Since there were no suitable partner universities for me at my home university, I looked for an organization that would support me with my application as a ‘free mover’ abroad. After sending an email to MicroEDU, Christiane quickly responded with a selection of different universities. Finally, I chose York St John University. The application process ran by email and was totally uncomplicated! The completed application documents were even checked again and sent to the YSJ by Christiane & Team themselves. The YSJ soon got in touch by email with further instructions. When it finally started, I no longer had any concerns, as everything was sorted out! That was mainly due to Christiane, who you could always rely on and who was there for you with every little thing. I can say the same about the YSJ staff!
Studies, courses and support
When I arrived at Manchester Airport, YSJ students were already waiting and a shuttle bus took me to the university (registration required in advance – but this is explicitly pointed out). Everything was perfectly organized. You were given all the information you needed and a plan of activities for the first week. The first week is mainly there to get to know each other (and to celebrate), but there are also some compulsory courses that help to find your way around even better. There is also the option of registering for societies (e.g. theater, debating club, etc.) and sports clubs (badminton, football, basketball, etc.) – these can be viewed on the Internet before departure.
The lectures start after the so-called Freshers’ Week (= orientation week). I have taken three business courses that I agreed with my home university. Compared to Germany, much more preparation and follow-up was required, which was very beneficial for me personally, as I had to write three term papers (between 5-9 pages) as an examination and thus had already done good preparatory work. The atmosphere in the lectures and seminars is relaxed, but (most) lecturers are required to work well and actively. I highly recommend David Norris’ Marketing Practice. YSJ University has a beautiful campus and a great library that is open 24/7 and is easy to work / study in.
I lived in Limes Court. There are apartments for 4-5 students. Everyone has a single room and the bathroom is shared by two or three people. There is a kitchen that is also the common room. The bathroom and kitchen are in good condition – but there are no plates, pots and cutlery. You either have to buy it in the first week or ask at the Student Advice Desk (there is apparently a room somewhere in which a lot of kitchen utensils are collected from former students). For a fee you get a package with a blanket, pillow and bed linen. You have to bring your own towels! There are also washing machines and dryers. If it’s in the property and there are problems, you can apply for a change during the semester. The university has a specific deadline for this – as far as I know, the change will always be approved if there is space elsewhere / a space becomes free. If something is broken in the house or room, it will be repaired as soon as possible.
Leisure / excursion possibilities
York is a very beautiful city and easy to visit on foot. The center is about 5 minutes from the university. Definitely worth seeing are York Minster, Clifford Tower and the Shambles, a medieval street in the center of York that is a must for all Harry Potter fans ! There are many nice pubs and bars and also clubs where you can party well.
If you want to do something on the weekend, you can book trips with the Study Abroad Team of the YSJ, which are a bit expensive. In 2016/17 Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham were offered. The Christmas market in Nottingham was supposed to be very special, but I think the Christmas market in York is worlds better! Some things are more worthwhile if you organize them yourself. We have made trips to Scarborough, Whitby, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cambridge, among others. The highlight, however, was undoubtedly a weekend trip to Wales ! It’s worth starting your planning early (and getting a Railcard to get discounted train tickets).
During the week the Students Union also offers good variety (karaoke, quizzes,…) and it is a great meeting point for all students. It is very cool (re-opening winter 2016!) And has a Starbucks and 2 bars.
I would go to York St John University again at any time and can only recommend it to everyone! The YSJ staff always help you and you never feel left alone. York is a very beautiful city and has a lot to offer – you never get bored.