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Scotland Study Abroad Program at the University of St. Andrews

University of St. Andrews

  • Minimum GPA: 3.2 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: April 1 for fall or full year
    October 15 for spring
  • Program advisor: Julia Lieberman
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Program Snapshot


Hallo agus fàilte! We’re so excited that you’re preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the University of St. Andrews as your destination. St. Andrews, Scotland is a student-friendly, beach town that is the birthplace of golf. The University of St. Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland and celebrated its 600th anniversary in 2013. We’re sure you’re going to love studying there!

What St. Andrews has to offer

  • The oldest university in Scotland, founded in 1413
  • A university small enough to give its student individual attention yet large enough to attain a high level of academic achievement
  • The university ranks among the top in U.K. student satisfaction
  • The largest operational optical telescope in Britain and the most sophisticated lasers in Europe, and a dedicated marine laboratory on site
  • The world-renowned Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Violence
  • A modern sports center next to athletic fields


  • Housing is in university accommodation near the academic buildings or throughout the town, but still close to the central university area
  • Housing may consist of a traditional residence hall complex with a mandatory meal plan or a flat with four or five students
  • Students in flats purchase or prepare their own meals


  • Famous for teaching in the humanities, arts and sciences
  • Students take two to four courses per semester, depending on course weight

We look forward to working with you! You can learn more about the University of St. Andrews by visiting their website.



Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
You can find the University of St. Andrews online course catalog here.

  • Select the subject(s) that you are interested in from the list of subjects. Courses will be listed in .PDFs for the entire department and are split into ‘1000/2000 Level’ and ‘Honours Level’ (3000 and 4000).

What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the British academic system is generally an intensive, three-year program.
  • First-year (1000 level) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
  • Second-year (2000 level) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
  • Third-year (3000 level) and fourth-year (4000 level) courses are honors-level courses at St. Andrews and will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses. Students who wish to enroll in Honors modules should have studied at least four courses in their chose subject at their home institution. Your transcript will be checked and the final decision will be made at the point of advising on arrival at St. Andrews.  

Course Restrictions

Study abroad students are not allowed to take courses on the Lifelong Learning or Distance Learning programmes.


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. At the University of St. Andrews, a full course load consists of 60 units per semester or 120 units per year. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. For information on the credit weight, please look below.

10 University of St. Andrews Credits = 2.5 U.S. semester credit hours
15 University of St. Andrews Credits = 3.75 U.S. semester credit hours
20 University of St. Andrews Credits = 5 U.S. semester credit hours
30 University of St. Andrews Credits = 7.5 U.S. semester credit hours


The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Accepted students will receive their provisional schedule shortly after an admissions decision is made. This schedule will be based on the courses listed on the course preference form.

What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full University of St. Andrews course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade appeal or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at the University of Stirling. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad.

  • Standard catered room (John Burnet, McIntosh, St. Regulus, St. Salvator's, University Hall, Andrew Melville Hall)
  • En-suite catered room (John Burnet Annex, Agnes Blackadder, David Russell Apts: limited meal plan with option to purchase lunch)
  • Standard self-catered room (Albany Park)
  • En-suite self-catered room (David Russell Apts., Agnes Blackadder, Fife Park Apts.)

Standard housing means that you would share a bathroom with other students. En-suite housing means that you would have your own full bathroom.

For more information about your housing options at St. Andrews, please click here.

What is catered accommodation like?
The meal plan usually includes 19 meals per week (breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday) at your residence hall cafeteria. Meal plans at the University of St. Andrews are different from most meal plans in the United States. Rather than an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can choose between limited items (e.g., juice or milk, not both). Most residences offer only one vegetarian option per meal. Meal plans are not included in your fees and you will not be billed for the meal plan until after you arrive at St. Andrews.

What is self-catered accommodation like?
Some students prefer the greater freedom of self-catered accommodation, where they prepare their own meals. This is especially an advantage for those with dietary restrictions and food allergies. Self-catered accommodations are arranged with five students in standard or en-suite single bedrooms. These apartment-style accommodations are fully furnished and include a kitchen. Some halls offer a section of self-catered accommodation where 12 students share a kitchen/dining area.

Will I have a phone and internet connection?
All accommodation includes a telephone and Internet connection.

I have a friend who went to St. Andrews and recommended certain buildings. Can I request those buildings?
The housing preference forms provide space for you to request a certain type of housing only. St. Andrews and IFSA-Butler guarantee accommodation to all IFSA-Butler students. However, the university does not guarantee placement in the type of accommodation you requested. Many students are placed in modern housing on the edge of town, which is about a one-mile walk to the town center where most of the university buildings are located. The older buildings located in the center of town are very popular and space is very limited. To increase your chances of getting a building closer into town, you should consider a standard catered room as your first preference.

Will I have to walk a lot?
Even though St. Andrews is a small town, plan to walk a lot. You may find that you have up to a 25 minute walk to class or the store.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals (whether a meal plan or self-catered) and any commuting costs you may incur. Some university housing requires students to move out during winter and spring breaks. If you wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during university breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Scotland for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Population: 20,000
Location: Fife, in eastern Scotland

City features

  • Scotland's oldest university town, first settled in the sixth century
  • Twisting streets and preserved medieval buildings
  • A great sense of community as well as a sense of history

Do more!

  • If you have a handicap that meets the standards of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, play on the world-famous Old Course of St. Andrews for a surprisingly reasonable fee
  • Enjoy hiking and backpacking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the city
  • Travel north to climb and ski in the Cairngorms, home to some of the highest peaks in Britain
  • Visit the beautiful Scottish Highlands and the Angus Glens
  • Take a train from Edinburgh (one hour away) for a night on the town

Visit St. Andrews!
Welcome to St. Andrews
Royal and Ancient Golf Club
Scottish Highlands

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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* Family visit weekend may alternatively take place February 9-11.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Scotland, exams are taken under formal examination conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Scotland program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

*Student Visa: U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) do not need to apply for a visa, but can instead enter the country as a student visitor at no cost. Student visitors are allowed to remain in the U.K. for up to six months but are not allowed to undertake any paid work or unpaid volunteer activities. Citizens of some countries may be required to obtain a student visa. If this applies to you, your IFSA-Butler program advisor will notify you. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Academic year students also have to pay a healthcare surcharge of £150 in addition to visa costs.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.


Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Scotland:

julieProgram Advisor Julia Lieberman assists the student through the application process in addition to answering cultural and logistic questions about the study abroad experience. Julia graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. She studied abroad twice during undergraduate, for a semester in Belize and then for an independent study in Nicaragua. She has traveled extensively studying, working and living abroad, mainly in South America and Europe. These life-changing experiences lead Julia to her interest in study abroad and he desire to help others do so. Currently, Julia advises students traveling to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. She can be reached through the email link above or by phone at 800-858-0229 ext. 3638.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office in Edinburgh. Click here to read more about Resident Director Ruth Casey.

abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.


Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Pre-Med Option

IFSA-Butler and St. Andrews are proud to offer a terrific pre-med opportunity for fall semester students. This option is geared toward participants who plan to attend medical school after graduation.

The fall pre-med option includes an Organic Chemistry course taught by St. Andrews faculty. IFSA-Butler is the only study abroad provider to offer this option to North American students. Participants can round out their fall semester with other related courses from St. Andrews’ science schools, which offer study in areas such as biology, biochemistry, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, etc. or they can choose courses from non-science schools at St. Andrews. Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee placement in this course.

There is no additional charge for the pre-med option. Please contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor for more information or for a syllabus.

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.