To be perfectly honest, choosing where to study was a really tough call, and it was only after I started exploring the city and everything the University had to offer that I fell in love with it. If York is calling your name, like it was calling mine, here are 10 things you can look forward to:
1. Cold winter mornings
A sunrise in York is one thing not to miss. The air is crisp, the birds are singing, and the sun’s reflection in the river bathes the city in a warm glow. No matter how rubbish you think your day might be, watching the sun rise on a crisp, winters day is bound to change your mood. And if running floats your boat, I highly recommend a morning run along the river!
2. Sótano on a Saturday night
This place is a hidden gem, and it’s amazing. This underground Spanish bar serves the best drinks and tapas in the city, in my opinion. It’s perfect on a Saturday night, preferably after waking up unacceptably late and eating pancakes mid-afternoon.
3. Burritos in V-Bar after one too many lectures
After launching these beauties a few months ago on-campus V-Bar’s delicious burritos have gained a lot of attention. One afternoon, I cracked, and I have finally come to understand what the hype was about. Especially after a long morning of lectures, seminars or even reading. Literally food for thought.
4. Random student societies
Yes, every university has societies. But York has ‘proportionally the highest number of clubs and societies per student’ (according to this). That’s over 170 societies we’re talking about here. And man, are the members dedicated and hard working! I personally attend YogaSoc’s yoga classes, go to the occasional vegan tasting event and make-up artistry workshop. And the drawing class was fun, too. I’m trying pottery next!
5. The mystery of timetable location-planning
No, you will not attend every Economics lecture in Alcuin College, even though that’s where the department is officially registered. Instead, your timetable will sometimes get you running from the Psychology to Politics buildings in the space of 5 minutes, and sometimes it will allow you to remain seated in Derwent College for a whole three hours; so you are either sprinting across campus or have enough time to grab a coffee from The Courtyard cafe. But hey, isn’t variety the spice of life?!
6. The locals and the not-so-locals
The University of York is incredibly diverse in its staff and student population. This has given me the amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world and chat to them about their lifestyles back home, which has been very instructive and has given me major, major wanderlust. Learning really does come in all forms.
7. The amazing careers service
My school never had a careers service, and when I arrived in York, my career path was essentially non-existent. I’ve consulted with the Careers advisor for our department on multiple occasions, for both the CV clinic and more abstract matters about my future. There is so much support and lots of opportunities available, whatever your interests are.
8. The perks of being a student
Wherever you are, being a student is pretty rad: discounts, special events and lots of free time, it’s basically the ideal life. What I like most about York is the availability of student discounts in local, independent businesses, which massively expand your repertoire of places to visit and venues to attend. From hairdressers to art galleries, York will no doubt turn you into a cultured and exciting individual!
9. All the fun
Speaking of which, York has so many fun events going on, and all year round. Spooky haunted pubs, ghost tours and the cat trail are a few examples of what to do on a Sunday afternoon. Over Christmas, the centre of town is taken over by food & drink merchants, gift stalls and a roasted chestnut cart. The summer sees local food festivals and markets pop up, too. There really is no time for boredom – and all this fun is only a short bus journey from campus!
I know how trivial this seems when picking a university – at least it was for me. I was moving countries, and all I was worried about was getting there in the first place. But, what about going home? Or anywhere else, for that matter? In fact, York is pretty perfect in terms of accessibility. It’s only a direct train journey away from London and Edinburgh, a 1-hour train journey from Manchester airport and a short drive from the coast and the Yorkshire Moors. In other words, it’s extremely easy to go home, fly abroad, or spend a day out in the countryside!
Any questions? Drop me a comment below!
Zac Campbell says
I’m a prospective student and was wondering how big the city is and how easy it is to find your way around the city of York as I am not a fan of big, bustling cities.
Hey Zac, thanks for your question! York is definitely not a big, bustling town. It is rather small and contained, easy to find your way around and does not have the ‘big city feel’, like Manchester or Leeds, for example. After walking around the town a couple of times, you’ll be able to find your way easily! It’s very welcoming, very idyllic, but it can get very busy; during Christmas or the summer months, for example, the town fills up with tourists. Luckily for us, there are so many secret spots where you can hide away from the crowd! Most of the student accommodation (off-campus) is just far enough from town that you benefit from the peace & quiet of the outskirts, but close enough that you can join the madness if you wish to. Hope that helps!
Zac Campbell says
Ok, this definitely helps! Thank you. I went to the Open Day on Saturday and basically fell in love with it! Another question, what is Alcuin College like from a social perspective ?
Alcuin is the college that houses the economics department, and from what I understand, they do run economics-related activities there. I wasn’t in Alcuin, but some of my friends were and they said it was great! But once again, it all depends on what you are looking for, whether it’s peace and quiet or having lots of people around all of the time. I think Derwent & Halifax are considered the most sociable ones, and it is generally easier to access all the activities of you are on this campus rather than Heslington East. If you have any specific questions about Alcuin I can put you in touch with people I know! Good luck! 🙂
Thank you for the post. Just visited the city and the uni few days ago. I might study in York next year. I am really looking forward to the things you mentioned in this post! 🙂 and York, indeed, is a very nice place to stay! ^^
Thanks! I’m glad you had a nice stay, I’m sure you’ll have a great time if you decide to join us at York! 😊
Hey, I’m also going to apply to the Uni of York this year. It would be nice to know if it’s possible to work part-time while studying and earn enough money not to need parents’ help (I’m not from the UK, so money is quite important while choosing the city). According to the information on the uni’s site, living costs are about 7,500-9,500/year, but I wonder whether that’s true. Is York expensive for international students?
Hi Magda, that sounds lovely, I hope your application is successful!
From a national point of view, the north of England is cheaper than the south, and the cost of living in York is far from extortionate. Of course, as a student, every penny counts, but after having lived here for two years I have found that the cost of living is very reasonable if you make the right choices. There are plenty of supermarkets and shops in general that cater for a tight budget, and student nights out are a really cheap way of enjoying the nightlife without putting yourself in financial trouble! 🙂 York is very touristic, and the tourist attractions (hotels, museums, etc) tend to be quite expensive, but they don’t affect us as much. York has two universities and the city is actually very student-friendly. As for travelling, you can get discounts with a railcard and a lot of places do deals or discounts for students! You will definitely be better off than living in London/neighbouring towns.
It’s definitely possible for you to have a part time job while you are studying. York is always looking for part-time staff and the careers service at the university has the facilities to help you find what you need if you wanted to work within the university or outside! 🙂