Local and Commuting Students

Each year over 300 new undergraduate students choose to live off campus, mainly at 'home' with family, a partner, friends or alone. Some of these students live in York and others are spread across the region and beyond. There are many advantages of not living in 'student' accommodation, including saving money and being able to fulfil family commitments.

Register to attend Wellness Wednesday activities on the 'Meeting Other Students' tab

Your College

Your College

There are eight undergraduate colleges at the University and all students both on and off-campus are part of a college community.

As a non-resident first year student you will be allocated to one of the following colleges, depending on your department of study:

  • Alcuin College - if you are studying in Health Sciences or at the Hull York Medical School (HYMS).

  • Goodricke College - if you are studying in a department based on Campus East.

  • James College - if you are studying in a department based on Campus West or at King's Manor.

Your college will have social spaces you can use as well as providing access to microwaves, kettles and storage lockers. Colleges also offer opportunities in Welcome Week and beyond to meet other students, take part in sports, attend well-being workshops and participate in the inter-cultural competency programme.

If there's any other information you need or anything you would like to discuss please email our Local and Commuting Students contact Nicola Browne - nicola.browne@york.ac.uk. We also have a Local and Commuting Students Facebook group.

Adjusting to University Life

Adjusting to University Life

It will take you time to settle in and adapt to University life, don’t be too hard on yourself in the first term when you are dealing with so much change. 

Below is some advice on how to make the most of your first term at University. If there's any other information you need or anything you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to contact our Local and Commuting Students contact Nicola Browne by emailing - nicola.browne@york.ac.uk.

Time spent travelling 

if you are travelling to and from University most days, try to make your commute as enjoyable and productive as possible by:

  • Making sure you know the quickest way to travel to University.

  • Ensuring you get the best deal on public transport costs.

  • Having public transport enquiry numbers (e.g. National Rail etc) in your mobile.

  • Making the most of your journey time, if using public transport, by using it for University reading, note taking etc.

You may find these tips for commuting students on The Student Room website helpful. 

Student Buddying Scheme

A Student Buddy is a second or third year student who will help you settle into university life and support you through your first year here. All local and commuting students are encouraged to request a Student Buddy, you can do this before you arrive or at anytime during your first year here. Visit the Student Buddying Scheme webpage to find out more.

Accessing Support

Studying as a local or commuting student can be challenging at times and it is normal for there to be bad days as well as good days. However, if you feel like you would benefit from talking to someone, there are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat. This includes: 

Meeting other students

Meeting other students

 L&C Christmas Lunch 2019

Wellness Wednesdays

Every Wednesday afternoon we've organised an activity on campus that promotes positive wellbeing and is specifically for undergraduate local and commuting students (and mature students). Booking in only required where indicated below:

Pottery Painting - 1.30-3pm, Wednesday 15th January                                                                                                                                                                 Come and join in with this relaxing creative activity and take away your own personalised mug, plate or bowl. Refreshments will also be provided. There will be a £5 charge for this activity. Please confirm your place on this activity by following the instructions below to pay your £5.00 through the University's Online Store:

1. Visit the University's Online Store https://store.york.ac.uk/
2. Select 'Product Catalogue' from the menu on the left hand side
3. Select 'Student and Academic Services'
4. Select 'Wellness Wednesdays'
5. Once you've read the details about the session, if you would like to go ahead with your purchase add this to your basket and proceed to checkout.
You will need to 'register as a new customer' if you've not used the Online Store previously.

Payment is by all major debit and credit cards only (with the exception of American Express).  

Time out with Some Four Legged Friends - 1.30-3pm, Wednesday 29th January in Alcuin JCR                                                                                                          Take some time out to relax and meet some friendly dogs at one of our Dog Society's Wednesday 'dog meet ups'. There is no need to book for this event.


Board Games - 1.30-3pm, Wednesday 5th February in Goodricke JCR                                                                                                                                              Come along and relax while playing some classic board games. Refreshments will be provided. There is no need to book for this event. 


Coffee Drop-ins

Once a week during term time we will hold a Coffee Drop-in. You're welcome to come and enjoy a FREE hot drink while chatting to other like minded students and friendly staff. There's no need to book for these Drop-ins, or to stay for the duration, just pop along when you can. As well as a sign on the table advertising the Coffee Drop-in there will be a student helper in a bright green and/ or purple t-shirt/ hoody. The dates and times of the Coffee Drop-ins in the Spring term are as follows:



2-4pm, Thursday 16 January at Derwent Costa


10am - 12noon, Tuesday 21 January at the Piazza (Campus East)


2-4pm, Thursday 30 January at Alcuin Bistro


10am - 12noon, Monday 3 February at Derwent Costa 


2-4pm, Thursday 13 February at Vanbrugh Bar


11am-1pm, Tuesday 18 February at the Piazza (Campus East)


2-4pm, Monday 24 February at Alcuin Bistro


10am - 12noon, Thursday 5 March at Vanbrugh Bar


2-4pm, Tuesday 10 March at the Library Cafe


More tips for meeting other students 

Top Tips

Top Tips from Current Students

Each year over 300 new undergraduate students choose to live off campus, mainly at 'home' with family, a partner, friends or alone. Some of these students live in York and others are spread across the region and beyond. We spoke to some of these students about their experiences and here’s what they had to say:

“My top tip for local and commuting students is to join the group Facebook for the fellow students of your department’s year group. It was good to be able to put questions to the group chat and get involved in the conversation.” - Fiona, Sociology student commuting from Ripon.

“I decided to be an off-campus student to save money and I didn't really fancy going into Halls as the typical 'student lifestyle' didn't really appeal to me. However, I've still managed to get involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities - I’ve joined the University of York Labour Club, I am currently the Off-campus representative for the Derwent JCRC and I am involved in the Student Buddying Scheme.”- Jordan, Social and Political Sciences student commuting from Wetherby

“Don’t forget to register your attendance at university otherwise you’ll find your student finance might be delayed.” - Laura, Psychology student commuting from Brighouse.

“I decided to be a non-resident student because I have been living with my wife for a few years already now so moving into halls didn't seem right for us... I have a lot of space in my house compared to people that lived in halls which is a bonus.” - Sam, Computer Science student living in Cawood, near Selby.

For more stories, top tips and useful information, join the University of York Local and Commuting Students Facebook Group. Thank you to the students who have got involved so far, if you’d like to feature as a case study please fill in this quick form.

Useful Information

Useful Information

Here is a collection of useful information:

  • Student Finance: In order for payment of your student loan to be triggered you need a member of university staff to register you as 'in attendance' on your student record. You can do this at the Pre-arrival Welcome and College Induction event or by attending the Student Hub in Market Square during your first week at University. 

  • YUSU has introduced Activities Access Grants to provide free club and society membership for first year undergraduates who are eligible for a York Bursary or Disabled Students' Allowance. If you join a sports club, society or media group this academic year, fill out this form to apply for up to £20 in membership fee reimbursement. Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

  • The York Futures Scholarship funds students to access opportunities that give them a head start in the job market. It is funded by York’s alumni and friends community through philanthropic donations. Other university bursaries and  scholarships can be found here.

  • The library has lots of useful resources and spaces for you to use. You can book library study rooms up to 1 month in advance for a maximum of 3 hours in one day and up to 6 hours per week. Also, there’s library storage lockers and other study spaces available across campus. You may find these top tips for studying and exam success useful as well.

  • The digital interactive Campus map can help you navigate the university. There’s a variety of coffee shops, eateriesfood preparation areas and showers available across campus as well as places to pray and reflect.

  • Many staff and students choose cycle to university and across the city. There is very limited parking on campus but traveling by bus is one of the most convenient ways to commute.

  • Some off-campus students choose to relocate to the city for their studies. You might find this information on the different residential areas in York and the private housing sector useful.

Student Internship

Local and Commuting Student Internship

Emily Johnsen (left in the photo above), a final year student in the Department of Education, was awarded Campus Intern of the Year for 2018/2019 for her outstanding work as part of the Student Support team, at a celebratory lunch recently hosted by the Internship Bureau.

Emily completed her internship with the Student Support team over the summer vacation of 2019 and the main objective of her project was to help local and commuting students to feel more a part of the University community. As a student who commuted from home for the first two years of her degree, Emily could see why this project was so important and felt she could offer a unique insight into the challenges that this student group are often faced with.

Emily’s key roles in the project were to research how the University currently supports local and commuting students and the challenges they face, explore how other Universities support this group of students and produce a report with recommendations for enhancing and improving the service offered at York. She was then tasked with putting some of those recommendations into practice.

As a result of Emily’s recommendations, for the first time in the history of the University, bespoke events such as a Pre-arrival Lunch and College Induction (with over 110 attendees) and an End of Term Celebration event have been held this term. Consequently local and commuting students have felt more valued members of the University. The quote below was from a new Local and Commuting student:

‘Thank you for your dedication and support of local and commuting students during this challenging time. The events that you organised are already helping in many ways. I found a way to contribute to the university as a course rep . . I learned a few essential skills.’ 

After completing her internship Emily said “I don't think I’ve ever been as motivated, passionate and committed to a piece of work as I was this internship. It unlocked a whole other sense of potential and progression not just for me personally but for every Local and Commuting student coming after me. I’m beyond excited to see my ideas take shape and be implemented over the next academic year!”

The Student Internship Bureau is an exclusive service to University of York students providing project-based, fully paid internships. These internships are coordinated with local York employers and University departments,can last for 4 to 12 weeks and range from part-time to full-time roles. There are a huge variety of opportunities and internships, which are offered all year round. The Student Internship Bureau is located in Careers and Placements with opportunities advertised regularly on Careers Gateway under the ‘Exclusive Opportunities’ tab.