The Student Room Group
St Salvators Quad, University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews

St andrews too isolated

Hi. I got accepted to study IR with Spanish but I’m worried that St Andrews is very isolated and full of very privileged people. I’m sadly not one of them. Will I struggle financially?
Reply 1
Hi,
I'm currently at St Andrews.

It depends on your budget and your definition of isolated i.e. how far you are willing to travel and what for. The town can be expensive if you eat out a lot or go to the coffee shops often (the coffee shop in the student union is cheaper than others). For groceries, there is a small Tesco (expensive so try to avoid it), a Morrisons, a small M&S, and an Aldi. Set your budget and shop around.

Living on campus means you can walk to lectures and the main town is only a 10-15 walk (the main Library is in town but there are libraries and computer labs on campus), which limits the need for transport. Sometimes I study on campus and other times I go to the libraries in town - both are excellent.

In terms of isolation, Dundee is about 11 miles (I believe the bus service is good but I don't use it) and Edinburgh about 1 hour. There is the night bus that helps ensure students get home safely after a night out. Again it depends on what you mean by isolation. The workload at St Andrews is very demanding so I'd say most students stay within the town and perhaps venture outwith it occasionally. Except for Dundee as there are students who prefer to stay there and commute everyday.

There are a lot of international students and perhaps there are students from privileged backgrounds but I would not see this as a barrier to enjoying your time here. I'd say St-Andrews is what you make it - the faculty and associated services are approachable and very helpful. The University associations and clubs are wide ranging - of course this depends on your interests.

For me, it was the best decision and I love it here.

Hope this helps.
St Salvators Quad, University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
Reply 2
Original post by Yasda
Hi,
I'm currently at St Andrews.
It depends on your budget and your definition of isolated i.e. how far you are willing to travel and what for. The town can be expensive if you eat out a lot or go to the coffee shops often (the coffee shop in the student union is cheaper than others). For groceries, there is a small Tesco (expensive so try to avoid it), a Morrisons, a small M&S, and an Aldi. Set your budget and shop around.
Living on campus means you can walk to lectures and the main town is only a 10-15 walk (the main Library is in town but there are libraries and computer labs on campus), which limits the need for transport. Sometimes I study on campus and other times I go to the libraries in town - both are excellent.
In terms of isolation, Dundee is about 11 miles (I believe the bus service is good but I don't use it) and Edinburgh about 1 hour. There is the night bus that helps ensure students get home safely after a night out. Again it depends on what you mean by isolation. The workload at St Andrews is very demanding so I'd say most students stay within the town and perhaps venture outwith it occasionally. Except for Dundee as there are students who prefer to stay there and commute everyday.
There are a lot of international students and perhaps there are students from privileged backgrounds but I would not see this as a barrier to enjoying your time here. I'd say St-Andrews is what you make it - the faculty and associated services are approachable and very helpful. The University associations and clubs are wide ranging - of course this depends on your interests.
For me, it was the best decision and I love it here.
Hope this helps.

Thank you very much for your insightful answer. Do you know how difficult it is to find housing in the 2nd year? I’ve heard some horror stories.
Reply 3
Original post by jolark13
Thank you very much for your insightful answer. Do you know how difficult it is to find housing in the 2nd year? I’ve heard some horror stories.

Yes... if you aren't proactive. If you are organised, have a group of friends, know what you are looking for and start looking early, you shouldn't have too much trouble. The issue for first years if you have to decide who you want to live with basically after 2/3 months in order to stay ahead of the game, which can be stressful given you have just arrived. If you start the housing search in December, you will find something. Additionally, if you can become friends with older students who are either graduating or have a spare room, you can use them to network with landlords and find accommodation. Those that struggle are those who wait until March/April. St Andrews has a problem of too many tourists and wealthy students willing to pay lots and not enough housing. Living in Dundee and Leuchars helps with this issue as a backup as rent is cheaper and competition is less fierce, although you will have to jump on the bus. The upside is that the bus is free for under 22s.
Original post by jolark13
Hi. I got accepted to study IR with Spanish but I’m worried that St Andrews is very isolated and full of very privileged people. I’m sadly not one of them. Will I struggle financially?

I went to visit the uni as I also had an offer I loved the uni and the people I’ve talked to are genuinly more accepting and funny then at other unis although that may be by chance so I was kinda upset because I feel like for that reason it’s not for me ( this is very much just my perspective ik it has super high student satisfaction and I can understand why as It’s a tight and welcoming community) I didn’t think the smallness would bother me as I’m not that interesting in clubbing but it felt very claustrophobic this may be due to my personal anxiety’s but I think the size of everything shops being so small and made me feel like i stuck out , I did get a bit of a posh vibe from some people which maybe emphasised this for example in a smalll restaurant like 3 tables there were these very posh boys who’s conversation just put me of but I don’t think that represents the uni . Also I didn’t realise the town was quite so isolated the town was small but there was also nothing at all near the town I felt like it would be really fun for the first year but 4 years just felt to long to be there . This is just my perspective I actually really really liked the uni I just couldn’t imagine myself being happy there because I felt it was very isolated

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