University of York

Y50_Central_Hall_and_Berrick_Saul_building

City of York

Lifestyle

York is an old European city found in North Yorkshire, England. It has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its 2000 years of existence. Besides being historical, York is known for being pretty and quaint, with a strong pub culture. While not being as overwhelming as other bigger cities, York is as vibrant, with street buskers and fairs often seen in the city centre, as well as a rich variety of musical performances being held at the National Centre for Early Music on a regular basis. The clubs here have student nights, so going on a night out is definitely not expensive! York is a relatively safe city, but it is advisable not to walk the streets alone when it gets dark. Also, being a university town, the younger population here normally consists of university students from the University of York, or York St John University.

Weather

The temperatures in York range from below 0 to about 23 degrees. The academic year begins in October, which is Autumn, and you can expect temperatures to range between about 6– 13 degrees. From November onwards, the temperatures will start dipping as winter approaches; expect winter temperatures to be from -3 – 6 degrees, with the harshest weather experienced during January and February. From March, it gets slightly warmer as Spring approaches, and temperatures climb to about 8 degrees, and then as Summer arrives in May, temperatures normally stay above 15 degrees and get to above 20 degrees in June.

Activities and attractions

York is known for its interesting and long history; thus, main historical attractions are the York Minster, Clifford’s Tower, and the York Museum. Besides being historical, York is renowned for being pretty and quaint. Visit Betty’s Tea Rooms to enjoy some English tea and desserts, and the Shambles to experience the old cobbled streets filled unique and tucked away shops. There are fairs held on a regular basis in the city centre and the streets are normally filled with buskers. You can find in the middle of the city a cinema which screens films, although they are rather pricey. There are constant events and parties held at the university, so do join in for an enriching student life.

Cost of living

Accommodation University
Accommodation
£80-100/week
Food Home Cooked
£60-£80/mth
Eat Out: if you’re looking for a really good
meal, expect to pay at least 10 pounds
 
Mobile Bill   £15-25/mth
Transport Practically nothing, unless you take
the bus. For a single it is about 1.80, for a return ticket to the university,
it is 2 pounds.

Total: About £700 per month

University of York

Location

Because York is quite small, the city centre is within walking distance from the university, although quite a few people own bicycles.

School life

The University of York consists of 8 colleges: Vanbrugh, James, Halifax, Goodricke, Derwent, Alcuin, Langwith and Wentworth. Wentworth serves as a postgraduate college, while the rest of the colleges house mostly first-year students. Each college is known for having a distinct personality and college activities and parties are held all year round. Studying in one of the top 20 universities in England is difficult and challenging, as hard work needs to be put in to achieve top grades. Aside from the hard work, there are many societies and constant activities that students can take part in, which adds to the vibrancy of university life in York. The campus is an electic mix of older, more historical looking buildings, and more modern, glass-panelled ones, which really lends quite a distinct look to the university. School is swarming with students all the time, and you can always find ducks or geese nearby, particularly during Spring.

Students

York University has a interesting mix of students. There is quite a large percentage of international students, but most of the students are English.

Settling in

Because the Singapore population in York is much smaller compared to bigger cities like London, some may find it initially a challenge and a bit of a culture shock settling in. However, the Singsoc provides excellent and helpful information on university life, and organises various pre-departure, and post-departure activities to help create a sense of home for Singaporeans here. The support facilities at the University are great, with warm and friendly support staff at every college. Also, being placed in colleges is a great way to settle in as well, as you would immediately get to know people, who are usually very friendly.

Samantha Tan
Psychology (Second Year Undergraduate) ’09/10
VJC 06A11