), Ryanair/Easyjet are like £30 but then you've got the £20 St Andrews shuttle
  • Yup you only vacate halls in the summer
  • Nope Easter hols is only a couple of weeks. There used to be an inter-semester break between Post-January Semester 1 exams and Semester 1 in February, but now Semester 1 exams are squeezed in before Xmas which was a popular decision
  • No racism, students in particular are very tolerant!
  • I don't know anything about Philosophy but i've never heard a bad word if that helps!
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
  • Train at the beginning of September and end of May, Plane at Xmas and Easter hols
  • Trains are expensive (maybe like £60 if you book well in advance), Ryanair/Easyjet are like £30 but then you've got the £20 St Andrews shuttle
  • Yup you only vacate halls in the summer
  • Nope Easter hols is only a couple of weeks. There used to be an inter-semester break between Post-January Semester 1 exams and Semester 1 in February, but now Semester 1 exams are squeezed in before Xmas which was a popular decision
  • No racism, students in particular are very tolerant!
  • I don't know anything about Philosophy but i've never heard a bad word if that helps!
Ahh okay. So you managed to travel by train when moving there in September as a fresher even with all of your stuff? Prices aren’t too bad - would be brill if airlines did student discounts😂
Thank you again, you’ve been so helpful
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A Rolling Stone
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#15
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(Original post by justjas33)
Ahh okay. So you managed to travel by train when moving there in September as a fresher even with all of your stuff? Prices aren’t too bad - would be brill if airlines did student discounts😂
Thank you again, you’ve been so helpful
i wouldn't call it managed haha, it would have been easy if i had let my parents come up with me - i had 2 large luggage cases and 3 rucksacks! but there were suitcase racks on the East Coast trains which aren't too busy! and no worries at all
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justjas33
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i wouldn't call it managed haha, it would have been easy if i had let my parents come up with me - i had 2 large luggage cases and 3 rucksacks! but there were suitcase racks on the East Coast trains which aren't too busy! and no worries at all
awh ahaha I can imagine the difficulty! I’ll have to drag my mum and brother along with me if the train tickets aren’t too extortionate!
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nmah
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Not going to lie... feeling called out as I'm an American and I was looking to apply to St. Andrews. Saw them at a college fair and thought the college was cool. But I didn't realize how many Americans attend (also the system for courses is oddly like the American one?) so I am reconsidering.

(Not that there is anything wrong with Americans! Just if I am going to move across the world for Uni, I actually want to experience a new culture and not be surrounded by familiarity.)
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justjas33
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(Original post by nmah)
Not going to lie... feeling called out as I'm an American and I was looking to apply to St. Andrews. Saw them at a college fair and thought the college was cool. But I didn't realize how many Americans attend (also the system for courses is oddly like the American one?) so I am reconsidering.

(Not that there is anything wrong with Americans! Just if I am going to move across the world for Uni, I actually want to experience a new culture and not be surrounded by familiarity.)
Nah I feel like you’ll still be able to experience a new culture! That’s one of the reasons I want to attend... where I live now in the UK is MILES apart from St Andrews, Scotland and it’ll definitely be a new experience. Plus like A Rolling Stone said, Americans are still the minority! I’m sure Scottish and UK students are still the majority, just not as much of a majority they’d be at Leeds Uni or Durham for example. The system being similar to the US one is definitely a key selling point to me as a UK student though - I read (or heard) somewhere that the Scottish degree system is a perfect blend of the UK and US system
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by nmah)
Not going to lie... feeling called out as I'm an American and I was looking to apply to St. Andrews. Saw them at a college fair and thought the college was cool. But I didn't realize how many Americans attend (also the system for courses is oddly like the American one?) so I am reconsidering.

(Not that there is anything wrong with Americans! Just if I am going to move across the world for Uni, I actually want to experience a new culture and not be surrounded by familiarity.)
sorry it was not my intention to make you feel called out! the similarity to the US system is indeed another reason for the number of Americans - in England you only study your degree subject for 3 years with no chance to change and you have to drop out of uni and reapply the next year if it's not for you.

i wouldn't worry about not experiencing a culture as a 20% is only just that (and includes study abroads, so the full-time student number is closer to 16%) so you would get a balance between familiarity and new culture. also every American i've spoken to says they experienced culture shock when coming to the UK as it turned out to be more than just the US with different accents! I was in Sallies halls in my first year and it was a really nice 50:50 mix of Americans and Brits, but DRA is demographically very different

Also unfortunately Covid19 is going to severely affect the number of US students, i reckon maybe the number will even halve next year
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justjas33
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Also (sorry just thought of another question!) is St Andrews very competitive to get into for RUK students? Competitive in this case meaning - very competitive (Oxbridge standards) or competitive (Russell Group standards such as Bristol, Durham), or somewhat “decent” like other unis outside Russell Group. I seem to be encountering conflicting reports - it either comes across as being very very difficult to get into for students from England, relatively decent (not easy btw, I doubt it’s easy to get into any uni) or very easy for Arts/Humanities. I’m applying for Philosophy (which is obvs an Art/Humanities subject) and although I’m assuming it won’t be overrun with applications I have no clue how “difficult” it’ll be to get a place, but with unis like Durham, Exeter and Leeds I have somewhat of an idea of my chances
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