St. Andrews Accommodation/Roommate

Good evening.

I applied for accommodation in mid/late March and was wondering when I will hear back? The website says decisions are released between mid-May and August, but will my early submission allow me to hear sooner?

Additionally, I was wondering when we hear who our roommate is? At the same time we find out our room? Someone told me that they didn’t hear until a week before they arrived, which is leaving me a little anxious…Does St. Andrews usually do a good job matching people?

IIRC I think rooms are assigned on a rolling basis but seemed later than mid May. Everyone gets assigned after all decisions go out. My D didn’t have a roommate but I think there are privacy laws that restrict disclosing roommate info in advance. I’m going to be completely honest: I don’t think St. Andrews pays much attention to matching roommates. My D had a few friends who did the roommate thing and none worked out particularly well. Roommates aren’t a UK thing: they want singles.

If you can change to a single, I’d encourage you to consider it. My D did a 2 week pre-sessional before the beginning of orientation week/freshers week. Had a chance to meet people, learn the town and campus, get her phone and bank account set up etc… Made having a single easier because she already met people. The only issue is you don’t necessarily stay in the room you’ll have for the year during those 2 weeks. So you move in then move again. Not a huge deal but one of her friend’s did get the school to allow her to stay in the first room. Definitely worth asking for.

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Thanks for the reply.

In regards to my room situation, I feel pretty strongly about a double. I’ve attended boarding school for the past four years and have both lived in singles and doubles. Though roommates can be annoying, it’s always nice to have someone around, especially when you are in a new country. That being said, I have had an unpleasant rooming experience in the past and was hoping there was some way to reach out beforehand.

So, even if I hear about my room in early summer, you don’t think I will discover my roommate till August? Do you know if there is any way I could find out sooner?

Also, would you mind telling me a little bit about your daughter’s experience with accommodation?

I’m not positive about the roommate situation. St. A’s is pretty good about replying to emails so you could email and ask them directly about when you’ll find out who you’re paired with. I agree about having a buddy. That’s why my D did the 2 week induction. Gave her a chance to make friends before the crowds arrived for freshers week.

My D lived at DRA (David Russell Apartments). She had a single room on a hall with 4 other singles and a shared kitchen/common room. The good was a having a single with a private bathroom in relatively new construction, near the sports center and not too far from the science campus (north haugh). The bad was it’s about a mile outside town so a 25ish minute walk, and she had nothing in common with her flat mates. They all got along but really never did anything together. Also DRA is like a village with about 20 or so separate buildings all in one area. All the other halls are basically one or two buildings so there’s a community feeling and a more traditional residential college experience.

Because you requested a roommate you’re more likely to be assigned a room in a hall with a better location closer to town.

Is there any thing else specifically you’d like to know about accommodation?

Edited to add: the school also does monthly room inspections. That was a new one for me lol.

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It’s nice to hear I might be closer to town! And as a boarding school veteran, the room inspections shouldn’t be a problem lol.

Your comment about freshers week made me pretty curious about societies. I’ve done some research about them and have a general idea of what I’m interested in, but are there any societies that are popular or your daughter particularly enjoyed?

Oh then you are a pro on the inspection side! Neither of my other kids’ colleges did them.

They have a fresher’s fair where all the societies display their wares. She plays volleyball so that took up a good chunk of her time but she did join a mixology (cocktails) society, also tried archery, rifling and a few others. Not sure if any are more popular to be honest, although I know the food ones tend well attended and often can only accommodate so many. There are so many and they really encourage you to try them all. They have these “give it a go” sessions for some of the sports clubs so you can try them out. And there are golf lessons of course lol.

Also pay attention to the events for freshers week. I think you have to sign up in advance (some sell out)/and then go get your bracelet/ticket at the student union. There’s a big event at the end that usually sells out too.

Unfortunately she was really only there for one full semester and then had to come home after a little over a month into second semester because of Covid. She’s on a gap year this year.

What are you studying?

Oh no! I’m sorry COVID postponed her college plans.

But that’s great to hear that sports have a “give it a go” session. I play a few sports at my high school and would love to carry on with at least one at St. Andrews. I really enjoy lacrosse, tennis, and clay pigeon shooting, if you have heard good things about any of those societies?

I’m scheduled to study English and Social Anthropology, though I might switch the latter to International Relations after my first year. I plan on attending law school after St. Andrews and aspire to work in the field of politics. I understand that each major has a society, though I’m not sure how connected they are abroad on Capital Hill? I’m interning on the Hill this summer, but hopefully, the foreign affairs society might also have some connections.

I also heard there is a new law review? Though, I struggled to find anything about literary magazines?

Sorry don’t know much about those sports but they have tryouts during freshers week I think. Some sports have pre season opportunities in August, hopefully they’ll list that info in the website. Scotland has been pretty locked down this year so it difficult to know where things will be in August but sports should be on solid footing since it’s outdoors.

Wow congrats on your internship! Have a great time in DC. One of my best friend’s son is also working there this summer….just found out. Sounds so interesting and a great opportunity to see how the sausage gets made lol.

Don’t know about magazines but there is a law review and a school newspaper and one other magazine I’ve seen.

The Saint is the school newspaper. Their website is down for maintenance right now.

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This. I’d be surprised if any UK students chose a double, unless they really can’t afford a single, I’d guess you will end up with another foreign student so think about whether that’s what you want. And given most offers are conditional on A-levels or their Scottish equivalent, they won’t know who is coming until mid-August, then everything happens very quickly (and therefore pretty randomly in terms of allocation). You socialize with others on your floor/staircase/hall etc (or more often your course) but Brits like their alone time. British students who went to boarding school are usually even keener to get away from shared rooms.

And the level of competence in sports is generally pretty low compared to the US, a decent US high school player will often be a standout in a British college team. For example a friend who was a second team tennis player at Princeton was the best in the whole university in the UK.

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Well, outside of crew at Oxbridge and maybe some sports at certain unis (outside the top ones), British unis aren’t recruiting sportsmen/women while the Ivies (even if they don’t offer scholarships) do, so someone second-team at Princeton, even if they would have been far from pro level, probably still was a standout at their HS in their sport.