Global Community: New Visiting, Study Abroad, and Exchange Students Throw Themselves into Life in St Andrews

Eilidh Henderson
Saturday 27 January 2024

Over the past few weeks, we have welcomed almost 200 new exchange, study abroad, and visiting students to St Andrews for the Spring semester. As they settle into their studies and life in a new place, we would like to reflect on the privilege it is to play a role in their journey. Our collaborations and partnerships with institutions around the world highlight our commitment to enhance student experience and foster academic connectivity internationally.

Each semester we have the great pleasure of welcoming new study abroad, exchange, and visiting students to St Andrews. We support them on their journey from application right through to the completion of their studies in Scotland. It is wonderful to see our visiting students throw themselves into everything the University and town have to offer as well as becoming fully integrated members of the St Andrews community.

Last weekend we hosted our International Welcome Ceilidh for the new Spring 2024 cohort. The theme of the event – introduced by the Director of the Global Office, Samantha Lister – was “Say yes!” This is a theme which we hope our new students will carry with them, throughout their time abroad, to take the most they possibly can from experience. When you’re invited to your hall ball – say yes! If someone asks you to go for a chilly swim in the North Sea – say yes! When you have the chance to join a University club or society which you’ve never heard of before – say yes!

The students took this in their stride at the ceilidh and all said yes to sampling a proper Scottish welcome. By the end of the dancing, everyone was joining in with the clapping and whooping, whirling each other round the dance floor, and finishing off with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The best way to describe it would be a good old “hoolie” (a Scottish word for a party; an evening of traditional music and dance.)

Amidst the challenges impacting so many in our global community, it brings us immense happiness to see both students and staff seizing new education and research opportunities and being empowered to explore, collaborate and engage on an international scale. Both our incoming and outgoing students are a testament to the University of St Andrews’ rich history of building long-lasting and valuable connections worldwide.

Welcome, once again, to all our new visiting students and all the best for the semester ahead!

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