“Take advantage of this opportunity and make it your own!” – reflections from St Andrews Summer Study

Jonny Airey
Wednesday 24 January 2024

Clementine is a student from the University of Windsor who studied Scotland’s History: Kingdom, Nation, People on last year’s St Andrews Summer Study programme. We chatted with Clementine to find out more about her Summer Study experience. 

Why did you decide to apply to St Andrews Summer Study?

I had dreamt of studying in Scotland since I was a young teenager; however, upon entering university during the COVID-19 pandemic, I had absolutely no idea when I would get the chance. Throughout the early years of the pandemic, I researched many different exchange and study abroad programs, and by 2023 I had settled on St Andrews. I chose St Andrews because of its global reputation. More specifically, seeing that it is the oldest University in Scotland and third oldest University worldwide, I felt it was the perfect place to learn about Scotland’s history – and I was right!

Which course did you study?

While at the University of St Andrews I studied the course Scotland’s History: Kingdom, Nation, People.

What did you enjoy most about studying at the Summer Study programme?

The thing I enjoyed most about the Summer Study program was the immersive learning experience. After our morning lectures, we could explore the city, which gave us the opportunity to see the physical history alongside our readings. The field excursions had a similar effect as they took us to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Perth to diversify our understanding of Scottish culture. From exploring Dunnottar castle to walking the Royal Mile, I feel that my understanding of Scotland’s history was well established in and outside of the classroom.

What did you enjoy most about living in St Andrews?

The thing I enjoyed most about living in St Andrews was how walkable the city was. I could walk from the David Russell apartments to the city, to the history building, to several cafes and shops, from East Sands to West Sands beach, and back to the dining hall before 6pm for dinner. I enjoyed how easily I could explore the city without relying on transportation because it gave me the opportunity to truly admire its historical architecture. It also allowed me to try every scone at every cafe in sight – which happens to be my second favourite thing about living in St Andrews.

Did you get the opportunity to travel during your time in St Andrews? If so, where did you go?

During my time in St Andrews, I knew I had to explore places I had seen in one of my favourite television series, Outlander. My family met me in St Andrews so we could embark on this extended journey together. The three castles we chose to visit were Doune, Blackness, and Craigmillar. It was a dream to explore these castles for both their history and historical fiction – it was truly incredible to see the places where Jamie and Claire embarked on adventures together throughout the series.

Craigmillar Castle

What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone thinking about applying to St Andrews Summer Study?

One piece of advice I would give to someone thinking about applying to St Andrews would be to step outside of your comfort zone. Admittedly, it is not easy travelling to a different country to attend a foreign university, no matter how exciting; however, the rewards of the experience outweigh the costs of momentary anxiety and discomfort. With only one course to attend, there is lots of free time to enrich your study abroad experience – take advantage of this opportunity and make it your own!

Thank you to Clementine for sharing her experience. We have extended our application deadline for St Andrews Summer Study residential courses (including Scotland’s History) to Monday 25th March 2024. More information on our courses and how to apply can be found on the St Andrews Summer Study webpages. You can also contact us directly at [email protected].  

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