Why I chose York
I chose York because it was one of the top destinations for Biological Sciences in the UK. Besides that, the University of York is also part of the Russell Group, which are research-intensive universities. The research being done in York encompasses a wide range of interests, with impactful results to the real world. One of the areas of research conducted in York is the study of Leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease. Since I am interested in getting into research, this was a perfect choice for me! The facilities in the Department of Biology are also modern and updated!
Since I come from a big city in Indonesia, York seemed like a good change for my lifestyle as I prefer a smaller city that is much more slow-paced. York has also been named the safest city to live in the UK several times, which puts me at ease as this is my first time studying abroad alone.
I was extremely nervous for the first few days in university, but moving in was a breeze. I had the help of fellow students, and I was glad I was immediately introduced to other students in my flat. They are in the same exact situation as I was, nervous and alone. Meeting them made me instantly feel comfortable, and we grew to be closer overtime.
During the first few days in class, I was introduced to my tutor group and they’ve become some of my closest friends. The Department of Biology also held a meeting for international students. It definitely helped me feel more comfortable in the department, meeting new people that were in the same shoes as I was.
There were also other events such as a BAME (black, asian and minority ethnicities) meetup, and I met even more friends through it. I felt the department and the university has a wide variety of events and societies that allows international students to find a home away from home.
Support from the Department
The support from the Department of Biology is something that I value so much. In the first few weeks, there were lots of emails about opportunities here and there. It may seem daunting at first, but I took up the challenge and decided to apply for a bunch of these opportunities. The result? I’m involved in various different activities and societies, and they help me develop myself outside of my studies.
The department also sends out weekly emails on what is happening in the university and the department. Whenever I feel confused on what decision I should make, or if I have any questions, I drop by the Biology reception to have a chat. There’s always someone to help me out with my problem!
I am planning to take a Year in Industry, and the department has provided me with ample support, from hosting webinars with previous placement students, to holding mock interviews.
My love of tutorials
One of my favourite things in my course are the tutorials. Tutorials are where small groups of students meet with an academic staff and discuss a certain topic. The best part of these tutorials is you get to choose what topic interests you the most! Biology at York has a diverse range of interests, from neuroscience to tropical diseases. For my first year, I chose to look deeper into tropical diseases. I look forward to these sessions every week!
Besides tutorials, I enjoy practical sessions as well. It was really daunting at first to be working in a lab with 50 other students, but with the help of lab assistants and professors, I became comfortable in the lab within a few weeks! There’s always something exciting in these practical sessions, whether it’s measuring brain waves or observing frog embryos!
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