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Some questions for you Scots

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by stratovani, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. It's actually some good news. Next month my daughter will be leaving for Scotland for a year, to pursue a Master's Degree in Art History at St. Andrews University. Her fiancee is going with her, since he was able to secure a temporary work visa. I'm very proud of her indeed, but I'll also miss her terribly.

    I've got a few questions regarding living in Scotland. They are:

    1. Will she be able to qualify for National Health once she starts school, and will her fiancee also qualify?
    2. How is the cost of living in the St. Andrews area?
    3. How far away is London and the Continent in terms of time by train?
    4. Do universities in the UK have things like Spring Break like they do here in the US?

    I've told my daughter that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see as much of the UK and Europe as she can, so hopefully she'll be able to take advantage of it, even though she'll be busy with the thesis, etc.

    Any and all advice is certainly welcome!
  2. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Well your daughter is indeed in for a treat. i_got_a_mohawk will be the resident expert, but as a graduate of an English university and a resident of the north west of England (Manchester) - though soon relocating to Carlisle - allow me to chime in.

    London is a few hours by train and you can fly to most major European capitals from Glasgow airport in about the same time. Whilst our capital is worth a visit for its historical sights (Tower of London is a MUST), there are many other cities all within sensible train journey times. Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Chester, York...the list is pretty long and they all have something worth checking out. PM me if you need more details about cities of Northern England worth visiting, as I'm sure she'll venture south!

    Scotland has some of the most stunning scenery imaginable (the Isle of Skye comes to mind) but it's worth a small trek south to our beautiful Lake and Peak Districts.

    Her actual term times should be on the university website, but as a rough guide she'll get a few weeks at christmas, a few weeks at Easter and some smaller breaks in between I'd guess.

    Most importantly, in the absence of a Babel Fish, she needs to be prepared to hear things said in the strangest of alien dialects. I kid you not. And thats before they even start drinking....she needs to experience Hogmanay!

    And she needs to gorge on as much fruit and veg as possible for the next month, as it will be a year before she sees anything green on her plate. Deep fried Mars Bars are considered haute cuisine up there. :)

    Over to mohawk...
  3. Thanks Tituscrow :) Certainly plenty to see around England (Wales and Ireland too for that matter)! Had a belter of a wee break down near(ish) York earlier in the year.

    Firstly, congrats! It's an awesome university, 3rd oldest English speaking University in the world (after Oxford and Cambridge), and an awesome area to live in.

    1 - The NHS

    From my understanding (double check this with the University) she should be covered by the NHS as long as she is doing a full time course and has all the visa stuff OK'd (not much of an issue for a US student).


    However, I honestly do not know about her fiancee, I think he probably would get free care, but, I'm not 100%. I'd try and verify it via the Home Office:


    2 - Cost

    St Andrews is an expensive place to live, however, it is also a major student town (~30% of the population are students IIRC). So, I don't think it'd be tooo expensive, certainly not put many off.

    This website may help give some indicators :

    3 - Transport

    There isn't a train station in St Andrews, but there is one in a nearby town (Leuchars). It's about 7 hours by train. Travelling to Europe would almost certainly be cheaper by plane, Edinburgh and Glasgow both have international airports, and they aren't too far from St Andrews (less than an hour by car to Edinburgh). Heck, travelling by plane to London may be cheaper too these days.

    4 - Spring Break

    Not quite like spring break, though there is RAG week and St Andrews has a few of it's own wee traditions:


    Think they do Prom-Dress Rugby too if your Daughter is interested :D

    There is certainly a lot to see around our little isle and then a boatload more on the continent! Feel free to drop me a line if you want any more help or if I can clarify anything :)
  4. Tituscrow, and mohawk, thanks for the info. I'll let her know about all this the next time I see her. Too bad I can't really afford to travel to St. Andrews, I would have loved to give the Old Course a try! :(
  5. Update - my daughter and her fiancee are on their way to St. Andrews tonight. They had a bit of a problem with her fiancee's visa, so they had to travel to New York City to the UK Consulate to get it all sorted out. They got everything taken care of, and tonight they'll be on the redeye to Heathrow. After a layover, they'll be flying to Edinburgh, and they should be in St.Andrews late tomorrow night. After a couple of days of orientation she'll be starting her studies for her Masters Degree this coming Monday.

    I'm so damn proud of her for doing this, but I'll miss her terribly. I almost lost it as she was walking out the door! Best of luck to you, Nicole and Pat, and I hope you'll enjoy your adventure! :D
  6. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    That's great news. Feel free to PM me if you want my email address. I'll happily provide any help or advice should she wish to venture south of Hadrians Wall :)

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