Dundee – stay or commute?

While a lot of students at Dundee University have moved to the city to complete their degree, others, including myself, have chosen to commute to university in a daily basis. As a student in first year, I chose NOT to stay in the halls of residence, and since then, have travelled to Dundee university every day. Home for me is a town in Fife, which is around a 45 minute drive away. While making this commute daily is unimaginable for many students, (especially for a 9 o’clock lecture!) this decision has worked best for me

Benefits –

I find the commute really relaxing!

For someone who finds city life really stressful, travelling through Fife’s countrysides is really relaxing, and a perfect opportunity to unwind after a stressful day at university.

The the opportunity to study.

Sitting comfortably on the train gives you the perfect opportunity to study. By plugging in your earphones, you’re guaranteed not to be distracted by fellow students. You’d be amazed to see how much work I can accomplish whilst travelling!

I get home to see my dogs.

I have two German Shepherds who I’d be lost without. I love them both so much that living away from them is unimaginable. Travelling to university is the only option for me, as it means I get to see them and care for them everyday. I love it when I drive down the driveway to my house and see two smiling faces at the window who are pleased to see me. They really help me with my studies, and are a great distraction if I ever get too stressed or overloaded by my workload!

Family support.

I am hugely lucky that whilst I live at home, I have the support of my amazing family. My mum has proof read every one of my assignments and would do whatever she could to help me with my studying. My grandparents are always on call to help me too.

No student loan debt.

I don’t have the financial stress that so many students struggle with. I don’t have to pay any rent, which is a huge advantage, as I can spend all of my time and energy on my studies.


There are a variety of ways to travel to Dundee from Fife, and so commuting is really flexible! I can travel by train, which passes by my local station every hour so is really accessible. My train journey usually takes me around 38 minutes. Another option is the bus, which is slightly cheaper than the train. There are bus stops all over Dundee so also an easy option! Driving is also convenient. There you can pay for parking in car parks that are near the university, or alternatively there are several free car parks, but these are time restricted. I have never struggled with finding a space to park in the city!

But of course, there are some downfalls.

I do not have 24/7 hour access to the library. However, the online reading list system and online websites such as Jstor provide online access to the bulk of my readings, so I can complete these in the comfort of my own home. Also, I haven’t been involved in many aspects of ‘student life style’ including societies or meet-ups. But the university provides many extra curricular opportunities that can be done at outwith the university campus. For example, I was able to complete the Dundee Plus Award, by carrying out voluntary work at my local National Trust of Scotland property.


There are advantages and disadvantages about making the choice to commute to university daily. Obviously, many students who live far away have no choice, but for me personally the positives that come from staying at home outweigh the negatives.  

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