Having taken a gap year after my undergraduate degree, I had a lot of time to decide on which universities to apply to. I grew up in Greece, did my Bachelor’s Degree in Turkey during which I spent six months in Italy with the Erasmus+ Programme. Thus, I have experienced various education systems and it was time to experience the UK system. Doing a self-funded postgraduate degree can be expensive so you should try to make the most informed and logical choice.
The University reputation and the course
I had already heard about the University of York from various friends and lecturers in Turkey and Greece. I wanted to do my Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies so I started by looking at the Centre for Women’s Studies’ web page. The course was multi-disciplinary and very well organised. I could see that I would be given the freedom to work on anything I was interested in and be provided with support and resources. The academic staff were amazing and I was even more impressed when looking at their biographies.
In addition to this, before applying to York I did not know what the Russell Group was. Once I looked into it, I realised that York was one of twenty-four universities included in a group. The group supports world class research, education, networking and academic excellence, which is used to face global challenges. Reading more into the Russell Group, I realised that being in such a university could help me build a better future for myself.
The application process
During my application process, I was working overseas which meant that there was a constant time difference. This made online communication harder. However, the student recruitment team were extremely helpful. They replied to my emails in such a short time it impressed me. After receiving an offer, the student affairs team contacted me to inform me about my classes, my schedule and everything related to my studies. Seeing such an organised team increased my trust towards the University. I felt that student affairs would support me throughout any difficulty that I may face.
Facilities and support
Finally, I decided to look into the University’s facilities. I was shocked when I found out how big the library is. There is even an archives section with various priceless texts. There are separate study areas for undergraduates and postgraduates (with kitchens). This may seem like an unnecessary division, it is actually quite vital. It could be hard to concentrate in areas full of undergraduates who may not be as stressed or as concerned as you are. This means you are surrounded by people struggling in the same way. This makes you feel more comfortable and even confident. The University’s aim to prioritise the students’ well-being shocked me as doing a postgraduate degree can be very stressful. Not a lot of universities offer their type of support systems to help their students during this time.
These are only some of the things I had in mind while I was about to make my final decision. Once I arrived in York and visited the University, it was clear there were even more reasons that would convince me to come here. If you are already studying at York, I advise you to find out everything that our university has to offer. If you are a prospective student, you should know that York and the University has a lot to offer, if you are ready to take this big step.
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