Hi! My name is Mikaela, and I’m going to talk to you about some of the experiences I had studying as an international student at the University of York.
Settling into University life
I chose to study at York because I really like the environment of the campus and I thought it would be a comfortable place for me to study.
When I came to visit from the States, all the staff and students that we met were so friendly and welcoming. Having access to nature is important to me, so I liked how green the campus was and being surrounded by wildlife. I also loved how beautiful and historic the city was. It’s a lovely place to live. And there are so many unique pubs and cafés to visit, you’ll never be short of places to eat out at.
Highlights of my course
The highlights of my course have been the small group tutorials and the laboratory practicals. I especially enjoyed the independent project I completed in my fourth year. I will actually be going into a job where I do something very similar, using the skills that I gained from this project. The small group tutorials were fantastic because you got to learn in depth in a very niche field of Biology that you might not have otherwise been able to experience. They’re an excellent avenue for exploring interests that you might want to pursue as a career or a PhD. I was able to learn some incredibly interesting and cutting edge science from pioneers in the field, which was an amazing experience.
It was really easy for me to settle into studying at the Department of Biology. The teaching started off with the basics because not every student covered the same material in school. This meant that a lot of the early lectures and workshops were a review for me, but it was nice to be able to ease into university teaching in this way. It also meant that I had an opportunity to learn topics that we didn’t cover at my school in the States. It was also really easy to make friends since we were all new and nobody knew anyone else.
Opportunities at University
I have been a course representative for the past two years. This means that I take feedback from other students in my year to lecturers and staff to help them improve teaching in the department. I have also worked as a Student Ambassador for the Biology Department. This is a paid position where I help with University Open Days and give tours to prospective students. I am also on the committee for Henna Society and Biosciences Society. Being involved with societies was definitely another highlight of my experience at York and I would recommend getting involved if there are any that sound interesting to you when you start.