Tessa Divendal, Exchange student talks about her experience visiting York St John In 2018

Tessa Divendal visited York St John in 2018. In this blog post, Tessa talks about her experience of the city and the University.

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My name is Tessa and I was a Dutch exchange student at York St. John’s for the first semester in 2018. Before this, I was already stoked to go, since I had visited York with some friends during summer vacation and couldn’t believe my eyes at how beautiful this city was. I highly recommend taking a day or an afternoon to just walk around the city centre and doing one of the ghost tours. Especially with people you know are afraid of ghosts, it’s hilarious. One of my fondest memories is walking down towards the city centre to get to the university from Limes Court, where I was staying, and watch the early morning mist around the cathedral in the distance. I consider this a personal surprise, since I’m a night owl.

Since I studied English Literature and Society at my home, I chose three subjects that both coincided with that, as well as my own interests and career aspirations. At first, I figured there wouldn’t be too much of a difference in teaching between my host university and my home university, but instead, there were still quite a number of surprises. The teachers and discussions held in my classes in the Netherlands tend to have a very direct nature and , sometimes even making some students quite uncomfortable. In contrast, the classes in my host university, always tried to make sure everyone felt included and the teachers went out of their way to create a friendly, open environment. This attitude can also be attributed to York St. John University as a whole. Within the introduction days, it was made clear to us where to go if we had a problem of any kind and that there would always be someone willing to listen to what we had to say. It created the feeling of a very safe environment.

Like I said before, I resided in Limes Court for the duration of my semester. This is one of the established courts where students of the university can be accommodated. It looks very cosy, with brick houses and patches of green, and has its own resident cat. The cat passed the houses every once in a while and would sit by the window until you gave him food before moving onto the next one. It seemed to have taken a liking to the house I was staying in, or the people, because he would often sit on the fence by the kitchen window and call out when I walked by. It made my day. My room was also on the ground floor, so I could often see squirrels jump around on the grass patch behind the house. However, the best thing was probably the people I ended up living with. They were wonderful, sweet people and we grew extremely close. The four of them even have their own place now I believe, so they could continue living together, and I was pretty mournful when I had to leave them.

All in all, it was a great experience and hope I can soon return to both the city and the people I left there!

“All The World’s A Stage”. Mollie Pigott reflects on the RSC’s production of As You Like It (Shakespeare: Perspectives Trip 2019)

“All The World’s A Stage”

Director Kimberley Sykes combines pantomime, audience interaction, puppetry and musical elements to create a fantastical, almost Brechtian approach to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s current production of As You Like It.

A photo from the RSC’s current production of As You Like It. Photo from: https://www.rsc.org.uk/as-you-like-it/production-photos

For the past eleven weeks, I’ve constantly been reminded in lectures and seminars that Shakespeare’s plays are texts that were written with the intention to be performed on a stage, not to be read in a classroom. My Shakespeare: Perspectives module’s two-day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon proved that there’s more to the Bard’s plays than just text to be analysed. Shakespeare’s plays offer escapism, a chance to get away from reality with friends or family and I was lucky enough to escape to the Forest of Arden in the most recent production of As You Like ItContinue reading ““All The World’s A Stage”. Mollie Pigott reflects on the RSC’s production of As You Like It (Shakespeare: Perspectives Trip 2019)”

Beyond Graduation 4: Top 5 Tips for Working at YSJU

As part of his ‘Literature at Work’ placement, current student Carl Shepherd has been catching up with some of the recent Literature graduates we fortunately didn’t need to say goodbye to… Because they’re still here and now working for the University!

In our for installment, Carl reflects on the top 5 lessons to learn from all the graduates we have heard from.

Continue reading “Beyond Graduation 4: Top 5 Tips for Working at YSJU”

Beyond Graduation 1: Catching up with Nicoletta Peddis

As part of his ‘Literature at Work’ placement, current student Carl Shepherd has been catching up with some of the recent Literature graduates we fortunately didn’t need to say goodbye to… Because they’re still here and now working for the University!

In our first installment, we hear from former Words Matter Co-Editor, Nicoletta Peddis.

Continue reading “Beyond Graduation 1: Catching up with Nicoletta Peddis”

Sci-fic for a realist: ‘we need it now more than ever’. Annice White reflects on the Terra Two Anthology Launch #YorkLiteratureFestival

Terra Two Anthology Launch with special guest Temi Oh

“The note that I took from this morning’s launch was that exploration into exploration of space is often an exploration into the self.” Annice White reflects on the Terra Two Anthology launch earlier this year on 16th March 2019.

As a fan of realist fiction, currently researching fictional representations of the Yorkshire Ripper, I would not call myself a science fiction fan. However, when York Literature Festival advertised their spec-fiction day I thought I’d step out of comfort zone and see what sci-fi is all about.

Before today I had this notion that Sci-fi is about things that don’t or wouldn’t happen. However, as I learnt today, it isn’t that the things in sci-fi aren’t real, it’s that we don’t want them to be. Continue reading “Sci-fic for a realist: ‘we need it now more than ever’. Annice White reflects on the Terra Two Anthology Launch #YorkLiteratureFestival”

All’s Well That Ends Well Review YISF @Friargate Theatre

By Charlotte Crawshaw

Thursday 9th May saw the opening of the York International Shakespeare Festival, kicking off with the fantastic performance of ‘All’s Well that Ends Well’ at the Friargate Theatre. Director Paul Burbage provided an interesting and modern take on the performance, in the note from Burbage  he said ‘with a little fine-tuning, a surprisingly contemporary voice emerges’ which he succeeded with.

            Even before the performance began the take on the performance was very interesting, as the players were introduced to the audience as people working on the set. It was really interesting to be able to see all of the players before the performance actually begun. The set itself was minimalist, yet impressive and immersive. The set consisted of two tables, which moved around the stage periodically as the scenes changed. The seating in the theatre draw the members of the audience in, making everyone feel involved in the performance.

Continue reading “All’s Well That Ends Well Review YISF @Friargate Theatre”

Autism Awareness Week, 1-5 April, Student Art Display

Artwork by Monica Marshall  and words by Benjamin Longbone

Autism is a term for a wide variety of learning difficulties. The National Autistic Society defines Autism as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. We also aim to highlight other learning difficulties that affect people such as ADHD, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia as well other conditions. Between Monday the 1st of April and Friday the 5th of April, there will be a display of student work themed around learning difficulties. The work will include written creative pieces, life experiences and art work. There will be an opportunity to add to the display as students will be able to express their own experiences by writing them down on post it notes and these experiences will be included. On Saturday the 6th of April there will also be a display in Spark (located in Piccadilly Street in York) of collected student art work.