The first step towards my semester abroad began with an information event from MicroEDU. Then I made an appointment for a group consultation, which took place in the MicroEDU office in Münster. It was really practical to be able to discuss everything directly. Christiane introduced us to the homepage in more detail and also went through some university websites with us to get a closer look. After I decided on York St. John, the rest of the application process was done via email and online, which was totally straightforward !
According to Toppharmacyschools.org, full-time study at York St. John consists of 3-4 courses, depending on how many points the course gives. I took two courses in literary studies and one course in linguistics. I had discussed this with my home university beforehand, so that I could also have courses credited to mecan. It is advisable to arrange as many courses as possible, as it is only in the first week that it is clear which courses you will get. At the beginning I only got two of the courses I mentioned on my application. I was informed about this by email from the university. It was immediately suggested that I take another look at the course list on the Internet and come to the office for the international students with alternatives. Then I sat with a really nice employee and we looked and tinkered together to get the right course into the schedule. Everything worked out and the semester could begin for me.
The orientation week is very good for making new friends and getting to know the city and the nightlife in York together. There are various compulsory events, but also daytime events such as the presentation of the incredible number of different societies that you can join or a Quidditch tournament in the courtyard of the Quad, one of the older buildings with Hogwarts flair.
The first week of lectures was still pretty relaxed, but overall you have to prepare and read a lot more at home compared to studying in Germany. However, it is really advisable to do as much of it as possible so that the courses are fun and you learn something (but free time and fun will not be neglected either). Especially for the linguistics course ” Language in Inter-Action” I had to read a lot and pay some duties during the semester, but for this course it is really worth it. In the course itself, the texts were actually only talked about and discussed in the group, which consisted of only 10-15 students. Then there were some anecdotes from the somewhat bizarre but very lovable lecturer, from whom you learn for life and not just for one grade. In general, the relationship between lecturer and student is very different from the German. The lecturers are all addressed by their first names and it is generally a very relaxed relationship compared to the very formal approach to the lecturers in Germany.
The submission takes place once halfway through the semester and again at the end of the semester. Because you submitted a paper in the semester, the last essay is a bit shorter, which for me was only 2500 words for each course. Because you already do something in the semester, it actually works out quite well in the end and without stress. Everything is submitted online so that you can still submit things when you are back home.
I lived in the Limes Court dormitory. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the university, but you get used to running quickly because you can do everything on foot in York. If you can’t come to terms with walking, it pays to get a used bike (Re-Cycle York is a shop that sells second hand bikes and takes them back when you no longer need them). The apartments in Limes Court are for 4-5 people. I lived in a shared flat for five with two other international students and two freshmen. We got on really well and did a lot together. Everyone had their own room, there were two bathrooms that were shared by two or three people, and the kitchen as a “quasi” common room. The rooms are furnished (further details and photos can also be found on the York St John University website). On arrival you have a linen package with a pillow, blanket and bed linen in the room.
Leisure / excursion possibilities
On the one hand, as already mentioned, there are different societies from different sports such as badminton or rowing to theater or the Harry Potter Society. The Student’s Union also offers various evening programs. These are weekly events such as an open mic night, a pub quiz or karaoke. The Student’s Union building has just been reopened and includes, among other things, a Starbucks, which becomes a bar in the evening, where you can have a cheap drink. But it is also worth visiting the countless pubs in the city. It is about 5 minutes from the university to the city center (approx. 25 minutes from the accommodation).
In the first few weeks you will be busy looking at the beautiful things in York. There is the minster, the museums, for which you can apply for a card as a student, with which you can enter all museums in York for free, the museum garden or the city wall that extends completely around downtown York.
Excursion destinations around York could be nearby cities such as Scarborough or Whitby, by the sea or Knaresborough (photo with the bridge). These are quite small cities that can easily be explored in a few hours.
If you don’t want to organize an excursion yourself, you can also take advantage of planned excursions from the university. The Study Abroad Team offered trips to Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham in the last semester. Unfortunately, they are not particularly inexpensive, but they are a good opportunity to get to know more international students.
I can highly recommend York St John University as a destination for a semester abroad. The city is not too big, but also not too small for boredom to occur. You feel that you are in good hands at the university and there is help on every corner. For me it was an all-round successful semester abroad.