Having grown up in London, moving to York for university was a massive change for me. As I was used to living in a big metropolitan area, going to a university in a smaller city was completely different. Many students prefer to study in a larger city, but I longed to escape the crowds and traffic that seem to plague London, and live away from my family for a while. I was drawn to York due to the fact that is a campus university. The thought of having to commute every morning didn’t really appeal to me.
When I first arrived, I was so surprised at how close everything was: while in London I have to take the bus or train everywhere, in York I could reach my destination by foot, and within minutes too. As a student, I found that walking everywhere was really convenient as it enabled me to save money. I could also enjoy my surroundings more since I lived outside the city during all three years. Yorkshire is a beautiful area, full of wildlife and impressive scenery. The university is close to the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, which make great days out. York is also well-connected so you can catch a train to Leeds, Newcastle or even Manchester if you miss being in a big city.
One of the best things about studying in a town is the community spirit. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and it’s so easy to make friends for life. For such a small university, York is surprisingly international. You’re bound to meet at least a handful of students from not only Europe, but all over the world too. Although most of my course mates were British, the majority of the people I met through my college and societies were from other countries.
There is also plenty to do in York. The nightlife is actually quite good. Although York is lacking in nightclubs, there are dozens of bars and pubs to choose from. York is built on history and has a multitude of cultural and tourist activities. Some of my free time was spent exploring the medieval walls, which surround the entire city, and walking around the museums, for example the National Railway Museum and York Chocolate Story.
While living in a small city was a great experience for me, I did miss London. I prefer big cities as there’s so much more to offer and you can always find new things to discover. Nevertheless, it was nice to live somewhere different and I’d definitely recommend it if you get the chance.
By Serena Reidy