Home Sweet York: An Experience that Calls Me Back Past Review


York St. John University: York - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained further independence and self-confidence through my time abroad, as well as more appreciation for the simple things in life, like food and friendship. I also came to care more about world events, since I now know people in more places. I became more myself through this experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was comfortable; not too much, but not too little, either. The grading system was different from that at home, in that in the UK system, you are assessed on fewer assignments per term. My courses were taught through lectures which met every other week, and seminars (of about 20-25 students) that met every week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I arranged my housing by applying for university housing. I ended up in the housing complex owned by York St. John called the Grange. It is 8-10 minutes' walk away from campus and only 10-15 minutes' walk away from the city centre where there are cafes, pubs, clubs, etc. Aesthetically, it was fairly spartan; the rooms were very plain, but with a little decorating, it felt homey enough. I had purchased a "bed pack" from the uni, but upon my arrival, I discovered that this was merely a very thin fitted sheet, a duvet and cover, and a pillow and pillowcase. I chose to buy a set of sheets. Another surprise was that the kitchen was unfurnished. There was a range and a refrigerator, but we had to buy all of our pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. If you have room in your suitcase, bring some kitchenware along. My apartment happened to be inhabited by only international students (a Mexican, a Polish girl, some Americans, an Italian), but it is not unusual for international students to be placed with British students. I really appreciated the diversity in my flat. Our collaborative meals were amazing!

* Food:

I was in an apartment (aka "flat") and so I cooked for myself the majority of the time. The campus cafeteria was reasonably tasty and affordable the times I went there. York also has many wonderful cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance of YSJ's campus. My favorite cafe was Bennett's, right across from the Minster.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Watching the Royal Wedding broadcast on a big screen was pretty cool. I also enjoyed all of the field trips organized by York St. John's international student office. Whitby was beautiful. I wish we had spent more time in Haworth.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Overall, York is a safe city. I only felt nervous when at night when I first arrived and didn't know my way around yet. I would try to keep walking after dark to a minimum until you're familiar with the area. I cannot comment on healthcare; fortunately, I was healthy during my stay.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about £20-30 for groceries per week. Other expenses, such as health/beauty supplies, clothes, etc. probably came to about £20 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I wish I had been informed before arriving that I would need to get kitchen equipment. Fortunately, I shared the cost with two of my apartment-mates, so it was only £10 per person.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't study in the UK if you cannot be self-directed and -motivated. Go to York if you want to meet people from all over the world and explore a smallish city full of history.