Applying with Commonapp and UCAS? And social experience as an American student at UK universities (esp. during Covid)?

I’m a junior in America and I plan on applying to US and UK universities. Of the UK universities I plan on applying to, some have the option to apply using Commonapp as well as UCAS (Durham U., St. A’s U., and U. of Glasgow). I understand you can’t apply to a single university using both Commonapp and UCAS, but can you apply to seperate UK universities using Commonapp and UCAS? Could I apply to Durham U., St. A’s U., and U. of Glasgow on Commonapp and U. of Oxford, UCL, U. of Edinburgh, U. of Manchester, and King’s College London on UCAS?

Separately, is it difficult to make friends as an American at UK universities (especially during COVID)? I’m concerned the cultural barrier may make this difficult, even without a language barrier.

It’s dishonest.

If you’re currently a HS junior, Covid should hopefully be a dim memory by the time you start college.

What cultural barrier are you concerned about?

Short answer: it’s UCAS OR Common App.

Longer answer: you don’t need to. UK admissions are much more straightforward than the in the US. With the exception of Oxford, if you are a realistic candidate for Oxford you are probably a strong candidate for Edi, StAs, Durham and UCL, and solid for all the rest. There is no need to apply to bunches of colleges: you can only attend one, so sooner or later you have to make a decision.

As for a cultural barrier: I don’t really believe in cultural barriers (and I have lived in a fair range of cultures). The first time you live in somebody else’s country you have to get used to the idea that you are the outsider, that you and your ways are the different ones. Being a good guest is sometimes hard (especially when people are critical of your home country) but being a student is one of the best ways to move to a new country. You have a cohort right from the beginning- and there’s nothing like sharing a (metaphorical) foxhole for bonding.

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Thank you! I wasn’t sure if you could mix and match application systems. It’s relieving to hear you think there isn’t much of a barrier!

I apologize if you misunderstood, I just wasn’t sure if it was allowed or not. I agree, hopefully Covid is a distant memory by then, but I think it exaggerated issues that college students already faced.
I’m concerned that a lack of shared experience due to cultural differences between America and the UK will make it harder to make friends at first. This is in addition to the fact there isn’t as much of a “dorm experience” in the UK as in America, which is a big opportunity to make friends.

It’s not allowed.

Most students seem to have no difficulty meting people and making friends. This year is an outtlier because of Covid, but normally you’ll meet people in your halls of residence, during Freshers’ Week, you can join clubs of interest to you.

Unless you’re hyper sensitive about being American and would be offended by any perceived dislike/disapproval, and are open to meeting people for who they are, you should be fine.

There is totally a ‘dorm experience’ in the US. Most first years will be in Halls of Residence (British for dorm): some of these are traditional style along a corridor, and others are more like a shared flat or apartment. Rooms are nearly always singles, which means you will need to get out and talk to people. Halls have student committees designed to put on social events and other things such as intramural sports teams. Depending where you go, your Hall can have a big impact on your experience and even your identity.

In London it will be different, and you could have students from different unis in the same hall. At Durham, St Andrews and especially Oxford, the hall or college is the heart of your experience. You may move to off campus housing after first year, but halls in the UK will not limit your ability to make friends.

St Andrews and Edinburgh have a lot of US students, so I wouldn’t worry about cultural divide. In other places you make up a smaller number. You’ll make friends, don’t worry.

COVID has impacted students’ experiences this past semester and you can read about that in the British press. But by the time you attend, it will be different.

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You will be able to have a “dorm experience” by selecting a room in a hall. You should deposit as soon as you’re sure you want to go and definitely before July 31, and based on what you said I’d stay away from London universities. Replace UCL and King’s with St.A and Durham and you’re good :slight_smile:
– Britain is relatively small anyway, so if you really want to visit London, you can hop on a train for half-term and spend time there, visit closer areas for the weekend… Yes it’s not common but it’s much easier to navigate than in the US due to a country that’s smaller and an excellent railroad system (trains are not always super reliable or can be crowded but you can get anywhere from anywhere except perhaps Cornwall and Aberystwyth; you’ll be busy on campus but you can definitely travel easily if you want to, Manchester to New Forest, Cardiff to Bristol, Brighton to London, Edinburgh to London or to Aberdeen (and even Aberdeen to Shetland if you want to spend a weekend with moors, ponys, and puffins).

hey so i had this same question so my college couselor actually called St. Andrews.

basically if you apply to both, the systems are incompatible so it will cancel all your UCAS choices IF you get accepted to your UK school on the common app. they dont work together so its a big big risk. short answer: put the UK schools in your UCAS choice!

@sloths9293 I’m curious! Did you end up applying? If so, what was the process like?