Applying to university: studying at St Andrews

Nothing comes close to the East Fife Coast! According to the National Student Survey 2016 students at the University of St Andrews are the most satisfied in the UK, and who can blame them! They attend the best University in Scotland – indeed the third best in the UK. But St Andrews is more than just stats.

Close knit community

Well, for starters, student life at the University of St Andrews is completely different to any other University in the UK. There are a mere 8,000 students compared to Durham with 17,500 or the enormous University of Edinburgh with 34,000. Thanks to the small student population, St Andreans enjoy all the benefits of a close knit community surrounded by academic experts. 

Pastoral system and university traditions

The University is over 600 years old! So has a wealth of unique traditions. The most famous of these unique traditions is that students wear red gowns for formal occasions. Gowns can be seen floating around the three main cobbled streets of the town.

St Andrews is also home to a large number of ‘academic families’. A tradition where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them through their first year and beyond. The highlight of the year for first year students has got to be ‘Raisin Weekend’. Parents entertain their children and encourage them to play pranks and silly games around town. On Raisin Monday, the children dress in comical costumes, are given strange objects with a traditional Latin inscription, and are let loose on Lower College lawn for an enormous foam fight.

One of the most hair raising traditions is the annual ‘May Dip’ when students plunge into the freezing North Sea at dawn on the first of May. This is said to bring good luck in exams. 

Peaceful location

A peaceful seaside town filled with coffee shops and pubs, St Andrews has many hidden hideaways. Fancy a cup of coffee? Head to Northpoint Cafe (where Kate met Wills for coffee!). Or the Golf Cafe for a view of the infinitely blue (most of the time!) North Sea and the famous Old Course while you nibble on some shortbread. Organising a catch up with friends? I recommend Mammacitas for some fajitas, margaritas and Spanish tunes or Aikmans for a pint and famous nachos. Want to spend a lazy Sunday reading? Toppings and Co. have walls covered in books and very comfortable armchairs.

Within this magical, vibrant seaside town there really is something for everyone! Come and be a part of a 600 year long story!


Written by Chloe S.

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