Academic culture

Be prepared that teaching and learning styles at all of our partner institutions may be very different from St Andrews. This could mean:

  • Different expectations with regard to written work
  • Different class types and sizes
  • More or less contact time
  • Different modes of assessment.

To give yourself the best chance of settling into a new academic culture quickly, try and familiarise yourself with learning and teaching practices at your host institution. For example:

  • Speak to St Andrews students who have been there already
  • Research academic guidance on the host institution website
  • Read any orientation materials the host institution sends you
  • Attend any School pre-departure briefings
  • If you're participating in the St Andrews Abroad programme, attend the academic preparation session organised by the Study Abroad team in March.

When you arrive at the host institution, don't be shy! Use tutors' office hours where available, and utilise any academic support services offered. Many institutions will run orientation sessions for international students and these may cover academic culture.

Remember that you will be entitled to the same support as regularly enrolled students at the host institution.

Remember that you will also be subject to the same rules and regulations as students regularly enrolled at the host institution. It's therefore important not to make assumptions based on your experience of studying in St Andrews, but to check local policies e.g. what is the host institution's policy on the late submission of work?

The first few weeks in a new academic culture may be challenging so being prepared for that gives you the best chance of adapting quickly. If you experience problems with your academic programme abroad, you must notify your Study Abroad Co-ordinator immediately. If at any point on your Study Abroad programme you are considering a Leave of Absence, you should get in touch with the Registry Officer (Student Support) as quickly as possible.