OK, so I hope I’ve shown you why I love the Language and Linguistics Department at York but don’t just take my word for it. We’re ranked 2nd in the UK for world-leading linguistics research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and we’re a UK Top 20 and World Top 100 department. By now you probably have all of your offers, and it’s time to make that pretty easy decision that York will be your firm choice.
But, where will you be living?
The process of choosing a university can be dominated by statistics: contact hours, module choices, student satisfaction and employability rates. The kind of stuff I’ve been telling you about for four months. Of course those things are massively important, but where you go to university is also where you will live for at least three years of your life.
First year accommodation
At York you can choose between two campuses, catered or self-catered, en-suite or shared and which college you’re in. I chose a self-catered en-suite room in Vanbrugh on Campus West, but there’s pros and cons to all options.
East or West?
The Language and Linguistic science department at York is based on Campus West, and this is where you’ll go to see tutors in their office hours and submit work. This also means that all of your classes will probably be on Campus West too. Market Square – with two shops, a hairdressers, a student letting agency and a bank – is on Campus West, as well. As is a doctors and nine food and drink outlets. Living here seems ideal!
Campus East was better known for its modern architecture and frankly incredible accommodation, but lack of social spaces and campus necessities, like shops and a Doctor’s Surgery. This is all changing, and the Doctors Surgery on Campus West is moving to a larger facility on Campus East. There’s also a new Piazza building under way that will house more catering facilities. The Unibus service provides free transport between the two campuses, so getting to class is still easy!
Catered or self-catered?
Catered accommodation includes breakfast and an evening meal Monday to Friday during term time, and is included in the price of your rent. The upside to this is very little cooking and very little food shopping; the downside is perhaps having to buy just enough to last you a weekend, or trying to avoid forking out on takeaways. If you’re self-catered but want some catered meals, you can buy a Meals in Advance card.
The collegiate system at York means you’re in this strange, trivial rivalry with all colleges but yours for seemingly no reason. There’s Vanbrugh, Derwent, James and Alcuin on Campus West, Constantine, Goodricke and Langwith on Campus East and Halifax somewhere in the middle. You’ll be associated with your college for your entire time at university, but it really doesn’t affect your experience at all! I’d advise you to choose where you want to live based on the accommodation and its location, not the college.
Living in York
Choosing to live in York was one of the best decisions I ever made. The city, that you’re a 20 minute walk or 5 minute bus-ride from, is beautiful and there is a never ending list of things to do. Your student card will get you into the Minster for free, the city walls will help you get your bearings or, if it’s raining as it likes to do up North, you can get food from any one of the dozens of cafes tucked away in the winding cobbles. It has department stores for every need, high street retail like any big city and enough bars and pubs to go to a different one every day for a year!
The Student Union has four different club nights every week with clubs in the centre, defying the myth that going to university in a smaller city means worse nightlife.
Because it’s so popular with tourists, the trains in and out of York are frequent and varied. You can get almost anywhere, anytime if you fancy a day trip or a weekend away and you won’t be stuck when you try to get home for Christmas.
Hopefully I’ve added a few nice photos from my time in York for you to have a look at!
Now what are you waiting for? Make York your firm choice and come and join us!