Attending University of St. Andrews Scotland for 4 YEARS

<p>D has been accepted to the University of St. Andrews as an international (USA) student. She intends to go for 4 years. We are seeking comments on everything from what it's like to be an American on campus, to course loads, how classes are taught (tutorial or lectures), class sizes, living accomodations, food, social, friends, homesicknesss and the like!!!!</p>

<p>OMG 4 YEARS!!!</p>

<p>Calm down, it's nothing special. There are loads of Americans there for 4 years.</p>

<p>I suggest you read the prospectus and the alternative prospectus, if they have one.</p>

<p>Oh and if she applied internationally herself it sounds like she has everything under control... you wouldn't be about to try to talk her out of it now, would you?</p>

<p>There are a lot of American students as KITY above says, so many in fact that she could easily surround herself with only American friends. Please don't do this - it makes it a complete waste of time to study abroad if you don't meet non Americans. But she won't feel out of place if that is your worry</p>

<p>It is not a campus university. The university is woven into the structure of the town and students are everywhere. There is a choice of accommodation. The more modern halls with single rooms are slightly out of town near the science and math buildings and the athletic union. The older halls with all the 'character' that are in the center of town will require sharing a room, sharing a bathroom etc. Look at the prospectus and online to get a feel of which hall would be most suitable. After first year, most students live out in rented accommodation which can be expensive especially in town (the university does not guarrantee accommodation past first year) but its a good way to learn the basics of managing bills, rent, cooking, etc etc. Dinner parties are very popular. </p>

<p>Classes- depends what she is taking. You take up to three classes each semester in your first year, and two/three in your second. Based on grades, you choose one of these for your major (although this term isn't used). Third and 4th year are classes only in your degree subject. If studying arts, then teaching will be something like 2 lectures a week and 2 tutorials per class. Science classes will involve labs. In general science classes involve more teaching time than arts classes.</p>

<p>Teaching.... now, European universities are different to US schools in that there is much less hand holding. Students are adults and are treated as such. Don't turn up? Well, no register is taken, but it's your look out if you do badly. An arts class may involve two graded essays (3000 words each) and a 2 hour exam. That's it. So there is not a lot of work that the professor will look at and chase you up on - but there are weekly suggested reading lists and journals to look at for each tutorial and you are expected to work by yourself and read and come prepared for class. Some students don't bother as its not graded work and prefer to 'cram' before the exam.. especially if they are British and are used to cramming and preparing for exams.. </p>

<p>I can't comment on how science is taught as I didn't take any science classes....</p>

<p>I mention this as it could be a very different way to how she was taught in her US high school and might take some getting used to. </p>

<p>There are no gen ed requirements. Depending on her preferences she could study Management, Art History and Economics in her first year, Second level Management and Art History and First level Social Anthropology in her 2nd year and then decide to major in Art History. Was she accepted to read a particular subject at St Andrews? My advice would be to stick to subjects she has an AP in as this will have prepared her better for these classes, although she could try something new like Anthropology. </p>

<p>Remember that the majority of students will have come via the A level system where they will have specialized in 3/4 subjects at age 16 and will be taking one/two of these forward for their degree. Your daughter may find that her British peers know some subjects far more in depth than her... but don't worry.. it's just a different education system...</p>

<p>Socially - the legal drinking age is 18 and pretty much everyone will drink. Some of them will drink a lot. A lot of freshers week will involve drinking. Not to say that you have to drink, but she should expect that the majority of people will be drinking. I knew people there who didn't drink at all and some who would have a couple of drinks but they were in the minority. But in the main, British universities, particularly ones in isolated towns with not a lot else to do, will have a lot of drinking. There are a lot of pubs, and the large numbers of societies and sports teams will have dinners, balls etc. </p>

<p>There are lots of societies (from the weird Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society to Christian Union to the Young Conservatives to charity and community service groups to outdoors groups/hiking/walking etc) and numerous sports clubs. Athletics is run like club sports in the US and each sport will have differing levels of competitiveness. Field hockey is a big club, but ladies rugby and soccer are smaller. There is also a ski team, shooting club, lacrosse etc etc. In freshers week there will be fairs where the societies will have stalls in the union where you can sign up, and likewise there is a week of try outs for sports (both try out to make the team and try out new sports)</p>

<p>Has your daughter been to visit? St Andrews is quite isolated and doesn't even have a train station. It's an hour by train to Edinburgh and 30 mins by bus to Dundee. It is incredibly beautiful however with stunning scenery and beaches. It is very cold in the winter and it gets dark in Scotland in the winter around 4pm. Please make sure she visits in November when its dark, gloomy, cold.... </p>

<p>Because of it's size and location, everyone knows everyone and is very friendly. You can walk down Market Street and be saying hi every 2 minutes to people you know. You can walk into a pub by yourself to wait for someone, confident in the knowledge that whilst you wait, there will be other people in there that you know. St Andrews is rather preppy with quite a lot of 'yahs', the term for privately educated kids in the UK. But then there are also all kinds of folk there, from European nobility to locals on scholarship to Americans to regular brits to students from all over the world. My friends were: English, Scottish, Irish, American, Canadian, Finnish, Dutch and French....</p>

<p>Also consider what your daughter will want to do on graduating. She could meet a British guy and stay there and get married (like TWO of my friends from California!!), she may return to the US. One friend has found that American employers often struggled to understand her resume due to the different system in the UK although she is gainfully employed in NYC and has been for years so despite initial questions, it hasn't really held her back</p>

<p>I was a study abroad student at St As several years ago so things may have changed since then. I loved my year there, but it was different to the US. I really encourage her to visit before committing and talk to current students both American and British.</p>

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