1. Why did you decide to enroll in the programme?
I wanted to participate in the program because it offered the opportunity to study at two renowned schools, as well as incorporate a study abroad experience into my college program without having to apply through the Study Abroad department.
2. What are your favorite traditions from each school?
I enjoyed going to WaWa at William & Mary, and doing the pier jump at St Andrews.
3. What are you favorite memories from your first year at each school?
Sunday Night Dinners with my flat-mates and friends; we had a great Christmas Dinner! Our conversations on any given night could range from Zombie Apocalypse Plans to the evolutionary advantages of eating meat.
4. What is your favorite thing about studying your subject at William & Mary? Why?
William & Mary’s hands-on approach to history really appealed to me. It is one thing to read about how people dressed or how they worked, and another to see it or experience it. It provides perspective…especially as you take photos of it on your smartphone.
5. What is your favorite thing about studying your subject at the University of St Andrews? Why?
My favorite thing about studying history at St. Andrews is that, because you have fewer classes, each history class you take allows the opportunity to study each subject more in depth.
6. How should programme students approach getting involved in extracurricular activities and community life at each school?
For extracurriculars at St. Andrews, I suggest that students get involved in Freshers Fayre and sports clubs (even if you are in your third or fourth years) the very first week. It is easier to make friends when everyone is new. The best way to get involved with the community life at St. Andrews is through an Academic Family, and by hosting dinners for your friends (everyone loves free food). At William & Mary, connect with people in your classes or join a club.
7. Did you do any traveling while at either university? If so, what was your favorite place you visited and why?
I did lots of travelling at St. Andrews. My favorite place to visit was Florence when my friends and I travelled to Italy during our first year, but this could be knocked to second place by the trips that currently have planned for Berlin and the Highlands, so we’ll see!
8. What was the most challenging aspect of being in the programme? How did you handle this aspect? What advice would you give to future students trying to cope with this same aspect?
The workload is much heavier than you would experience at either school, and it feels even tougher when your friends aren’t taking as many or as difficult classes as you are. The best way I found to handle this is to work whenever they are working (go to the library together or find another place to study), work sometimes when they aren’t working, and to go out and have fun with them sometimes too. Trying to pressure yourself into being a study machine can make you miserable. To lighten the workload during the semester, you could try taking a few credits over the summer.
9. At each school, what is one class you would recommend to future students? Why would you recommend these classes?
For History students, I would recommend taking a Medieval History course, and at William & Mary I would recommend taking a National Institute of American History and Democracy course (either American Revolution to Civil War, or Jamestown Landing to American Revolution). I would recommend the first because I took a Medieval History course at W&M, and subsequently kicked myself for not taking it at the place that was actually founded during the period. I would recommend the NIAHD course because they are hands-on (field trips!), yet provide a solid amount of historiography as well.
10. What has been the most worthwhile or rewarding aspect of participating in the programme?
The friends and the travel, which are interrelated. There are people I would have regretted not meeting had I not taken the risk and studied abroad first year.
11. How has participating in the programme enhanced your academic, interpersonal, personal, and professional development?
In terms of academics, the way that St Andrews graded papers took no prisoners. My writing got better fast. My first year at St Andrews played a large role in enhancing my interpersonal skills, as well. Drinking as a social activity has really facilitated a lot of my friendships (in a good way), and pushed me to work on the balance between work and life that I had not focused on in high school. Personally, the programme has made me examine why I do things, if I am doing them for the right reason or if I am just checking a box on the to-do list of life. Regarding professional development, the programme has helped me a bit more indirectly. It was such a unique experience to have on my resume. Employers took notice, and it has helped me get some excellent internships, which will definitely help me to get a job.