When you go to St Andrews, you’re going to bring a lot of stuff. But you’re also going to need to buy a lot of other stuff. This is the human condition.
Try as you may, you will not fit everything you need into your suitcases (…unless you bring lots of suitcases). Seeing as you only have 2 arms, I’d recommend bringing no more than 2 suitcases filled with things (and a large “personal item” and a rolling carry-on, of course!). So here is my suggested list of things to wait & buy in Scotland:
- duvet/cover or blankets (Did I mention that all Halls turn the heating off every night? Yeah. COLD.)
- towels, washcloths
- storage/organization things (i.e. coat hangers, clothes hamper)
- UK-plug-compatible electrical things (i.e. laptop charger, electric razor, blow dryer, etc.)
This list is not exhaustive. Consider your life and your needs.
Shopping in St Andrews
Fact: You can get everything you need in St Andrews.
Fact: Everyone in St Andrews is going to need the same stuff that you need. This will likely lead to frustration.
There are many stores in St Andrews, including a few stores that sell housewares and bedding. There are also tons of second-hand stores where you can buy quality stuff. Also, the Transition St Andrews hosts a huge free-stuff-giveaway during Freshers’ which is not to be missed.
Market Street, South Street, and the little streets that connect them (see map: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~scricket/media/images/map.png ) are where most of the shops are. I cannot seem to find a good list of the stores in St A online, so you’ll just have to do some exploring during Fresher’s Week.
Unfortunately, St Andrew’s branch of Argos—the UK’s go-to store for inexpensive homegoods—closed in 2013. See below.
Shopping beyond St Andrews
Dundee– a 30 minute bus ride from St Andrews
There are lots of high-street shops in Dundee, including Argos. Argos has arguably the best deals on sheets and bedding. If you can stop by Dundee, I recommend using the Check & Reserve (click-and-collect) option on their website, http://www.argos.co.uk/static/StaticDisplay/includeName/Reserving.htm. Note that (in person) Argos is a catalog store: you go in, look at a catalog, tell the cashier what you want and he/she goes into storage and pulls it out for you.
Edinburgh– about an hour, depending on method of transportation
If you’re spending a few days with your family in Edinburgh before heading up to St Andrews, definitely buy what you can there. Obviously there are tons of stores there—but you will be in competition with University of Edinburgh students! September often means sales, and there are tons of stores on Princes Street alone to meet all of your needs: House of Fraser, Debenhams, John Lewis, and British Home Store all come to mind. There are also 3 Argos locations in Edinburgh.
St Andrews UniKitOut
So you might have heard that you have the option of buying bedding/stuff right from the University. Great, right? Well, maybe.
While this is a good way of avoiding the hassle of searching for stuff on your own, I’ve heard bad things about it… most people (who I know) who did this ended up buying their own stuff, anyway, because the KitOut sheets/etc. are “itchy” and otherwise uncomfortable. Take this as you may. The website, http://www.unikitout.com/collections/st-andrews, is certainly an option, though. Talk to other programme people, see what they have to say about it.