Thinking of studying at the University of St Andrews? Maybe you’ve got a decision to make and aren’t sure which offer to accept…Don’t flip a coin, read on for some real-life reasons why St Andrews is worth serious consideration…
The University of St Andrews is located in Scotland and offers degree programmes to tax your braincells in medicine, sciences, divinity, humanities and social sciences. Furthermore, if you are impressed by history and old stuff, then this university will excite you– after Oxford and Cambridge, it is the oldest English speaking university in the world. Or look at it another way – it’s the oldest uni in Scotland. Any way you view it, this place is crusty with age and loaded with enough secrets, mysteries and myths for the most avid history buff. If you have a soft spot for ancient architecture, castles and bunnies (yes, bunny rabbits) then the bricks and mortar of St Andrews can’t fail to impress. Check out 16th Century St Salvator’s Chapel, St Mary’s Quad and St Salvator’s Quad to get a sense of the history and tradition that echoes throughout this small but significant town.
It may seem as if St Andrews is stuck out in the middle of nowhere, fourteen miles from Dundee and fifty miles from Edinburgh on the remote East Coast of Scotland – but that’s not the point. The immediate natural surroundings are breathtaking and anybody who studies here soon gets to fall in love with the raw, windswept beauty of the place. You can’t fail to take inspiration from the landscapes that dominate here, they are the perfect backdrop to academic life, offering the ideal escape from books and study when you’ve had enough of lectures for the day.
In recent years the most famous students at St Andrews were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This is where their courtship was largely played out and in fact, if you are of a romantic nature and want a stat to make you swoon, 1 in 10 St Andrews students find their marriage partner at the university. If you want to follow in the footsteps of royalty and get bragging rights to say you studied alongside (OK, it was a few years afterwards) Wills and Kate, then St Andrews could be for you. Other notable alumni include six Nobel Laureates, Edward Jenner, Scottish politician Alex Salmond, the cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy and many other learned and impressive individuals. This place has been in existence since 1410, so we can expect a lot of clever clogs to have passed through its hallowed, ancient halls in that time.
Beaches and Books
OK, so the three beaches on offer aren’t exactly Malaga-marvellous, but they have their own rustic charm. Choose from East Sands, West Sands and Castle Sands, three stretches of beach which are perfect for long walks and blowing away the cobwebs in your revision-stressed mind. Being Scotland, the sea temperature is on the cool side but that doesn’t seem to put off the students who take part in the traditional May Dip on 1st May each year at Castle Sands. If a beach location swings it for you, for student accommodation St Andrews is hard to beat. There are some amazing facilities right on the water at East Sands that have direct access and spectacular views. For exciting and inspiring student accommodation St Andrews really takes some beating with its wild, coastal environment and dramatic vistas.
The university student union is where most of the social action is focused with regular events and club nights to let your hair down after full days of lectures. With thirty pubs in the town, there’s never a shortage of somewhere to dive in for a quick tipple. Because the place is relatively small in scale, during term times the 7000 strong university population really boosts the local numbers. There are plenty of takeaway outlets for late night snacks and you’ll find two supermarkets where you can stock up on Pot Noodle and baked beans.
You spend a few years in higher education so it’s important to go somewhere that delivers on an academic, social and environmental level.The original question was: St Andrews – yes or no? Happy to say that the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’
And one final thing…Don’t forget to bring your clubs, a pair of tartan trousers and a dubious sweater so you can hit the legendary golf links of St Andrews…