Hello everybody! My name is Mark and I am currently a second year history student. I come from a small town called Kendal and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at York so far. Throughout my blogs I will try and show you all that York is such an amazing place to live and study, as well as trying to calm the inevitable nerves.
I remember the night before I moved to York as if it was yesterday. My stomach was doing somersaults and I was seriously questioning whether I wanted to go to University at all. However, I then realised that there were thousands of other people in my position feeling exactly the same. This was a big moment in my life, but I had worked hard to get here and I reminded myself of the excitement I felt when I was accepted into York, which is a superb and vibrant university. Every time I am asked why I chose York and why it means so much to me I simply say “The four C’s”. So what on earth are “The four C’s”? Well they are: Campus, City, College and Course.
One of the biggest attractions of York for me was the Campus, it is perfect for a student. Within 10 minutes I can be anywhere on campus and the facilities here are perfect. For example, the library is huge and on campus (this is perfect for a history student as you’ll be using texts from there quite a lot!), and there are several bars, cafes and study spaces. There are four bars on Campus West (V Bar in Vanbrugh, D Bar and Courtyard in Derwent and the Lounge in James college), as well as the Glasshouse on Campus East.
This link will provide you with an interactive map that showcases everything that campus has to offer.
The campus creates a unique atmosphere that makes you feel like you are at a university rather than just another person in a big city. The facilities are all in one place which makes life easier and less time consuming. People might tell you that living on a campus on the edge of the city means you are isolated, but that just isn’t true. The bus service from campus is excellent with buses running to town every 7-8 minutes. Therefore, you can have the practicality of a campus with the easy access of a beautiful city.
York is such a beautiful city and as a History student it is amazing to live in such a historic place. I can’t think of another city that has so much history throughout several eras. For example, there is the Minster which is such a beautiful building as well as the city walls which provide an amazing walk around this historic city. Additionally there is the viking heritage of the city with the Jorvik viking centre and annual viking festival.
However, York is not just an ancient or medieval city, no, York was very much at the cutting edge of modern Britain. The railways are synonymous with York and a visit to the national railway museum is a must; it’s free entry! Also, York is the city of chocolate. The world famous confectioners Rowntree and Terry’s were York businesses and there are several chocolate shops in York.
York is just a nice place to visit. With lots of places to eat and drink, as well as hundreds of independent and big brand shops York provides an amazing day out!
A massive unique factor to York is the college system. York has nine colleges (8 undergraduate and one postgraduate). The colleges are split across Campus west and east:
West: Alcuin, Derwent, Halifax, James, Vanbrugh, Wentworth
East: Constantine, Goodricke, Langwith
I am in Alcuin, so obviously I’m going to be bias and say that Alcuin is the best college! However, what is great about York is not what college you’re in, but it is the fact you are in a college. All the colleges have a unique identity, for example Derwent is big on events whereas Alcuin is big on welfare which creates a great community. However, the college system makes you instantly part of a small family. For me this was great as it removed the fear of becoming isolated or lonely. Furthermore, just because you study something like history, which is taught on campus west, don’t be afraid to chose a college on Campus East. The excellent bus service (the number 66), also provides free transport between the two campuses, which is on average a 5-10 minute bus journey.
Also, the college provides great activities and opportunities. For example, college sport provides a more relaxed atmosphere than university level sport and in most cases it is free, it also provides good competitive rivalry against other colleges. I am currently Alcuin darts captain which is a great laugh!
The history course at York is really well respected throughout the country. What makes the history degree at York so successful is the close contact hours. A large percentage of the York history degree is taught through seminars. These are smaller group sessions (10-15 people), and can last anywhere from 1-3 hours. Rather than falling asleep in a lecture, a seminar is more engaging and I definitely get more out of them. I thoroughly enjoy studying history at York, alongside academics who are well respected in their field.
This blog has been very introductory and therefore hasn’t gone into much detail for on specific topics. My later blogs will focus on more narrow aspects of student life at York, but I hope this post will provide a good introduction to an amazing university and city! I have thoroughly enjoyed my life at York so far and I hope my blogs will show this to you!