In the winter semester 2012/2013 I was allowed to spend a semester abroad at York St John University in the beautiful city of York.
Organization and preparation:
The entire organization of the semester was carried out via MicroEDU.com. I was able to turn to the contact person with all questions and always got an answer within a very short time. This was also the case during the entire stay. The seminars and the student residence were selected in advance. The modules could still be exchanged without any problems up to the third week of the semester.
From the time I received my acceptance from England, the University’s International Office contacted me. That too went without any problems. Every employee tried to make the organization as pleasant as possible.
The arrival in York was also organized by the university. When you landed at Manchester Airport, you could take a bus from the university (which had to be booked in advance) to go straight to the campus and was later brought to Student Accommodation. But it is also possible to get to the university from Leeds (bus + train (together just under GBP 20) + taxi or on foot). When you arrived at the campus, you could directly contact people from the university, who were spread over the entire site and who spoke to you if you looked very helpless. On the whole, there is actually no better way to be accepted at a university.
The first few days – typically British – you stand in queues all the time. You are told exactly when to be where and why. Even if there is no compulsory attendance at the welcome events, they are very helpful and you should try to attend them. For me, however, it was also very important to arrive in peace first, so I didn’t go to all the events, but I didn’t miss anything essential.
University life in York is very different from that in Germany. You hardly have any semester hours per week (3 modules = approx. 6-8 SWS) and actually always one day off. Correspondingly, however, people work much more independently. This works well from home, but also in the bib. This is very modern and actually offers everything you need (except for a coffee on the weekend). You quickly notice that the English study differently than Germans, as there are a lot of computers in the library to work independently, but there are also sofas and beanbags to relax in. The third floor is called the Quiet Floor. However, this is more of a guideline…
The lecturers are all very nice and helpful. You can talk to them openly about any problem and they take an amazing amount of time. There is compulsory attendance in the seminars.
I lived in the Grange, which is a good 10 minutes away from the campus and the city center. At night the path is a little further, as a connecting gate is closed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. to avoid noise pollution in the surrounding houses. The Grange resembles a row of houses. Five students live in each house. It is probably being renovated, so some houses (especially the kitchens) are much more homely than others. All in all, it’s typical student accommodation that isn’t terribly cozy, but it does its job for four months.
Most international students live in Limes Court, which is a little further away from campus and is therefore a bit cheaper. The houses there are a bit cozier than mine, but the rooms were a bit smaller. The most serious difference is probably – besides the distance – the WiFi reception, which is simply not available in Limes Court.
But there are very cheap internet flat rates from the telephone providers.
According to ehuacom, York St John University has an incredibly well-organized range of leisure activities. There are inexpensive trips to surrounding cities and attractions offered several times during the semester. In addition, there is an event during the introductory week at which all clubs and societies are presented. There you can sign up in lists and take part later. The offer is very extensive. I played basketball and volleyball, and that’s how I met most of the people. It was always a lot of fun and I would recommend it to any international student who would also like to socialize with English people.
Otherwise there is the SU. The university’s own bar, where you can embarrass yourself to the bone with karaoke on Saturday. If you are looking for something more quiet, there is a huge flat screen, pool tables and seating in the adjoining room.
Last but not least:
If a semester abroad, then in England, then in York, then at the YSJ !!! The people are so friendly that you almost get a culture shock as soon as you get back to Germany. You can tell the very high tuition fees everywhere. The campus is the perfect mix of historic and modern. And in the end the beautiful city speaks for itself.