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The BAME Students Guide to St Andrews

Introduction

Welcome to the University of St Andrews! We are extremely glad that you are considering attending our university and are excited to introduce you to all things BAME related.

About us: 

The Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Students’ Network is a subcommittee of the Students’ Association at the University of St Andrews. We aim to provide an all-inclusive environment, as well as a strong community, adequate resources, and effective support to the BAME students at the University... 

...As a subcommittee, all students at the university are automatically members of the network and can participate in all events for free. In the past, we have put together a comprehensive Action Plan for the University to work towards and are working on more projects for the upcoming years, promoting inclusivity and diversity

This handbook will help you understand everything the university has to offer regarding the BAME experience, completely created by students! We are aware that there is a majority of non-BAME students present here and hope to do our part to increase the diversity around us. However, we can assure you that while the BAME community here is small, it is stronger than ever! We have been hosting events and working with the authorities at the University to provide BAME students with greater recognition and make them feel like they are a part of our community!

Travel

Travelling to a new place can be very daunting, especially if you are coming from a different country. To make your journey easier, the university has put together a resource which can help you make your way to St Andrews smoothly. It can be accessed here: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/visiting/travel/ 

Food

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Even though St Andrews is a very small town, there is a good variety of restaurants which serve international cuisines. Additionally, Dundee, which is a bigger town just a short bus ride away, has even more options and a few international supermarkets as well. Here are a few:

The University also has multiple cultural societies focusing on food from all over the world. These include Taste of Asia and Hummus Society. In St Andrews, there is also a large social aspect tied to cooking, where you can cook with your friends or participate in a potluck. This gives students an opportunity to share their cultural food and form stronger bonds between communities. 

PUBS

The St Andrews social and nightlife is unique, in the best way. It is known for having more pubs per square kilometer than anywhere else in the UK, which makes pub crawls a popular night out.

EVENTS

The Students’ Union also hosts events such as club nights, karaoke evenings, and BOPS (themed club nights) at our own union Club 601. Other fun events range from beach bonfires and house parties to formal dinners and balls, organised by individual societies and clubs

SOCIETIES

Cultural societies also host specific events such as the Sitara Fashion Show; the Bollywood Club night, Bindi; and BPM music collective.

DUNDEE

Some students prefer spontaneous nights in the city, which makes Dundee a popular student destination. 

Faiths 

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The University’s Chaplaincy is dedicated to supporting students from all faiths and backgrounds and can be a great source of support whenever needed. There are multiple faith and religion groups which are open for students to join to find another community they can relate to at St Andrews. Some of these are listed here: 

  • Orthodox 

  • Paganism 

  • Quaker 

  • Sikhism 

  • The Baha'i Faith 

  • Other faith contacts 

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BAME Specific Societies and Clubs

In addition to faith groups, St Andrews is also proud to be home to a large variety of social and cultural societies run for and by students. These host regular social gatherings and events during festivals to make sure you never feel disconnected from your traditions and roots! Here are some of the societies: 

  • Sanskriti-South Asian Society FB @sanskritisoc IG @sanskrtitstandrews 

  • Afro-Caribbean FB @standrewsacs IG @standrews.acs 

  • Chinese Students and Scholars FB @Standrews.CSSA 

  • Chinese Hongpao IG @hongpaosoc FB @hongpao 

  • Hindu-Jain-Sikh FB @hjsstandrews IG @hjs.sta 

  • St Andrews Malaysian International Group (SMIG) FB @smigsociety IG @smigletss 

  • Hong Kong Society FB @hksocsta IG @ustahksociety 

  • The Japan Society FB @StandrewsJapanSociety IG @jpnsta

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Academics 

The BAME Students Committee recognizes the need to diversify academia, starting from our own teaching and learning practices here in St. Andrews. Initiatives that have been launched in the University, by both students and staff, include: 

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Tackling colonialism and racism in academic schools by integrating discussions on colonialism in seminars and lectures e.g., in the schools of international relations and Biology.

Implementing the Curriculum Feedback Form for Anti-colonial Practice where students can give feedback on academic practices that they feel require reform; and the diversification of module content through projects such as the diversity curriculum audit in Sustainable Development and Geography.

Introducing student-led Diversity Anti-Racism committees, such as the BAME biology team, Chemistry EDI committee, and the School of English’s diversity committee. Their aim is to address related concerns and formulate actionable policies e.g, the creation of micro grants for BAME students.

This is only some of many initiatives that continue to be proposed and implemented as we strive for a better, more critical, and more diverse St. Andrews

Culture shock affects many of our BAME students when they arrive, and for most, it can be lonely. However, the university has multiple channels which can be used to find support and maintain healthy wellbeing.

Wellbeing

Student Services provides all kinds of help, including if you need support regarding BAME related matters, and the University’s Report and Support tool on the website can be used to confidentially report any unfavorable instances such as but not limited to bullying and racism.

The BAME Students’ Network is also always happy to help with any matters and can help signpost to the appropriate people to take issues forward. Other resources including CEED (Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development), Peer Support, Nightline, and the Student Hub can also be used for matters relating to health and wellbeing.

Hear from our current students!

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Emmanuella Ellia

Hello, my name is Emmanuella and I am a second-year majoring in Economics. Although, I do wish I could have majored in Social Anthropology as well. Therefore, my main advice to you is to study what you would like to study. And do not take non-compulsory modules within your major, unless you are interested in them. Regarding societies, I am involved with Inklight, St Andrews Creative Writing society. As well as, FS, the St Andrews Charity Fashion show. I have always been interested in fashion and writing is something I have always aimed to do 

What I love most about St Andrews is how diverse the school population is, and how there is a society representing almost every country. During my first year, I joined Filipino society and have met other Filipinos and was able to bond and share the culture with others. I was President in my second year and became treasurer in my third year and have had a fantastic time, even collaborating with other societies in hosting events. One of my favourite events is the Taste of Asia Food Fayre. The event is a great chance to try other cultures' food, made by other students. Moving to St Andrews is scary but my biggest advice is to try to go to events and join committees, it is a great way to meet new people, experience new things, and have fun!

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Nikole Orbeta

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Hear from our current students!

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Emmanuella Ellia

Hello, my name is Emmanuella and I am a second-year majoring in Economics. Although, I do wish I could have majored in Social Anthropology as well. Therefore, my main advice to you is to study what you would like to study. And do not take non-compulsory modules within your major, unless you are interested in them. Regarding societies, I am involved with Inklight, St Andrews Creative Writing society. As well as, FS, the St Andrews Charity Fashion show. I have always been interested in fashion and writing is something I have always aimed to do 

What I love most about St Andrews is how diverse the school population is, and how there is a society representing almost every country. During my first year, I joined Filipino society and have met other Filipinos and was able to bond and share the culture with others. I was President in my second year and became treasurer in my third year and have had a fantastic time, even collaborating with other societies in hosting events. One of my favourite events is the Taste of Asia Food Fayre. The event is a great chance to try other cultures' food, made by other students. Moving to St Andrews is scary but my biggest advice is to try to go to events and join committees, it is a great way to meet new people, experience new things, and have fun!

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Nikole Orbeta

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Jamal Marcelin

At St Andrews, community is what preserved me. Gwendolyn Brooks said it best when she wrote: “we are each other’s harvest.” Whenever someone tried to rip up my roots by relegating me to a “thing,” it was my community that cared for me; they watered me with love and affirmation and covered me in the protection of their loyalty and courage to show up when they could have hidden. When I absorbed the ugliness of someone’s actions or attitude toward me, my community helped me to bloom and see the beauty that inspired bitterness. If you want to thrive, not just at St Andrews, but anywhere, choose some good kinfolk who will challenge and cherish you; that is how you make it through whole, and not just out, alive. 

Coming up from London as a BAME student to St Andrews, I definitely faced a culture shock. While St Andrews was incredibly welcoming in many ways, I initially felt out of place surrounded by a significantly less diverse population. It was difficult at first to hear comments and opinions that so radically differed from mine (in regard to race and social issues), but I was also extremely lucky to find open-minded peers who accepted me and my culture openly. Although there are intense challenges specific to those of a BAME background, the range of wonderfully interesting, intelligent, and kind students at St Andrews outweigh those less delightful. My advice to incoming students is to fight for what you believe is right and never forget your value! 

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Lillian Ngo

FAQs!

How do I apply for scholarships?

I have questions regarding my visa. 

What careers support will I receive at St Andrews? 

Where will I be staying in my first year?

What can I contact the BAME Students’ Network regarding? 

Any questions about student life as a BAME student and to explore opportunities, help and support available at the University. 

How can the university support me in terms of health, wellbeing and disabilities? 

BAME Students’ Network

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bame-studentsnetwork

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkTjLHORKHmTSRxW4Q0FPg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BAMENWStAndrews

Instagram: http://instagram.com/bamestudentsnetwork

Website: https://www.bamestudentsnetwork.com/

Email: bamenetwork@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Student Services

Email: theasc@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2020, +44 (0)1334 46 2720

Address: Eden Court, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AS, Scotland, United Kingdom

 

Report and Support

Website: https://reportandsupport.st-andrews.ac.uk/

 

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