The Catholic University of America

  Colleen Flanagan - University of St. Andrews, Scotland


Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. Scotland - Scotland is a wonderful country, and you'll wonder why you've never been before! Edinburgh and Glasgow are the two bigger cities you'll encounter and love, each for the separate charm. Edinburgh is a classic city, home to the Edinburgh Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Mile among other things. Glasgow is a fun city with lots of live music, art museums, and parks. The Highlands are incredible, and are a must-go! The mountains, hills, an isles of Scotland are unforgettable.
  2. St Andrews - St Andrews is about an hour away from Edinburgh by train. It is nestled on the east coast of Fife, with its beaches along the North Sea. St Andrews is a small, historical town with three main streets. The University populates a large portion of the town, and you'll find many shops and pubs to meet your fancy.
  3. Academics - The University is Scotland's first university, and the third oldest English speaking university in the world. St Andrews scored fourth place out of universities in the UK. You can take three first or second-year level courses, or two third or fourth-year ones. In addition to weekly classes you will most likely have tutorials as well, with tutors for each class in a small group setting. Classes are different in that there is very little actual class time, and lots of reading to be down individually. Final exams generally make up about 50% of the total grade, while the other half consists of essays.
  4. Tradition - Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge established the royal tradition at St Andrews. There is even a cafe called North Point that celebrates where Will & Kate met (for coffee). There are also many traditions within the University, where the tight-knit student community celebrates Raisin Weekend in the fall and May Dip in the spring. Students also occasionally wear their red academic gowns and walk the length of the pier on Sunday afternoons. The town is very old and the number of societies students can partake in are vast!
  5. International Community - At St Andrews you'll experience a community filled with students from many, many countries. There are many students from the UK and North America, as well as from Europe, Asia, and other various countries. You'll get more than a lesson in Scottish culture, you'll get a lot more!


What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went

  • That I'd meet a lot of Americans in St Andrews
  • That it's okay to speak up in huge lectures
  • To make the extra bus ride to Morrisons instead of shopping at Tesco
  • To be comfortable and join societies
  • How hard it would be to leave!


A Funny Story or Situation

Non parlo italiano - When I was visiting friends in Italy, I was on my own for a day and stopped to grab lunch at a pizzeria near the Trevi Fountain. I was sitting, eating my pizza when a piece of pepperoni fell onto the man's pants next to me. He started going off in Italian at me and I quickly left. Guess I should pick up a few key phrases before I walk around Italy by myself next time!


An Embarrassing Situation

Everyone is very nice in Scotland, but personal space is a big deal! Don't be surprised when people avoid eye contact when passing by.


The Teacher From Whom I Learned the Most

I learned most from my film tutors, who really broke down the lectures and provided time for us to discuss. This made going through the readings so much easier! I also really liked my Scottish Music professors, because they taught us how to play the Scottish penny whistle and brought Scottish musicians, including a bagpiper, into class to perform for us!



You should absolutely live in the resident halls at St Andrews. It's how most students make friends their first few years. I lived in David Russell Hall, which was the farthest dorm from town (20 minute walk) -- but the nicest. It was 5 single rooms with private bathrooms and a shared kitchen. I cooked for myself, but you could opt for a meal plan, only they only serve breakfast and dinner, and only at select times. Other friends of mine lived in New Hall and University hall, where they met more people, aka their hallmates, because of the shared kitchen aspect.

Student Profile:

MajorMedia Studies

Hometown: Severna Park, MD

Program: St. Andrews - Arcadia

Term Abroad: Spring 2012

Contact Colleen