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Ask a student

Meet some of our student Ambassadors and find out about their top tips, best study spots, favourite traditions and more.

Have more questions? Complete the Ask a student enquiry form at the bottom of this page and one of our students will get back to you.

Whether you are hoping to speak to someone from Scotland, England, USA, China, Singapore, or India, or who came to university after working for a few years, or perhaps someone who studies the subject you are interested in, you will find someone who can help answer your queries. You can even hear from someone who liked St Andrews so much, she stayed on for a postgraduate degree. Click the subject to read more about Ambassadors studying Biology, Medieval History, Psychology, Geography, Computer Science, PhilosophyInternational Relations, ManagementRussian, Mathematics, and more!

Ella

I am originally from: England

My degree subject: Biology

About me: I love studying in St Andrews for many reasons - the staff are friendly, attentive, and deliver high-quality teaching, we have access to some top-quality facilities, and the town itself is a beautiful place to live. Although St Andrews is a small place, I have always found that there is plenty to keep me busy in my downtime. When I'm not studying I spend my time catching up with friends over coffee or at a society event, making the most of our three beaches, or competing across Scotland with the University's korfball team.

Advice for incoming students: Join as many societies and sports as you can! They are the best way to meet people outside of your classes and pick up some new hobbies. Take advantage of the Fresher's Fayre and Give it a Go events to see what you might be interested in joining.

Ella Ackroyd profile picture

 

Jack

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subjects: Economics and Management

About me: I arrived on a Single Honours Economics degree, took Management to fill up my credits, fell in love with it, and have since added it to my degree. I have also undertaken a Research Assistantship in the School of Management. In their own way, these were both great opportunities to do meaningful work and engage with lecturers beyond the classroom.

My favourite study spot: The Physics café. They do a deal on cake and coffee, the staff are lovely and the chairs are super comfy. I am not even a physicist but I always...gravitate there.

Jack Campbell profile pic

Angelina

I am originally from: China

My degree subject: International Relations

About me: Fun would be my keyword for the first year at St Andrews. I enjoyed every aspect of living and studying here. Well, don't say the transport is inconvenient. You can easily get a bus that sends you directly to the train station or just jump in a taxi. The studying experience here is fantastic. Lectures are amazing with really interesting discussions in tutorials. There plenty of beautiful hidden libraries to discover though I personally love the main one. Most of the materials are digitalized and mobile to take wherever you want. Another thing I really want to say is the people here. OMG. You get opportunities to meet so many great people from all over the world! Not only the students are full of surprises but also the teachers as well as the visitors.

My top tip: If you are wondering how is the food here, as an international student I would say it is probably better than you expected. The school menu has a variety of options and different themes across the week. The restaurants in town cover food all over the world. 

Angelina Yang profile picture

Kate

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subject: International Relations

About me: Coming from a rural village in central Scotland, I find St Andrews to be pretty big compared to what I am used to (I might be the only person ever to think St Andrews is big!), and having the beach five minutes from my house is incredible. I have been able to study modules in a number of subjects during my time here, including Anthropology and History, which means I can be really sure that I am going to graduate with a degree that I have enjoyed. The people truly make the place and I have made the most wonderful friends from all over the world and get to be close to them every day.

My favourite study spot: Top floor of the Arts Building - it has amazing views of the sea!

Kate MacLachlan profile picture

Juan Pablo

I am originally from: Mexico

My degree subjects: Medieval History and Archaeology

About me: Living and studying in St Andrews has been my favourite period of my life so far. The community in the University is very friendly and making friends is easy, as St Andrews is so multicultural and you will find every kind of people that you can imagine. The town has a special something that makes you feel happy and proud that you are here.

In my free time: Ever since my first year I have been involved with the History Society and the Radio Station that we have in the Union, hosting my own radio show. I am involved with one charity, Mary's Meals, also work at the Union as a bartender, and I have been trying to put together or join a band to play at events.

 

Jack Rodriguez profile picture

Alyson

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subject: International Relations

About me: I have found St Andrews to be a very open community, which encourages you to try new things. During my two years here I have gotten heavily involved with the Ambassador scheme, helping at open days and volunteering with local high schools. I have also become a committee member for our law society, joined the development Cheerleading squad and taken part in student-led political campaigns, none of which I had done before attending university.

My favourite study spot: I love studying on the grass in the quad during springtime. Surrounded by stunning architecture, with the sun shining and the ocean breeze, it is such a calming and beautiful place to be.

Alyson Kierans profile picture

Samantha

I am originally from: USA

My degree subject: Computer Science

About me: When I found that I preferred studying Computer Science, my academic advisor and the staff in both departments were extremely supportive, flexible, and willing to help ensure I had all the relevant information to make an informed decision when it came time to switch. I've also really enjoyed engaging with the town and all the societies and extracurriculars the university has to offer. I've been involved in student sport, journalism and fashion.

My academic family: I have three academic parents, who have since graduated but still keep in touch, and I'm one of their seven children. My academic wife, husband, and I have continued this tradition and have 10 academic children ourselves. Fun fact, my roommate in first year and I have the same birthday, and since we were adopted together, I actually have an academic twin!

Samantha Chinomona profile picture

Chantelle

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subject: Psychology and Philosophy

About me: I came to university a year earlier than expected and so I actually started when I was sixteen. This seemed a little daunting at first but once I arrived at St Andrews, a lot of my worries were eased. I can now say without a doubt that it has been the best decision I have made so far. One thing that I love about studying here is all of the friends I have made - I am a very sociable person but I still struggled with finding the right friend group for me. After making friends in halls and from different societies, I found some great people to hang out with.

My favourite study spot: My favourite study space is at Pret a Manger, as I like the chaos of other people. To relax after or during studying my friends and I will have a coffee and then go for a walk around the town or down to West Sands.

Chantelle Lau profile picture

Ben

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subjects: Arabic and Mathematics

About me: I was first interested in studying at St Andrews because the flexible course structure allowed me to study my two favourite subjects (Maths and Languages) together in one degree. When I visited for the first time, I immediately felt at home- all the students and staff were all so friendly and welcoming. I first started studying Maths and Spanish, but my academic advisor later helped me to change my degree to include Arabic. It was so easy to switch subjects!

My favourite St Andrews tradition: Academic families! In third year my friends and I adopted 19 academic children and we dressed them all up as loveheart sweeties. Their costumes even made into the University's official video of the foam fight! My academic family are among my closest friends at university.

Ben McAuley profile picture

Jacqui

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subject: International Relations and Russian

About me: When it comes to the social side of things, we really are an international university and I have friends from all over the world. The sense of community we share here is unique and it is actually one of my favourite things about St Andrews. Coming to university, I was worried about how I would fit in, but as soon as I arrived in St Andrews, I immediately felt welcomed and accepted! We have clubs and societies that cater to almost every interest and they are a great way of meeting like-minded people. I myself am part of the mountaineering club and take part in the student ambassadors scheme

My favourite tradition: There are so many fun ones to choose from, such as Raisin Weekend, academic families or the Gaudie. However, I think my favourite tradition is May Dip. This is when students cleanse themselves of academic sin by running into the North Sea on 1 May. For me, running into the North Sea with my friends and a thousand other students at first light is truly an unforgettable experience. I don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life. Also, sitting on the beach and watching the sunrise afterwards is a pretty great way to start exam season off.

Jacqui Gibson profile picture

Fiona

I am originally from: England

My degree subject: MLitt in Environmental History

About me: Having spent five years and counting living and studying in St Andrews, I’m at no loss as to why so many students choose to stay on in this little corner of Scotland for their postgrad degree. The longer I’ve been here, the more I have grown to love St Andrews, with its sandy beaches and its quaint little streets so saturated in history. Gorgeous though St Andrews is as a place, I’ve found it’s the strength of the community spirit here which makes it so special. Town and gown come together in quite a magical way, and I’ve rarely strayed far from my front door or library desk before bumping into a familiar friendly face! People in St Andrews have a way of looking out for each another, and the staff here are incredibly supportive. The student societies are so numerous and active here that there’s never a shortage of things to do, from cuddling guide dog puppies to learning to cha-cha-cha on the beach… Even after so many years, I still truly believe there’s nowhere quite like it

My favourite tradition: Nothing beats the joy and relief of finishing your final ever exam and walking out into the blazing Scottish sunshine, feeling as free as a bird…or so I thought. A particularly quirky St Andrean tradition is “soaking”, which involves final year students being affectionately doused in water from head to toe by their friends, to celebrate the completion of their degree. It was an experience like no other… The water was absolutely freezing, but the smiles were warm, and it was a fittingly memorable ending to a very special four years.

Fiona Banham profile picture

Audrey

I am originally from: Scotland

My degree subject: Geography

About me: I came to University from college after working for 23 years and have loved every minute of my time here so far. I live in Dundee and commute every day and St Andrews has brilliant facilities for commuting students including a room that we can use between classes. I've been just as involved in university life as the younger students and my age has not been an issue. As well as being a student Ambassador I am currently on the committee of the Geography Society, and a member of the tennis club. I've also attended balls and taken part in many of the traditions that are unique to St Andrews and I think my favourite so far has been the May Dip. There is so much support available here if you need it, from both staff and other students, and I found the lecturers friendly and approachable from day one.

My favourite place to relax: When it isn't warm enough to be sitting in the Quad, I like to head to the town Aquarium to see the seals or have a wander to the beach.

Audrey Field profile picture

Zach

I am originally from: Singapore

My degree subject: Computer Science

About me: Although I’ve only been here for a short while, my favourite part about St. Andrews would definitely have to be the sense of community formed in this small town. During my first few weeks here, I knew hardly anyone except a few coming from Singapore, yet everyone here was incredibly accommodating. I was able to make a large number of new friends, meeting new people almost everywhere, from lectures to clubs. Being such a small town, I am still able to see all these people I met quite regularly.
The sense of community is also incredibly present in the sports club, which has organized numerous social events, and has done amazingly in accommodating all of the new students who had just joined their clubs

What did you wish you knew before you came? The weather definitely takes some time getting used to, as I was used to generally warmer climates, so I’d definitely want to have known to pack more warm clothes than I had expected to need. It’s also a great idea to get in touch with other incoming students before arriving through Facebook. Some of my closest friends now I met before even starting my first year!

Zack Newbery profile picture

Annika

I am originally from: India

My degree subject: Psychology and Neuroscience

About me: For me, St Andrews has become a second home, where I have created some of my happiest memories as well as had a few of my lowest lows. The community is St Andrews is extremely friendly and one can easily find a place for themselves. there are so many amazing opportunities for everyone that encourages you to try out new things. During my first year, I was involved in the ambassador scheme. I found the psychology and social anthropology departments to be very helpful and approachable.

My favourite study spot: I love studying at the Cottage Kitchen while having their stress-busting hot chocolate, but during exam time I'm normally in the quiet zone of the Library!

Annika Dhawan profile picture

Megan

I am originally from: England

My degree subject: Geography

About me: I fell in love with the town of St Andrews as soon as I arrived! Being such a small town, I quickly learnt my way around the cobbled streets, and the fact that you can get almost everywhere within 30 minutes walking is incredible. St Andrews as a town and as a university is a close-knit community and this made me feel instantly welcome. It’s not unusual to always bump into someone you know when heading to lectures or town. I have also really enjoyed being part of a smaller school department compared to other universities. Classes are small enough that you can quickly get to know who your lecturers and tutors are, especially during honours years.

My favourite beach: East Sands will always be top for me! There’s so much going on down at East Sands, with the pier, the harbour, the Fife Coastal Path and so many cute dogs out on a walk that there is always something new to see. It’s also where we run into the North Sea during May Dip, which never fails to be a super fun, although cold, tradition.

Megan Dunstan profile picture

Edith

I am originally from: Hong Kong

My degree subject: Psychology

About me: Living and studying in St Andrews is a more dynamic experience than what I had expected. During my time here I've made friends from all kinds of backgrounds, and participated in so many events it's rather surprising that I still managed to learn in such great depth and breadth in the modules I signed up for. St Andrews may surprise you as to how much it can offer beyond the surface. 

My favourite spot to relax: Any of the three beaches in St Andrews. They are excellent for walks, photography, and for swims for those who are willing to brave the North Sea.

Edith Lee profile picture

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