“The study abroad program was the highlight of my university years” – A Scholarship Testimonial from Charlotte

Emma Gatrell
Friday 13 October 2023

Applications for Inbound Scholarships are now open, with the deadline as Friday 3rd November. You can apply in MySaint via the ‘My Applications’ tab. Here is a testimonial from Charlotte on why the scholarship was beneficial to her. 

The study abroad scholarship allowed me to make the most out of my time at the University of St Andrews. In particular, the scholarship helped me to become an active member of the St Andrews community. I used the funding to join a variety of clubs which allowed me to meet a number of students at the university. These friendships were particularly valuable during my first couple of weeks on exchange because it gave me the confidence to pursue new experiences.  


Some of my favourite memories come from the St Andrews Surf Club. I became a member in my first week and proceeded to spend most of my exchange in the North Sea! We usually went to East Sands for an early morning surf, but occasionally travelled around the coast on paddleboards when the waves were small. I can still remember the moment when it started to snow while we were out on the paddleboards. It was completely surreal for an Australian to see snow falling onto a beach. The other highlight was travelling to Portugal with members of the Surf Club. We spent a week travelling to different beaches in Lagos and surfing waves which were a bit warmer than the ones in Scotland! The Surf Club provided me with so many special memories and I’m so glad that the scholarship provided me with the opportunity to become a member.  

The study abroad scholarship also ensured that I could afford student accommodation at the University of St Andrews. Living at St Regulus Hall was the highlight of my semester because it gave me the opportunity to make life-long friends. It was particularly special to experience Burns Night, the Gauldie and May Dip with my friends from St Regulus Hall. I also became very close to the other exchange students at the University of St Andrews. We particularly enjoyed hiking along the Fife Coastal Path, viewing historical sites such as Elgin Cathedral, mountain biking in Glentress and visiting Anstruther for the famous fish and chips. I will always remember those experiences and I am so glad that I got to share them with my friends on exchange.  

Another highlight from my semester in Scotland was completing the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way. My friend Lily flew over from New Zealand and we met in Glasgow to begin the hike. We decided to wild camp along the West Highland Way and had a fantastic time pitching our tents in the Highlands and alongside Loch Lomond. Lily and I then kayaked from Fort William to Inverness along the Great Glen Way. My favourite memory was paddling along Loch Ness and trying to spot Nessie over the side of my kayak! The trip was a fantastic way to end my exchange because it allowed me to see a bit more of the wilds of Scotland.  

The exchange program created many fantastic memories, but it also provided me with some important learning experiences. My problem-solving skills greatly improved during my time abroad because I learnt to trust my instincts in stressful situations. I was able to practice my problem-solving frequently as I was often faced with cancelled flights and bookings while travelling across Europe. The exchange program also developed my self-confidence. I grew less afraid to ask questions while travelling overseas and quickly became comfortable talking to strangers.  

The study abroad program was the highlight of my university years and I am so glad that I was able to attend the University of St Andrews. The study abroad scholarship allowed me to make the most out of my time in Scotland and I encourage anyone who is interested to apply. 


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