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IFSA-Butler University of York
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IFSA-Butler University of York

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Stepping Back in Time

I chose York as a way of going back to my origins: my family is historically from the part of England that was invaded by Vikings, and I knew that York was a part of that history. I never expected how deeply it would make an impact on me. I landed first in London and IFSA-Butler staff and students could not have been more like instant family. I did not know anyone going into the program, and I was a little worried about making friends since we were all going to different universities around England. But one of the London coordinators became like a second mom to me, and she took the train from London up to York several times throughout the year so we could have tea. IFSA took the best care of us, and never skipped out on making us feel welcome. The London staff organize a trip to the Lake District each semester, and we stayed in the most luxurious yet simple accommodation at the base of a mountain. Waking up every morning with a full English breakfast and in the middle of misty mountains was a feeling that my heart will never forget. We spend our days in the Lake District retreat doing adventure activities, which I chose to do via ferrata, kayaking, and ghyll scrambling (an northern English word for climbing up waterfalls)!

The university may be in a smaller city, but the university is large and has tons of stuff to get involved with. I did Model UN and Scandinavian Society. The entire city feels like a castle because the stone city walls still surround the old city border, and the streets are cobblestone. My favorite time of year was seeing the city around Christmas time. No city does Christmas better than York, with mulled wine carts and old English traditions. My friends from my time there are some of the deepest bonds I've ever had with people, and I now have friends from all over the world including France, Denmark, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Northern Ireland. I'm already planning a trip back to York to see them, and some of them are planning trips to visit me. Studying with IFSA Butler opened up professional opportunities I never would have had otherwise, and I could not be more grateful for my experience.

The one word of warning I would say is that the insurance that IFSA Butler makes you buy does not cover medical expenses in Iceland, and I unfortunately had a medical crisis arise while traveling in Iceland so that was an unanticipated and very costly event.