There are several colleges at York spread over two campus’. There are differences in price and quality across the board. You can choose catered or self catered.
My Campus Experience
I chose Halifax College because it was self catered and I’m a fussy eater. You choose what suits you and if you’re looking for guidance I’d suggest looking at the Uni of York website for further information about the colleges, prices and where you want to be. Law is on the Heslington East campus and Halifax College is between Heslington East and West. I wanted to be away from my course so that I had somewhere for relaxation that was separate from where I work.
I also made friends with a cat called Billy, who I think belongs to one of the residents near to Halifax College (I’m a bit of a cat lady so this made me happy). Halifax is the biggest college (I lived on St Lawrence Court in a House of 20 but there is a range of accommodation at Halifax) so it’s a good way of meeting people and there is always someone about, but maybe not the place if you love peace and quiet. We also have JJ’s common room which is a great place to just relax – you don’t tend to get living rooms in student accommodation on campus so having a good common room is a selling point.
James College is quite close to the West Campus sports centre and the Department of Psychology. It has a nice mix of accommodation and prices. One of my current housemates lived there last year and loved it.
Derwent College gets a lot of bad press and I’ll admit the accommodation doesn’t look that nice but D Bar is great (which is where you get your catered food from). It’s also really central, it’s close to a bus into town and the other campus. It’s also home to The Courtyard cafe which is my favourite place on campus to get food (and I think with my stomach so that’s high praise).
Vanbrugh College has a great common room area and canteen. I can’t think of anything negative to say about it.
Alcuin College is just over library bridge so if you know you have a lot of work to do and won’t do it unless you’re close to the library that’s a good place to start. For Law we get a lot of books supplied in the PBL area so don’t be too concerned about it. It’s also quite quiet and a really nice community from what I’ve heard. It is one of the oldest colleges at York and all of the rooms are en-suite. The accommodation is self-catered but Alcuin Kitchen is a café and is right in the centre of the college so it’s a really good place to meet.
On the Heslington East campus (where the Law and Management Building is) there are Goodricke, Langwith and Constantine Colleges. These are all slightly more modern in style. They are all very close to the Law building.
Constantine College has the most modern rooms with last year’s group being the first to actually live there. I think most of the rooms are en-suite as well. It’s quite far from the other campus but it is close to the campus shuttle bus, which runs really regularly.
Langwith College is a self catered college (with The Glasshouse cafe bar right in the middle) with a range of en-suite or shared bathrooms. The bathrooms are only shared between a maximum of four students. The kitchens are shared between 4 and 12 students depending on where you live.
Last but not least Goodricke College is close to the main buildings at Heslington East. The kitchens are quite large here and it’s near the bus stops going to and from Campus and the city.
A huge part of campus life is also the geese. They are everywhere. The University of York has the highest ratio of geese to students. As long as you don’t make direct eye contact they are perfectly safe and the goslings look really cute in spring term. There are a lot of geese on the East campus and James college particularly. There were very few at Halifax because it isn’t close to the lakes but other than that, you’re going to encounter them.
I know it’s a little early but I often get asked about second year accommodation. Once you find people you like and think you’ll enjoy living with, you can either have a look around for housing or apply to live on campus as a group. In my first year, I put down the details of a friend from home and we ended up in the same house. I live quite close to campus now but there are also plenty of houses closer to town or closer to a particular campus. There’s no need to panic, there are always plenty of houses – just focus on getting the right group of people.