In the 2013/14 winter semester I started my year abroad at York St John University, in the beautiful city of York, and spent two semesters there.
I heard about MicroEDU from a friend and decided to go abroad at short notice. The advice was great and I received a lot of help with choosing a university. For me it was important that the university shouldn’t be too big and in a really small town. After choosing the university, the actual application went smoothly and all questions were answered immediately and there were no problems. I was even able to hand in my application on the last day and not even that resulted in a problem. The MicroEDU Team was always very helpful,You were given good advice and could call or email MicroEDU at any time. Every employee tried to make the organization as pleasant as possible.
You had to specify the seminars / modules that you wanted to attend in advance. If you are still unsure there at the beginning, that is also not a problem. The modules can still be exchanged in York within the first two weeks. You should first clarify the modules that you want to take in York with your home university so that they can be credited to you.
Arrival and living
According to iamaccepted, the university had organized everything necessary for the freshers and also for the international students: The international students were picked up by a shuttle bus in Manchester so that they could get to know the other fellow students and other international students for the first time. This service was offered a total of three times on the official day of arrival. At the university, employees and older students were available to help us with the registration and distribute the room keys. Then we were divided into groups and taken to the respective student dormitories by bus. The first week, the so-called “Freshers Week”, was dedicated to the familiarization and orientation of the newcomers.
Through the very good organization I had no difficulties settling in York. At no point did I feel left alone or disoriented.
I lived in the “Grange” dormitory. We were lucky because in Grange you either live with a 5-person flat share in a “mini house” or in a block of flats. These mini-houses have now been refurbished and have a new kitchen in them. The only disadvantage: you don’t have a living room and the kitchen is quite small, but we still often had around 10-15 people in the kitchen – so everything works. We also had WiFi in the Grange, which is really great. The location was also unbeatable as it was an 8 minute walk from the university and 15 minutes from downtown. Personally, I would want to stay at the Grange again and in no way regret my choice. The advantage of the Limes was that the kitchen was a little bigger and the campus was much smaller than in the Grange, but some of the kitchens were still quite old, had no WiFi and Limes was far from the “shot”.
The university campus impresses with its old-fashioned charm and is also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The heart of the university is probably the extensive library, in which the latest computers, laptops and IPads are available to the students.
Since I only took three modules, each consisting of only one seminar and one lecture, I only had 10 hours per week that I had to spend at the university. So I got to know a completely different university life than I was used to in Germany.
If you look at the exams for my degree program (English literature and linguistics), I only had to write essays as proof of performance and not write any exams.
The university also has many societies, from sports to languages and arts. There was something for every taste in this wide range. I myself was active in boxing and the language society. Here was another way to get to know the British. Meetings were usually organized once a week and took place in the evening. Here the group went on bar crawls or pursued other social activities. I would recommend everyone to join a society.
York is a wonderful city steeped in history. It’s not too big and has everything you need for a perfect student life. Every place was within walking distance, so there was no need for public transport. There were many opportunities for shopping, enough bars, clubs and pubs, as well as cultural offers such as theaters and festivals. It was also nice that under 25 years of age you had free admission to a theater close to the university.
You never get bored in York. The university itself offers its students regular trips to various places, such as Whitby, Scarborough, Manchester, Liverpool, New Castle, etc. Most of the time, a trip cost 15 pounds. I would definitely recommend this if you don’t want to or can’t travel a lot yourself.
In the university’s own “pub”, the Student Union, there were karaoke evenings every Saturday, which were really very funny. Otherwise you could also go to the SU and play billiards with friends during the week or have a drink and spend a cozy evening. In the SU there is almost always something going on and you can get cheap drinks away.
Mobile phone contract: I was at the EE group and got a SIM card free of charge, which I topped up with 10 pounds a month. Then you had the tariff with 1 GB Internet, free SMS on English networks and 100 free minutes also on English networks.
Railcard: If you would like to travel, you should definitely buy a Railcard for 30 pounds, as you get 1/3 cheaper for each journey.
I will always have fond memories of my year abroad in York and I am happy for every experience I had there. I would go to York again and recommend it to everyone. If you are still unsure which university you want to go to – York is an excellent choice!