BA Student Profile 1: Christina

Wednesday 27 May 2020

For the next week or so, I will be uploading a series of student profiles of current students in the BA International Honours Program, starting with my own! These blog posts will detail the experiences of me and a few of my peers so that you can get some candid insight into the joys and challenges of this unique program from people who have lived through it. I hope that our stories will be helpful to you — whether you’ve been accepted and will be joining us in the fall or are just doing some research to learn more about us.

While I was still a fresher at William & Mary, I remember St Andrews seeming like a mysterious black box, distant and unknown. Despite all the brochures I had poured over and all the advice I received from upperclassmen who had survived the transition, I honestly had no idea what to expect.

Then, I arrived in Scotland and found that what was waiting for me across the Atlantic was not a dark, cold, and rainy land or an exotic extended holiday, but a home away from home.

The increase in independence that I found at St Andrews was intimidating at first. Especially when paired with the sheer volume of organized events that were on at any given week — from balls to fashion shows to golf tournaments. But by stretching myself and getting involved in different activities, I was able to build myself a St Andrean family. From my academic family with whom I shared many local traditions and the encouraging community at the St Andrews Free Church, to my fellow photographers on the campus fashion blog Concrete Catwalk and my reeling set with whom I have learned almost a dozen Scottish dances — I found my place and never had a dull moment.

Though St Andrews offers a lot of time that, if managed correctly, allows you to attend fancy events and/or travel the world, there were some serious academic transitions to be made. There is a different grading system and a whole new set of expectations for academic work. However, with that being said, looking back I could not imagine my education being complete without both the American and European perspectives. As the world becomes increasingly more globally interconnected, experiences like the one offered by the BA International Honours program will prove to be invaluable.

Looking back now, as I prepare to enter my final year of university, I can tell you that the journey hasn’t always been easy. But it is so worth it!

Christina (Virginia, USA)

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