I studied one semester at York St John University as part of an Academic Gap Years.
Due to some plan changes due to Corona, I decided on the YSJ at short notice and was also late with my application. So I was especially grateful for the support from MicroEDU. Not only did they make this semester abroad possible for me within a few weeks, they were also always available during the entire application process and afterwards and helped me with the organization of courses, tuition fees, accommodation, etc.
Studies / courses
According to Andyeducation.com, the big advantage of a gap year is that you can take courses regardless of the degree program. I took courses in politics, psychology and criminology and was able to choose the modules from these courses that interested me the most. You can also choose how many courses you want to take and read in advance exactly how many hours a week a course is taught and which topics are covered in each case. The YSJ has a wide range of courses, unfortunately some (e.g. Biomedicine) are not available for gap year students. So you should ask beforehand.
Due to Corona, I only had online classes. But these worked very well and were well organized. You could tell that both the university and the teachers are really trying to make the best of the situation. For example, in every course we had weekly group tasks in order to still be able to make as many contacts as possible.
Since the YSJ is not a big university, after a relatively short time you get to know at least the “International Student Advisor” who are always ready to help you quickly. There are also many other contacts for problems of any kind.
International students are guaranteed a room in accommodation. I lived in “City Residence”. There you live in an apartment with five other students and share a kitchen. Everyone has their own bathroom.
I was lucky because the room I stayed in was newly renovated. The kitchen (also brand new) is very well equipped with enough space for six people. However, one hears again and again that the non-renovated apartments in “City Residence” are not supposed to be in good condition and are not recommended.
“City Residence” is very well located. The bus stop is right in front of the door and the buses go in the direction of the city center and the train station, and the university is only one stop away. It takes about three minutes to walk to a smaller supermarket and about 20 minutes to the larger ones. The university is about seven minutes away on foot and the city center is ten minutes away.
York is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer. There is a large selection of pubs and clubs as well as museums and art galleries. The university organizes weekly excursions. During Corona these took place in and around York within walking distance, but were a very good opportunity to get to know other international students and older students and to explore York. There are usually organized trips to the coast and to Manchester or Liverpool.
The university is located directly in the city center. The campus is mostly new, everything is decorated for the holidays and there are several cafes and pubs right on the campus. In general, everything feels very familiar. The Students’ Union offers a large selection of societies (football, volleyball, business, chess, etc.). I joined the Archery Society and was able to get to know students as well.
If you want to go on your own tour, you can get to the coast in 90 minutes with the Coastliner bus or with the train from York to Liverpool, London or Manchester in no time.
I would definitely recommend York St John as a university ! At the beginning I was a little worried that I would not leave my room because of the online lessons, but the opposite happened. I was always on the move because there is so much to experience in York itself and you automatically have contacts through your roommates. In addition, I took part in the “walking trip” every week with a friend and got to know students from all over the world.
The combination of nice people you get to know, the pleasant atmosphere at the university and the beautiful city made the semester in York an unforgettable and great experience !