Experience report about a semester abroad at York St John University from the perspective of a psychology student:
To apply to York St John University you first need 79 points in the TOEFL test. For this you shouldn’t register too late, plan around 100-150 euros and approach it with a good dose of self-confidence – then this can be achieved and should not be a hurdle!
All other documents can be obtained from your own university without any problems and the necessary information can be obtained from MicroEDU.
b) Course choice
You will be asked to indicate your desired courses, but you can change them without problems in the first week (orientation week). There will be a meeting with your supervisor of the respective course, who will explain everything important to you. Then the course planning is discussed individually. Unfortunately, due to the absence of a professor of psychology, I was unable to take the courses I wanted. But together we found a good alternative.
Language courses can be taken free of charge as a third module, if desired. The additional module costs approximately £ 80. I decided to take a Spanish course even though my English was nowhere near perfect when I arrived in York. During the entire time I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it, but made a lot of contacts and had a lot of fun. If you are interested in another language, you should not be afraid to take it during your semester abroad.
As a German exchange student, you have the opportunity to live in Limes Court or Grange. I can warmly recommend Limes Court to you. I haven’t met Grange personally, but I’ve heard a lot of bad feedback. Limes Court consists of 4 row houses arranged in a rectangle. Each house accommodates 5 students – a mix of exchange students and first-year students. The dormitory is very communicative due to its structure and offers many opportunities to get to know the other students – especially in the introductory week!
Notes that are close to my heart: You will be provided with bedding, but you will have to take care of your kitchen equipment yourself. Since most of them will arrive by plane, you cannot bring everything with you. The alternative: At Sainsburys, the nearby shopping center (10-15 minutes), we were able to buy all the necessary kitchen utensils relatively cheaply. You also have a lot of space to hang up pictures or posters. You can bring your own or buy a cheap poster from the university’s poster shop so that the room doesn’t look so gray.
I also got to know students who were looking for private accommodation. Those who trust themselves can save money with it, as the dormitory is not exactly cheap. Where you make more contacts depends on the person in question.
If you arrive on the day of arrival, you will be picked up by a shuttle bus. This is the easiest way to avoid getting lost;) You can also travel cheaper by train (from Manchester or Leeds), but then you have to find your way to the university yourself. I would therefore recommend the shuttle bus. There you will get to know the first exchange students, you will be provided with the most important information and dropped off on your doorstep.
Accommodation and tuition fees can be paid in full on site.
e) First semester week
Upon your arrival you will receive a plan for the week and will be informed about York St John in various information events. So you won’t miss anything. A trip to Whitby was offered during my stay, which I would definitely recommend.
After the introductory week, there are still a large number of contacts available to you. So you are never on your own. Kim Smith and Joanne Sanderson are the Study Abroad administrators and answer emails very reliably. There is central information on the university campus, as well as an information point for international students.
Study / life
f) Overall, more essays are written than exams, which I was initially unfamiliar with. However, I got all the support I needed from my professor. You just have to start writing early enough, then there is no reason to be afraid of it;) Overall, I perceived the lectures as interesting, interactive and the professor as very humorous and had a lot of fun at the events.g) Leisure time activities
According to Act-test-centers.com, the university offers the following:
The Students Union (SU) plans a lot of events and is represented with its own premises on campus. The only thing I would advise against is the ribbon that they initially advertise with – costs around 30 euros and, in the opinion of many, is not worth it. Apart from that, the SU has great offers and you shouldn’t miss out on stopping by for a beer.
In the beginning, meetings for international students are offered (e.g. international tea). Even if you already meet a lot of people on the trip or in the dormitory, it is worth going to at least one of these meetings. I was amazed at how many nationalities are represented in York!
The excursion possibilities offered are very recommendable. Usually you pay 10-15 pounds for this and you will be driven to the destination by bus. There you can pass the time as you want. In my experience, this is the cheapest and easiest way to discover another place.
In the first semester week, all of the university’s clubs introduce themselves – from the Science Fiction Society to the rugby team. It is worth joining some societies in order to come into contact with others and to take advantage of the respective advantages. For example, you can get a free visit to the cinema with popcorn and a drink if you sign up for it. Above all, you don’t commit yourself to anything at first – only with the respective semester fee (5-20 pounds). What all societies have in common: There are many opportunities to celebrate together. By the way, don’t be surprised: in England every party has a certain motto! 😉
Personal leisure time:
During that time I traveled a lot in England. If you take care of train tickets early enough, you can get them for relatively little money. The Railcard is definitely worthwhile for people who like to travel. You can get this for 30 pounds at the train station (don’t forget your passport photo) and receive 1/3 discount on all tickets. I saved a lot of money with it! I can highly recommend Edinburgh, London, Bristol and Bath. Oxford is a beautiful city too – but you have to pay admission everywhere.
Pubs: Keystones (student pub, cheapest), The Stone Roses (very good music), The Habit (roof terrace with a view of the Minster) and The House of the Trembling Madness (a bit more expensive but very quaint) are highly recommended. Apparently there is a different pub in York for each day of the year, so there is no need to worry about variety in this regard.
Sainsburys is the closest supermarket. If you take the time and look through the offers, you can shop at humane prices. In general, it is not the cheapest supermarket. However, if you don’t value branded products, you can find bargains at the house brand! If you are willing to walk a few more meters, you can also go shopping at Morrisons – it should be cheaper there. In the city there are also Aldi and various other supermarkets, but these are not within walking distance.
In conclusion, I would like to say that I recommend a semester in York. The city is fantastic, I also really liked the university and I had an unforgettable time with my roommates. I would also like to mention the good advice and cooperation with MicroEDU. My constant questions were always answered very quickly, competently and in a friendly manner and I always had the feeling that I was receiving good advice!