From pool to politics, from art to animal welfare, there is a wide range of societies and groups at St Andrews for the students to join and participate in, and here are my personal top ten.
In no particular order:
Inklight: It is said that everyone has a story inside them, and St Andrews’ own creative writing society is perfect for any student with a story or poem waiting to be written. Welcoming students of all degree disciplines, the society holds regular poetry slams, open mic nights where students can read their work to an audience, and creative writing workshop to get your imagination flowing.
Global Investment Group: Perfect for students with an interest in business and finance, GIG boasts a $15,000 student-run equity investment fund (the largest in St Andrews). It also organises regular events to gain hands on experience of finance and consulting as well as developing necessary managerial and business skills. This in addition to more provocative events like Studio 54 and For Your Eyes Only. GIG is an excellent gateway for students considering a career in the financial or business world.
DONT WALK: In a town renowned for its fashion shows, the DONT WALK Charity Fashion Show stands apart as an entirely unique experience, an evening of entertainment and clothing inspiration unrivalled by any other. This fashion show has a credible claim to fame by having fanned the flames of the royal romance: It was at the first DONT WALK show where Kate Middleton modelled her iconic see through-dress. Infamously invitation-only, DONT WALK offers students plenty of opportunities to get involved, from modelling to marketing to dressing, making the team one of the closest knit St Andrews families.
University of St Andrews Hockey Club: One of the most popular sports societies in St Andrews (and the Best Club of 2015 / 2016, according to the Athletic Union), both boys’ and girls’ hockey host excellent pre-drinks and socials, culminating in the monthly Sinners Sports nights or the yearly Hockey Ball. Whether you’re a novice or a professional at the sport, the easy-going and encouraging atmosphere of the club will soon make you feel at home and increase your skill level in no time at all.
The Just So Society: A subcommittee of the performing arts fund Mermaids, Just So links both the town and the university with its love of musical theatre. It produces on average one musical a semester (my personal favourite of theirs being 2015’s the Drowsy Chaperone) and has a great social scene. I would strongly encourage either going to see the musicals and performing in them – or both!
The Scandinavian Society: Whether you trace your ancestors to the time of vikings, or are just interested in the languages and culture of these Northern European countries, the Scandinavian Society welcomes all. It is also responsible for one of St Andrews’ most popular events, first semester’s exclusive Nobel Ball. The raucous night features dinner and dancing that incorporate all the characteristics of the various Nordic countries.
Foreign Affairs: For those with an interest in global events and politics, the FAS hosts lectures and debates involving speakers from all over Britain. Boasting its own weekly radio show and online publication, the opportunities to get involved are endless. Not to be missed are the “Pint and Politics” socials, where the best of beer and the best of foreign matters are unified.
St Andrews Polo Club: Often called the sport of kings, the St Andrews polo society is open to riders of any ability. Professionally taught, students can practice weekly, as well as having the opportunity to ride on the West Sands beach (aka Chariots of Fire Beach), which provides an amazing view of the town. It is also the force behind the annual Charity Polo Tournament. Hands down my favourite event of the year, the tournament takes place at Errol Park, where students can watch the games and enjoy the atmosphere. Having utterly adorable polo ponies is a definite plus, too.
Law Society: If you are considering a BA or an MA in Law after completing your St Andrews degree then the Law Society is the perfect opportunity to gain experience. Featuring guest speakers such as barristers and paralegals, the society also provides the opportunity to visit the Inns of Court in London. Socials are a great way to meet people with similar future aspirations as well as gaining support and advice for applying to Law School.
Fine Wine and Cheese: “In vino veritas” goes the old saying, and this is never truer than when a student has an alcoholic beverage in hand. A society based on the perfect union of the many varieties of cheese and wine, its social events are the perfect opportunity to meet new people while plied with all the cheese and wine you could want. Despite the dress code, the society is perfect for informal discussions and exchanges of views, which are made all the more interesting by the endless supply of wine.