“I feel incredibly blessed”: Nicholas’ time in St Andrews

Emma Gatrell
Thursday 23 November 2023

Nicholas is a student from the University of Melbourne studying Economics and Finance. Read here about his experience as a Study Abroad student in St Andrews.

The University of St Andrews is simply magical and a place of learning like no other on the planet. I feel incredibly blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to spend a year abroad at St Andrews and I’m truly grateful to have been generously supported with a Study Abroad scholarship. My time in The Kingdom of Fife allowed me to embrace my British heritage, build new scholastic and professional relationships, and seize the wonderful learning opportunities at one of the world’s leading tertiary institutions. In addition, the friendships I have built with students from all over the world are relationships that I will cherish for life. When reflecting on my time at St Andrews there are three core highlights that come to mind: the pursuit of academic excellence, the collegiate community of like-minded people, and the sacred and historic golfing links.  

West Sands, with St Salvator's Chapel Tower in background
West Sands, with St Salvator’s Chapel Tower in background

First, the University blesses an unparalleled cohort with an incredible academic faculty, making the experience as intellectually stimulating as it is enjoyable. I was strongly supported in my studies in economics by outstanding staff in small and heavily personalised teaching environments. The academic environment at St Andrews allowed me to be inquisitive, challenge ideas, pursue my interests and develop my skills and passion to critically analyse and find ways to help solve complex social, environmental, and financial issues in our rapidly changing technological world. Additionally, at St Andrews I was encouraged to pursue my interest in history, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the history of Scotland, Britain, and the Empire from 1500 to the present day.   

Second, the people and the incredible collegiate community that exists at St Andrews made me feel at home right from the time I took my first step on campus. With its beautiful 14th-century buildings and charming cobblestone roads, explored by students from countries right across the world, St Andrews is an extraordinary place to live and study. St Andrews is also draped in tradition and age-old rituals, from walking the pier in the red undergraduate gowns, to being adopted by your academic family on Raisin Weekend and running into the North Sea at sunrise for the traditional May Dip, there is never a dull moment. Along with the town and gown relations, there are countless events and balls to enjoy and to foster lasting friendships. The quaintness of the town also means you are always seeing familiar faces and sharing stories and laughs over a coffee or a night out in one of the many brilliant pubs and restaurants.   

Nicholas and friends wearing their red gowns
Nicholas and friends wearing their red gowns

Finally, as the ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews is any keen student golfer’s dream destination. Just minutes away by foot from my student accommodation, if I wasn’t studying you could normally find me out on the course. I was able to amass over 30 rounds on the legendary Old Course, with every round offering new and exciting challenges and a greater appreciation for the world’s oldest course. As a student, I was fortunate enough to be able to access the world-class links for a heavily discounted rate and choose tee times which are generally not publicly available. I was also a member of the University Golf Club which was a fantastically tight-knit group of students, offering weekly competitions, social events, and fixtures against some of the UK’s finest golf clubs. 

University of St Andrews' Golf Scholar putting on the 17th green on the Old Course
University of St Andrews’ Golf Scholar putting on the 17th green on the Old Course

I will forever cherish the friendships and memories from my year at St Andrews. For those students considering a similar path, I could not recommend the University of St Andrews more highly, and believe the University has something amazing and unique to offer each and every student. Reflecting now on my past year, I believe the great Bobby Jones’ famous words sum up my time at The University of St Andrews; “I could take out of my life everything except my experiences at St Andrews and I would still have a rich, full life.”

Thank you to Nicholas for sharing his experience, you can read more of our student experiences in the Global Education section of the Global Office blog.

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