It might be a small town and university in size, but if there is one thing that St Andrews excels at, it is the range of clubs and societies that it provides for its students. From pool to politics, from trampolining to Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society, societies provide the perfect chance for students of all years to meet new people and develop new hobbies and skills.
As the Sports Fayre and the Freshers’ Fayre will show you, there is no doubt that you will find like-minded individuals while at uni. Here is a brief overview of some of the clubs and societies you’ll be able to find at the Freshers’ Fayre, on Sunday, 11 September and the Sports Fayre on Saturday, 10 September.
Saint Sport has an impressive range of sport on offer – from dancing, to basketball, to swimming. Whether you already play or aren’t able to catch a ball, there is a sport for everyone of every ability. More unusual sports on offer include shinty (a form of Scottish hockey), archery, and aikido (a modern form of Japanese martial arts).
Sports teams also provide the opportunity to break out of the bubble. Rowing is held in a river outside St Andrews, and Riding and Polo both practice a little ways outside of town. St Andrews Snowsports (SAS) holds a yearly ski trip in France over the winter holiday, while Surf, Sailing and Ballroom Dancing all embark on spring break trips centred around their activity.
Many clubs welcome students who don’t even play sport: Clay Pigeon Club, Riding, and Polo all have active contingents of “social” members, who attend the club drinks and dinners without participating in the competitions. By far the largest sports social is Sinners, which takes place at the Union once a month and is a chance for you to really get to know your teammates throughout an evening of drinking and dancing.
The town’s four leading fashion shows will all be in attendance at this year’s Freshers’ Fayre.
For the edgy and experimental, the DONT WALK Charity Fashion Show is recognisable by its striking black and white logo and dark blue committee jackets.
The St Andrews Charity Fashion Show (“FS”) can be found promoting Starfields, their upcoming launch event.
Search for Catwalk, the official fashion show of the Union, near the Charities Campaign booth.
Finally SITARA*, the only show to promote Asian culture, will likely occupy one of the more colourful booths near its parent organisation, the Sanskriti Society.
For the less outdoorsy, the opportunities are still limitless. Animal Welfare, Save the Elephants and Wildlife & Conservation are excellent choices for those who have a passion for the world around them (including four legged friends). St Andrews Voluntary Service also runs very popular volunteering schemes focused on animals and the environment.
Culture societies such as the Scandinavian, French, German, Japanese and Afro-Caribbean societies are an excellent accompaniment to a student who is studying the language or culture, has cultural or ethnic heritage in one of the countries, or just wants to learn more about the country in particular. For those of you with roots in multiple countries, the Third Culture Society unites those of worldly backgrounds.
Students may also be looking to get involved in various charities, and Amnesty International, Oxfam and Save the Children are globally recognisable names. By joining the societies, you are helping to make a difference to those who are dependent on the aid and care these organisations provide.
So if you’re a fresher wanting to meet like-minded people or a current student wanting to try out something new, there is something for everyone in St Andrews. From the skills and interests you’ll develop, to the memories and strong friendships you will form, the clubs and societies you choose to join will form an integral part of your St Andrews’ experience.