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King's College/University of St. Andrew/University of Edinburgh

benedictharoldbenedictharold Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
Hey everyone,

I am a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Economics; I plan to study abroad in the spring term. I have (mostly) narrowed my study abroad options down to these three UK universities (after considering language requirements, logistics, and general reputation b/c I still do want to receive quality education while abroad). Upon a bit of research it seems that St. Andrews is the highest regarded within the UK, but King's and Edinburgh are both more well-regarded internationally (kind of like how Brown and Dartmouth are highly desirable within the US but rank much lower in international rankings). I kind of prefer King's College because it is more centrally located and I would like to be able to travel around Europe easily during my term abroad - I have been to Spain and Austria, but that's about it.

Basically after narrowing it down to these three universities, there is still so much I don't know about them and I can't seem to make up my mind. Can anyone give me more information which would help me make this decision?

Also, if anyone has anything to offer regarding Bocconi University in Milan and NUS (National University of Singapore), I would appreciate it as well. My impression is that both are also very well regarded, and as far as location, Milan is centrally located for easy travel around Europe, and Singapore has good access to Southeast Asia (which I have never been and could potentially be fun).

I know that this is a very broad comparison, but feel free to give me any pointers. Thanks!

Replies to: King's College/University of St. Andrew/University of Edinburgh

  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 402 Member
    Hello. Academically you will be fine with those choices. It really comes down what environment you want to live in and what your budget is. As a disclaimer I lived in London for 8 years, but I would not recommend it for students. Its expensive, crowded and pain to get around. Think NYC, but if you are OK with that then fine and I know many American kids from my daughters cohorts who have spent time in London and loved it. Edinburgh is a great city easy to get to and from so if you want to travel around Europe it is ideal. Edinburgh is quite a sporty if you like that kind of thing and the university will run several teams of all abilities which compete within the university itself and against other UK schools, a good way to make new friends. St A's is on the east coast of Scotland about 1hr 20 mins from Edinburgh. The town is lovely and again tons of student activities and sports, has the famous golf course and beaches if that floats your boat, but the town is small, think Kenyon by the sea. English kids work hard and play hard, the drinking age is 18 so you will find bars and pubs are well frequented by students where ever you go but there will be no pressure to participate if you dont want to. Good luck enjoy.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,830 Senior Member
    I'd pick Edinburgh for European city life without the London hassles. King's if your financial aid covers room and board, because it may be your only chance to live in London for affordable costs. St Andrews is too isolated doe a semester abroad. You'll easily travel anywhere in Europe from either London or Edinburgh.
    Bocconi is ugly but has a superb reputation in the EU. Do you know basic Italian? If not, take a class over the qummer/ in the fall, and come back with a high level since you'll use it all the time for daily life.
  • LutherVanLutherVan Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    Upon a bit of research it seems that St. Andrews is the highest regarded within the UK

    Where did you do this research?
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    This is an easy choice (Edinburgh) for the following reasons:

    1) All are excellent universities

    2) You will have a degree from Penn in 24 months. As a result, no one will care where you did a semester abroad

    3) For a student, Edinburgh is a really fun city. Scotland is very different from England, with its own particular culture and basically, the Scots are friendlier than the English.

    4) Kings is in a very crowded and touristy part of town which will require expensive housing, food, entertaiment, etc. Foreign students who go there typically hang out with other foreign students. St A's is also extremely international. At Edinburgh, you will be forced to integrate more with British kids which will be a plus for you.

    5) St A's can be pretty dark and bleak in the wintertime which is when you will be starting there.

    This really is a no brainer in favour of Edinburgh.
  • LutherVanLutherVan Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    I agree with all the points of @londondad.
  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 402 Member
    @londondad @LutherVan RE: 5) Geography not a strong point then. as for 3) Sweeping generalization if ever there was one.

    Either Edinburgh or St A's, I agree are pretty much a wash for academics. After that it is down to intangibles Urrban/Rural, etc.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,755 Senior Member
    Haha. Yes. Edinburgh and St. A's will have virtuallly identical weather and sunrise/sunset times.
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    @purpletitan and @elguapo1

    I do know my geography, despite being an American!! :-)

    While Edinburgh and St Andrews have similar latitudes, it is always going to feel more bleak and miserable in the winter if you are in a relatively small town on the North Sea coast compared to being in the middle of a capital city.

    The other big advantage for Edinburgh is the flight connections. Presumably, OP will want to explore somewhere (as American students usually do, probably Continental Europe on February half-term the Easter break and/or right after exams end and Edinburgh is just much better placed for international airport connections.
  • LutherVanLutherVan Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    edited June 2016
    Well said @londondad.

    @PurpleTitan and @elguapo1, St Andrews is further up geographically and by the sea coast. It is less well built up area, with less population and has less land between it and the sea breeze. So based on understanding of geopraphy, the weather would be different there from what it is in Edinburgh.
  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 402 Member
    @ LutherVan

    Ordinarily I would let it go but when people just spout off giving their opinion as fact I feel compelled to answer... Ave max temp is the same, slightly cooler min temp in St A's, but St A's has higher annual sunshine and lower annual rainfall... but the fact is you are unlikely to notice a difference!!!!!!

  • LutherVanLutherVan Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    @elguapo1, I don't think you understand the UK weather.

    There might be sunshine and even a high temperature reading, but that can be overshadowed by the wind.

    In the UK, it is not unusual in a weather report for it to be said "The temperature forecast is 16 deg, but it will feel like 12 deg".
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,755 Senior Member
    I'm pretty certain that @elguapo1 understands UK weather very well. . . .
  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 402 Member
    I dont understand UK weather, I only lived there for 33 years with an undergraduate degree in Geography! We have an expression in the UK, when in a hole stop digging. All I can say when its cold wet and windy in either St A's or Edinburgh it will be equally miserable, when its warm and sunny at least St A's has a beach 15 mins walk from the centre of town. To the original OP, if it is at all possible vacation in Scotland for a few days this summer, it is beautiful and you can see both universities for yourself.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,755 Senior Member
    Well, some people who may not even be from or live in a particular country seem to want to act like an expert of the said country . . .
This discussion has been closed.