What do your fees get you?

Have you ever thought about what is actually available to you when you go to university? Here are 10 insights on what you can get for your fees.

Before I go into the reasons, I want to touch on the issue of student debt. Many people are worried about the debt that comes with going to university; the fees, cost of accommodation and the rest. I won’t try to explain but following the link will help you understand the financial situation. Having said all of this, in my opinion you get a lot for your money and the system makes it possible for most people to go to university.

1. A Degree – This is obviously the most important, why else would you come to University? This will be a degree you have enjoyed, upwards of 3 years long, and means you’ve specialised in a subject. This could be the career path you want to go down, or not, but any degree helps you get on the job ladder.

In History of Art the module choices are open to you with many different periods and different focuses across all media, including sculpture, architecture and all things modern. History of Art is also a great subject to major in due to its vast spread, requiring knowledge in a multitude of areas. When you start History of Art it seems like a combination of multiple degrees such as History, English, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Archaeology, Architecture, Ancient Civilisations,  Linguistics, World Geography, Religion and any language that you can choose.

2. Welfare – In my opinion York is a fantastic university for welfare. Every college has a welfare team of student peers, welfare officers and even outside sources like Student Support, you will never be alone if you need help. The university offers Disabled Student Support if you suffer with any learning disabilities such as dyslexia. There is not only student support but your course supervisor and other course intellectuals that you may grow close to who can support you the whole way through your degree with regular meetings.

3. At York you are learning from intellectual minds – In my opinion, the History of Art Department at York is one of the best in the UK. Most of the lecturers are Doctors or Professors, which means you know you are being taught by top academics. Most of the academic staff take research breaks because they are still writing new and influential books, which may even link to your personal studies, plus many of the History of Art Staff have links to important people that you might need – as the saying goes, it’s all about who you know.

4. Library and resources – The JB Morrell library on campus is great and so modern. There are computer suites (including a Mac suite), bean bag areas, whiteboard walls, a silent zone, a whole art text section, along with History and other areas of interest to History of Art, and archives. It’s amazing to think there is also the York Minster Library with more archives and texts, plus the King’s Manor Library with even more archives and texts. If this isn’t enough and you ever need more then there is also the City of York Library (York Explore) itself. Or, if you think you need to see every book that has ever been published in England, then sign up at the campus library to get the free coach to Boston Spa library which contains a copy of every book in Britain and is only around 30 minutes away from York. So use all these fantastic resources available to you as a University of York student so you can make the most of your degree.

5. Great work experience opportunities – The Norman Rea Art Gallery on campus is a great place to get experience working in a gallery. You can write blogs and even get a prestigious summer internship with the help of History of Art connections. During term time, you can always help with lecturers’ research. Outside the university there are plenty of places to volunteer such as York Minster, York Castle Museum, and Castle Howard – to name a few.

6. Societies Societies are one of the best ways to socialise at university, hence the name. With over 170 societies you’d be silly not to at least join one. Societies are a place to meet people with shared interests and learn new things. Other social opportunities arise in both your course and college as you meet loads of new people.

7. Sports – Along with societies comes sports. They are a big commitment with training every week and games most Wednesday afternoons. There is College Sport, that is serious but more for fun, with beginners welcome and Uni Sports, serious sports players, but with 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams it means there is still space for beginners. Never be nervous about going for a sport due to your ability as there are opportunities out there for all levels. York celebrates with lots of events such as Roses (against our rivals Lancaster) and Varsity against Durham.

8. Friends for life – By going to York, or any other University, you are guaranteed to make friends for life. Whether on your course, in your flat, in your college or societies, you will meet some amazing people you want to spend time with.

9. Adult Skills – The obvious one being cooking skills, which I haven’t quite perfected yet, but there are plenty of other things you pick up too. Silly things you learn from experiences like how to pay bills, how to pay a direct debit, and other adult things like separating laundry, paying for prescriptions and generally looking out for yourself. Everyone has their own thing that they didn’t know they needed to learn, I for one slipped up on direct debits; who knew that you had to set them up!

10. You are a student – You have those adult benefits but with the chance still to be a child – you can travel cheaply, get discounts and free food at McDonalds. Being a student is an in-between stage with benefits and rewards.

So think of all the fantastic things that will happen in the future after your degree – connections, adult skills, friends and work experience.