Preparing for life in St Andrews.
Settling in

For most new students, moving to St Andrews is the start of a new life: the first time living away from home, and fending for yourself. It's therefore normal to have lots of questions, that might only seem obvious once you've lived here for a while.

This page contains information specific to St Andrews, covering important topics that are easy to overlook.

If you're a new student, check our Freshers' Hub for lots of info about St Andrews.

Getting around

The University runs a free night bus service every day during semester. This is a great way to get between halls and the Library or Union on nights out. The bus loops around the whole town, with stops including Morrisons supermarket, Ayton House, and most halls.

Lots of students buy a bike to get around St Andrews. There are bike racks at every hall, and all across the town centre.

Cycling tips
  • Bike lights and reflectors are a legal requirement after sunset. You could be fined if you cycle without suitable lights.
  • It's illegal to cycle on the pavement.
  • Wear a helmet, and bright clothing to increase your visibility.
  • Bicycle theft is not unheard of in St Andrews. Always lock your bike. Take a photo of the frame showing the serial number, so you can prove it's yours if stolen.
  • Cyclists must abide by the Highway Code. Make sure you are familiar with UK road signs.
  • It is illegal to cycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Cyclists must follow one-way systems such as Market Street. However, there are sometimes exceptions for cyclists, such as Queen's Gardens.
  • Avoid cycling between the kerb and long vehicles; always stay in a visible position, and be wary of traffic approaching you from behind.
  • Clearly indicate with your arms when turning.

Register with a doctor

You should register with the local NHS medical practice, based at the Community Hospital approximately 20 minutes south of the town centre by foot. Find out how to do this on the University's health page.

The waiting time for an appointment is usually 2-3 weeks, but urgent appointments are available every day.

Students are free to register with either of the two practices at the Community Hospital; however, for administrative purposes you are encouraged to register according to your surname:


TSB, RBS, Barclays, Bank of Scotland, and Nationwide all have branches in St Andrews. You can compare their student bank accounts at Save the Student.

The University has guides for opening a bank account, tailored to both UK and international students.

The University's Money Advisers can provide confidential financial advice to students. You can ask them questions or make an appointment via MoneyAdvice@. They also manage the University's various hardship funds, which include the Discretionary Fund, Accommodation Awards, and Part-Time Fee Grant. You may also be able to borrow money from the University if you have a temporary cash flow problem.

Money Saving Expert has lots of tips for students.


Saints Sport is the University’s organisation for all things sport and physical activity. Alongside some of the best sports facilities in Scotland, there are over 50 clubs that you can join. Joining a club is a great way to meet new people and maintain your mental and physical health.

If a sports club isn't your thing, you can join the gym, take part in exercise classes, have a go at our recreational programme, or even get a personal trainer. See the full list of available fitness activities.

Other options around town include:

Traditions and academic families

A big part of life in St Andrews is academic families and all the traditions which come with them. You can read more about St Andrews traditions.