University of York students are encouraged to explore international study opportunities for 2015 through the Centre for Global Programmes this autumn.
The opportunity to study abroad, for two weeks to up to a year, is available through the University’s Worldwide Exchange programmes, International Study Centres (ISC) and the Erasmus scheme.
The Worldwide Exchange programme offers the chance to spend a year at international partner universities in the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia or South Africa. Students entering their second year in 2015 on a three year course, or their third year in 2015 on a four year course, are able to apply.
Students interested in studying in Europe as part of their degree can apply to the Erasmus scheme, which involves spending time at a partner University in Europe as part of second year studies. Universities involved vary according to students’ academic department.
For those wishing to make the most of their summer, International Study Centres are short courses open to students of all disciplines and levels of study. In 2015, summer courses will be available at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, USA, the University of Cape Town, South Africa and UNICAMP in Campinas, Brazil. ISC’s provide both academic study focused around a particular theme and cultural experiences, with day trips and excursions included as part of the itinerary.
Allison Burson, International Relations Officer in the Centre for Global Programmes, said: "Studying abroad gives students the chance to experience new cultures, learn in new ways, understand different perspectives, and improve language and cultural competencies. An international experience enhances employability as well."
The deadline for applications for Worldwide Exchange programmes is 1pm on Monday 5 January 2015, and the deadline for Erasmus and International Study Centre summer schools is 1pm, Friday 30 January 2015. Students can apply for these opportunities through e:vision in their student portfolios.
For more information about all opportunities, please visit: www.york.ac.uk/study/study-abroad/outgoing
Scholarships and funding are available for global programme opportunities. To learn more about what is available for each scheme and to apply, visit: www.york.ac.uk/study/study-abroad/outgoing/finances
The opportunities on offer are mainly for undergraduates, but the International Study Centre experiences are also open to postgraduate students.
Leonora O’Hanlon, 2nd Year English Literature student, Halifax College
Leonora travelled to Cape Town, South Africa in Summer 2014 as part of an International Study Centre with the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Focused around the theme of 20 years of Democracy, classes and trips centered on international relations, human rights and the transition from Apartheid to democracy.
“From our first day exploring the lush gardens of Kirstenbosch where hundreds of species of plants thrive, watching Jazz artists perform in a small local club, to listening to the students of UWC talk passionately about how Apartheid affects them today, I became completely absorbed in the cultures around me.
“Walking between the colourful homes of the townships, where living conditions of the poorest part of Cape Town is a shocking contrast to the richest homes in the city, I found myself overcome by the motivation and innovation of a community eager for change rather than saddened by a loss of hope. Personally one of my favourite moments was watching Athol Fugard perform his most recent play in the Athol Fugard theatre after having studied his Township plays the previous year.
“As I go into the second year of my English Literature degree, the cultural and historical lessons learnt while in South Africa has helped my understanding of modules such as Fictions of Human Rights, and fuelled my love of Global literature and my desire to study this further.
“Everything I experienced in South Africa was brimming with possibility, creativity and vibrant forms of expression, highlighting Mandela’s unfailing belief in the power of Education. Thinking back on my collective experiences in Cape Town now, I feel that I personally took with me the knowledge that my mind is not controlled by any other force but myself and in all it has been a very freeing experience.”
Amalie Juel, 3rd Year History of Art student, Goodricke College
Amalie travelled to Beijing, China in Summer 2014 as part of an International Study Centre with the University of Peking (PKU). The course focused on a theme of Chinese history, art, philosophy and language.
“I have always wanted to visit Asia, so the International Study Centre was the perfect opportunity to experience Beijing with the added bonus of making new friends with students from different year groups and disciplines at York.
“Beijing in the summer is incredibly humid, and we stayed on campus at Peking University’s own hotel in the city. We were assigned a language partner from Peking University for our whole trip, which was really great and incredibly helpful as the language is quite difficult to master! We took language courses while there and I’m happy to say that I can now speak a few fluent sentences in Chinese.
“The most memorable experiences I had while there include excursions to the Great Wall of China, which was incredible, and the Forbidden City - the Chinese imperial palace. It is said if you were to sleep in each bedroom of the palace starting from birth, you would be 21 years old until you visited them all! We also had free time to explore the city, and I successfully navigated the subway system, visiting antique and food markets to try out the local delicacies.
“I had an amazing time in Beijing and would thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone thinking of taking part in an International Study Centre. It’s a unique, valuable experience that teaches you to be comfortable in unfamiliar situations, increases confidence and will set you apart when applying for jobs or further study in the future.”
Chris Agathangelou, 3rd year Biology student, Langwith College
Chris spent a year studying at the National University of Singapore as part of the Worldwide Exchange programme in 2013 – 2014.
“My exchange experience was terrific. I gained so much that I could only have obtained from going abroad. I got to see a stunning variety of countries I could only dream of visiting before and make international friends from all over the world, as well as locals. I had the chance to try a whole variety of foods and eventually learned to tolerate spice!
“Due to the extreme work demands I quickly learned how to manage my time and workflow much more efficiently than I had done in the past and I believe this skill will be invaluable for my final year. I cannot describe how amazing it was to be living somewhere completely different from where I was raised and Singapore is a stunning dynamic city which has changed my whole perspective of the world. I miss the place already which does feel strange considering when I first arrived all I wanted to do was come home to my friends and family.
“I cannot recommend the exchange enough, at the end of the day it is what you make it and a little bit of luck to meet decent people also helps. I feel privileged and thankful I was given the chance to go.”