As a new student at St Andrews, just about to move out of your home for what is probably the first time in your life, there’s always one big concern – where am I even moving to? Freshers always have a million questions about their new accommodation, so in this article we’ll hopefully help lay some of your fears to rest.

First up – where am I going to live?

The vast majority of first-year students live in one of the halls of accommodation owned by the University. There are of course exceptions – some locals stay in their homes and some people choose to go straight into private accommodation. Those few probably have a lot less questions, though, so we’ll assume you’ve applied for accommodation through the university. (This is done via a form that should have been sent to you by accommodation services after you accept your offer).

When you apply, you make a number of choices. You get to choose between standard and ensuite rooms, single and shared, and catered and self-catered. Based on your preferences, accommodation services will try to place you in the best hall for you (although they can’t guarantee everyone their first choice!). In my experience, they do a pretty good job, and every hall is amazing in it’s own way so no matter where you end up you should have an amazing experience.

But what are the different halls?

St Andrews has about 10 halls of residence, which run the gamut of all the options above. Those are as follows:

Agnes Blackadder Hall (ABH)
Ensuite, Self-Catered & Catered
506 rooms (28 shared)
Larger hall, on North Haugh, near science buildings
Hall colours: red & blue

David Russell Apartments (DRA) & Fife Park
Ensuite, Self-Catered & Catered
1394 rooms (12 shared) in 5-room apartments
Largest hall by far, does it’s own thing, short walk to town
Hall colours: black & white

University Hall (Uni Hall)
Ensuite & Standard, Catered
272 rooms (37 shared)
North Haugh hall, right next to the gym, Whitehorn’s big sister
Hall colours: black & gold

Whitehorn Hall (Whitehorn)
Ensuite, Catered
Standard, Self-Catered
184 rooms
Newest hall, kind of an annexe to Uni hall, in demand

Andrew Melville Hall (Melville/AMH)
Standard, Catered
280 rooms (3 shared)
North Haugh hall, right next to ABH, interesting design
Hall colours: navy & yellow

John Burnet Hall (JBH) & Annexe
Ensuite & Standard, Catered
112 rooms (33 shared)
Traditional town hall, smallest hall, extremely communal & friendly
Hall colours: blue & green

McIntosh Hall (McIntosh)
Standard, Catered
174 rooms (65 shared)
Traditional town hall, lovely mix of people, right next to the Union
Hall colours: purple & navy

St Regulus Hall (Regs) & Annexe
Standard, Catered
137 rooms (39 shared)
Traditional town hall, (in)famous for its parties, lots of personality
Hall colours: red & black

St Salvators Hall (Sallies) & Gannochy
Standard, Catered
213 rooms (63 shared)
Traditional town hall, Wills & Kate lived here, friendlier than it sounds
Hall colours: red & silver

And that’s that! There are some postgraduate residences and university-managed properties too, but those aren’t really need-to-know for a first year student. Whichever hall you end up in, you’ll have a pretty similar experience overall. You’ll still meet amazing people, and make some of the best friends of your life. You’ll still have a wardennial team and a hall committee, too!

The wardens are in charge of the more ‘adult’ aspects of living in hall, such as wellbeing and discipline. They’ll be there to let you into your room if you get locked out, offer you a cuppa if you need a chat, and write your reference when you want to move out! Their role differs a little bit between halls (some larger halls have porters to help with the work too), but that’s the general gist. You’ll meet them on move in day, most likely.

The hall committee, on the other hand, are responsible for the ever exciting ‘student’ side of things. They are students themselves, elected by the residents of the hall to keep the social life thriving and friendly. Each hall has its own traditions and mainstay events, and the committees are what drives that. Their biggest job is definitely to run the annual hall balls which take place throughout the year (usually in second semester). Again, they are all different between halls, but you’ll find out much more about what they do when you move in. They are normally responsible for all the hall events which take place in Freshers Week too – this year, that’s a bit unclear, but they’ll be doing their best to keep halls nice and friendly regardless!

Committees will create Facebook groups and group chats in the summer for you to join. You should be able to find these posted in the University of St Andrews Class of 2024 group, after accommodation offers start going out.

We aren’t sure exactly how halls will work next year, but the University will keep you up to date on the guidance it is following from the Scottish government. Things might look a little bit different than usual, but your new home is still waiting for you to arrive!

This is part of a series of articles designed for incoming first year students. Up next – societies! What are they, how do you join them, and which ones are best? More on that in the next article.