York St John University Study Abroad (2)
From September 2015 to January 2016 I spent my semester abroad at York St. John University in England. I really wanted to study in England, so I decided to go to York for two reasons. The first reason was the cost, as York was the only university by English standards that I could at least halfway afford in terms of costs. Anyone who goes to study in England should, however, be aware that life in England is extremely expensive in addition to the high tuition fees. In the end, everything costs about the same as here, only in pounds, which makes it significantly more expensive for us.
The second reason, and also a much nicer reason, was that I had heard in advance from a lot of different places that York is the most beautiful city in all of England and here I have to say, I was really not disappointed at all. The city is absolutely amazing, small, medieval and beautiful. Even after four months we still discovered new little streets with cute shops, small tea rooms and cafés or pubs in York. The city itself was reason enough why this semester abroad was 100% worth it. So besides the university there is really a lot that you can do. Rumor has it that there are almost 365 pubs in York, which means there is a separate pub for every day of the year and at least as many small cafes. Of course, you can quickly find your favorite pubs, where you can quickly end up every other evening thanks to brilliant live music.
The organized leisure activities of the International Student Services from the university itself are great, for example we have made several trips to different cities in England or did a lot of fun things in York itself. Personally, I liked traveling around on my own even better; if you just rent a car with a few people for one or more days, you can explore the country without any problems (don’t worry, you get used to left-hand traffic too!)
For me personally, the small size of the country was one of the greatest advantages of England, as you can get anywhere really quickly within a day by train or car. Be it a trip to the Yorkshire Moors, which I really recommend to everyone, to the fantastic city of Edinburgh or, of course, to London. Since I had already completed a semester abroad in Canada before, it was really nice for me to just be able to drive away without having to rely on expensive flights. Also traveling by train is extremely cheap in England, if one buys a Student Rail Card, for example, just under GBP 30, you get on any train ticket 30% discount and can also travel ever for 6-10 pounds so with timely planning.
But now for my studies, which is why I actually came to York;)
According to Existingcountries, the York St John University is really super nice, whether (at least for the business students, which is the only thing I can tell now) from the outside (little old castle) or from the inside with modern lecture halls and a completely redesigned Library, which really offers a lot of study places on top modern Dell and Apple PCs. I have chosen three master’s courses and I have different levels of satisfaction.
The first course was “Strategic Brand Management”, which I can really recommend 100% to everyone. The teacher Noel is just great, funny, nice and absolutely helpful. The course is super, super interesting, because it is illustrated by a live case study using the example of MINI and we even went on an excursion to the MINI plant in Oxford. The examination results are a poster presentation and, as with almost all courses, a term paper at the end. I can’t say anything more about the grading at the moment.
The second course of mine was “Consumer Behavior” with which I was so mixed satisfied. Sometimes it was very interesting because you work with a lot of practical relevance using advertisements and videos, but sometimes it was also very boring and in the seminar you feel a bit like in preschool. The examination consisted of a term paper, for which unfortunately no topic was given and it was therefore not clear until the end what one should actually do.
The third course was “Business and Sustainability” and I personally cannot recommend this course to others. I am really interested in the subject area, but the lecturers were sometimes unfriendly and set themselves the goal of having to “educate” us, which is why they treated us like in kindergarten with homework, scolding and strict educational measures. At 25 in my master’s degree, I personally don’t feel like doing it anymore, but that’s also a matter of taste.
In general, it should be said that there are hardly any locals to be found in the courses, especially in business, and 99% are of Asian origin, which makes it a bit difficult to make contacts due to linguistic barriers.
In terms of the requirements, I would personally say that a significantly higher level is required in Germany, but here a much higher amount of time is required during the semester, since you usually have to read a lot of texts every week and also have to submit drafts between the semester.
During the semester, I lived in the dormitory “The Grange” and was really happy with it. In previous experience reports, I have read a lot that it is often very loud there due to the many freshman parties, which I cannot confirm at all. I thought it was a great shared apartment where you could find a lot of people. However, I had bad luck with my direct roommates, who had little interest in sharing a flat, but I made all the more friends in the houses next door. The rooms are of course a bit impersonal, because you can’t really set yourself up for 4 months, but the kitchen is really big and sharing the bathroom and shower with five people wasn’t a problem at all, we actually never get in each other’s way came mainly because everyone had their own washbasin in the room.
All in all, I am super happy with my decision to spend my semester abroad at York St. John and I was incredibly sad to have to turn my back on York.