Izzy - Gateway Year

Being in St Andrews is a wonderful experience, and it is unlike any other place that I have been. It’s an amazing atmosphere, where there are many people from so many different backgrounds, and everyone is unbelievably kind and friendly. This is true for all the students as well as the staff in the university, it is an amazing place to study and an even nicer place to live.

At the time of writing this, I have finished my first year at university and I am now participating in a summer project, this project is outreach based and heavily involves me researching effective teaching techniques and public engagement. At the end of the summer I will begin the second year of my degree at the University of St Andrews. The past year of my degree has been a fantastic experience that I would not want to change, and I will continue to recommend that if people do not have the required grades to do their chosen physics course there is always the gateway programme. This has helped me, and many others, build the skills that they need to become an effective student. This is especially beneficial to those of which did not have the facilities or help to build these skills during their time in secondary education.

Not only has this course helped many people develop valuable skills but it is also a nurturing environment that encourages students to do their best and to not be fearful of being incorrect. Many may be put off the course by a large number of contact hours, but I see this as one of the major benefits. This is because if someone was struggling on a part of the course there was the opportunity to have a workshop around this subject. As well as this there are so many lecturers that are always willing to help, most literally keep their door open, and if not, they are always available by email. But even though there is a very large amount of contact hours, in comparison to some other courses) this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on a social life or attending societies.

During the past year, I have been a very active member of three societies that are now very close to my heart, the Astronomy Society, St Andrews Engineering Group (S.E.G.) and the University of St Andrews Kendo club. The societies in the university are another thing that makes attending here such a wonderful experience, there are so many to choose from and all of them are so inclusive that they do not care what your degree subject is, as long as your committed and willing to be friendly, you will be accepted in every society that I have been to. If you are really interested in physic and astronomy there are two societies that you would love, the physic society and the astronomy society, respectively. These are two societies that are full of absolutely amazing people who are always willing to help you understand anything that was discussed in the society, as they will regularly have talks on interesting subjects. And If you have any interest in engineering I would highly recommend attending S.E.G. as they will always have an ambitious plan for something interesting. Attending societies really helps .

As a person who absolutely adores physics and astronomy coming here was the best choice that I could have made.

First posted BDS 26.8.18