My journey began in Mexico City, at a Euro-postgraduate fair with my friends from University. We were going through an after-degree identity crisis. I felt even more lost because I was passionate about many disciplines, but they were all very dispersed. I studied Hispanic Literatures at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and I thought I could continue my studies at a Spanish university and decide if I wanted to study culture, history or literature. I saw the Across the Pond booth and filled out a form. Shortly after I received an email from my advisor, and from there we started talking about all the different master's degrees in the United Kingdom. After many more emails and a year of preparation I began my master's in Global Culture and Literature at the University of York. At the time I didn't really know why I chose this program beyond "how interesting!", but now I better understand why it was such an important part of my path, eight years later and just about to finish my PhD at the University of Nottingham: I love interdisciplinarity!
The educational experience was very different from what I knew. They are have short terms, with few subjects and few hours, and the workload compensates for that free time. I think the hard part about this, for me, was that I had to learn better self-management, and being alone in a new place! But it was worth it, and adjusting to university and social life was easier. I was surprised by the number of activities and events for all tastes. I even went to a “Retired Dog Petting Day.” Little by little I started making a family among the international roommates that I randomly had with the student accommodation, my classmates from the master's degree, and the community of Mexicans that Across the Pond helps you form from the moment you arrive.
I think the only thing I wish I'd known before moving (and didn't care to research) is that there really isn't much sun. I knew, from the movies, that it is a rainy and cold country, but I also knew that it rains more in Mexico City than in London, so it didn't seem so serious to me. What I didn't know is that during the winter it gets dark from 4:00 pm. And when it's daytime, weeks can go by without seeing the sun or the blue sky. But I also didn't know that Mexico had taught me to love the United Kingdom, and that the United Kingdom would teach me to love Mexico more.
The pursuit of a PhD Research in Physics at the esteemed University of York encapsulates not only an academic endeavor but also a profound personal journey. I stand at the intersection of passion and purpose, driven by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in the field of physics.
Within the annals of history, physics stands resolute as a cornerstone of human understanding. The University of York's distinguished physics department offers a sanctuary for those eager to unravel the complexities of the universe. From the intricacies of quantum mechanics to the cosmic wonders that beckon from beyond, this academic institution is where minds converge to explore the uncharted territories of human understanding.
My odyssey into the realm of physics was ignited by a curiosity that found its roots in experimentation and a yearning to decipher the natural world's enigmatic workings. An ancestral connection to cinematography illuminated the intricate dance between science and artistry, sparking a fascination that continues to illuminate my path. Beyond familial influences, the allure of physics is enriched by its deep historical context, stretching back thousands of years as a foundational science. The resonance of physics across diverse disciplines, encompassing mathematics, philosophy, chemistry, and biology, reflects the harmonious interplay of seemingly distinct realms.
Quantum mechanics, the cornerstone of my academic pursuit, beckons as a realm where minute spatial scales reveal the universe's innermost intricacies. Atomic and subatomic systems unveil their secrets through the subtle interplay of electromagnetic radiation, a ballet of particles and waves that converge to shape our understanding. These phenomena, understood quantitatively through the lens of quanta, embody a testament to the interconnectedness of the cosmos. These observations are translated through the language of wave functions, a symphony of mathematics that bridges the abstract and the tangible.
My trajectory into the realm of physics has been marked by an unyielding determination to align my passion with purpose. In the face of familial aspirations that diverged, I embraced the path of a physicist with an unwavering commitment. The loss of my grandmother to cancer, a turning point, solidified my resolve to contribute to cancer research, dedicating my master's thesis to the pursuit of solutions that alleviate this affliction for humanity. The symbiotic relationship between personal dedication and societal impact underscores the profound role of physics in addressing real-world challenges.
Amidst the pursuit of knowledge, the cost-of-living crisis emerges as an unwelcome companion. As a PhD student navigating the intricate domain of nuclear physics at the University of York, the financial strain cast its shadow over academic aspirations. Balancing studies with a part-time job, restricted to a maximum of 20 hours weekly due to visa stipulations, yields a monthly income of £800. Regrettably, this sum is insufficient to cover the £22,300 annual tuition fee or the £700 monthly accommodation expense. The resultant financial burden permeates not only the academic realm but also casts a pall over mental well-being, constraining social engagements with friends and forcing austere financial choices.
The recognition of this crisis within society is evident, yet the full scope of its impact remains veiled. The complexities of managing studies, work, and expenses oftentimes conceal the mental and emotional toll this predicament exacts. The narratives of students facing these challenges, such as my own, shed light on the multifaceted struggles that underscore the academic pursuit.
The University of York's response to the cost-of-living predicament has been a beacon of support that illuminates the path forward. Scholarships and grants, accounting for 30% of tuition fees, have alleviated the fiscal burden, enabling me to concentrate on research. Moreover, the university's counsel on budgeting and identification of on-campus part-time employment opportunities offer pragmatic solutions to navigate the financial landscape.
The impact of this support transcends mere financial respite, resonating across my academic and personal sphere. Opportunities like my role as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and the international postgraduate research grant (IPGRS) have been transformative. These financial aids have mitigated substantial stress, rendering the pursuit of research and the accomplishment of academic goals attainable. Guided budgeting and work endeavors have not only met essential needs but have also preserved a basic standard of living.
Within a broader context, the university's commitment to alleviating the cost-of-living challenge echoes the ethos of inclusivity. By extending financial assistance, equipping students with financial management skills, and presenting work opportunities, the institution champions accessibility to education for diverse demographics. This holistic support framework is emblematic of the University of York's dedication to nurturing an environment where students can flourish intellectually and personally, regardless of their financial circumstances.
As I journey through the captivating landscapes of physics, I stand emboldened by the University of York's commitment to the holistic well-being of its students. Through initiatives that mitigate financial hardships and foster academic pursuits, the university underscores its dedication to nurturing the aspirations of scholars. United by an unwavering pursuit of knowledge, we embark on a collective voyage that promises to shape not only our academic trajectories but also the trajectory of human progress itself.
Hello, my name is Alan, proudly Mexican, I graduated as a mechatronic engineer, and since high school I wanted to have an international experience.
That's finally achieved!
Thanks to social networks I found a post from Across the Pond, I asked them some general questions, they motivated me to start the process and without further ado this new experience began.
As I was thinking of continuing my academic development focused on robotics, I managed to find the University of York, which has a specialized laboratory on the subject as well as professors who have been awarded for their achievements in the area. At first, I was worried about my decision, but I ended up realizing that things happen for a reason, and that is that I ended up more than happy to have studied at this UK university.
It is notorious at the university, and I can tell you that it left me with a very good feeling that 100% of the professors who taught me had a vocation for teaching, which is something that left a great mark on me. I feel that they not only developed me academically, but also personally, in addition to the fact that this opened many doors for me to be able to practice my profession.
Social life at the university and in the city is very easy, since the vast majority are foreigners and socializing become something natural. I would venture to say that most are more receptive, they want to help you and include you in their social circle.
As you can see from the name of the university, I lived in the walled city, York, this city has something special, totally recommendable to live, you can get everywhere on foot, the history of the city surrounds you, it never gets tedious, there are many people there that you can meet and that will leave something good in your life. I can assure you that this city fully met my expectations.
I would like to mention the issue of accommodation because it is something challenging that most experience, and the solution is to look for it in advance, there are many options, some very close to the university and in other locations you only must take a short walk. There is a wide range of prices, my situation was very particular since I traveled with my wife, and as I already mentioned, it is something that can be solved by searching in advance.
In conclusion, I highly recommend living an academic experience in the United Kingdom, not everything can be explained in words what you have to experience, it is something that I feel proud and happy to have done.
Hi! My name is Angélica, I`m a Mexican that studied a Master of Science in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology at the University of York, mainly because the course would complement my career as an Environmental Engineer. When I applied, Across the Pond was a life-saver, they helped me throughout the whole process, solving doubts, providing information about dates and scholarships, as well as giving guidance on how to prepare documents.
The Green Chemistry Department has cutting-edge facilities and pioneers in the field within the staff. The program I chose combined different types of lectures with practical sessions in the laboratory and included the development of a final research project.
The lectures would consist of 1 to 3-hour presentations or workshops where critical thinking was encouraged. In the UK, postgraduate students are expected to be very proactive and independent, especially when it comes to carrying out research projects. However, most of the lecturers are approachable and willing to clarify any doubts I had.
Moving from Environmental Engineering to Green Chemistry was a challenge for me but I had access to plenty of resources to study and successfully graduate. Such as the University and Department libraries, free access to scientific journals and software, and the insights of friends from different backgrounds.
The University of York has a diverse community of students from all over the world, especially in postgraduate courses. So you may find yourself having lunch with classmates from several nationalities and learning about different cultures every day.
My University days would start between 8 and 10 am and finish around 4 pm having a break for lunch between 12 and 2 pm. Something I have to say is that the 15-minute tolerance we usually consider in Mexico is not applicable in the UK, punctuality is important in the academic context, and the sessions usually start on the dot.
I would work on my assignments in the afternoons from Monday to Friday with occasional visits to the pubs, especially on Thursdays for pub quizzes. On weekends, I would try visiting other cities. The University`s Student Union often offered one-day trips to different destinations such as Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. I highly recommend joining these trips since they`re a great and affordable way to know different parts of the country while you`re a student.
Finding suitable accommodation for me wasn´t easy so I would suggest checking your options as soon as you can. Start assessing your budget and getting deadlines for student accommodations since they`re the first to get fully booked. In my case, the best option was to book temporary accommodation for the first weeks which gave me time to find a private room in a house close to the University. This is something you can do before arriving but usually is better to do it once you`re in town, mainly cause you can go and see the place properly.
York positively surprised me with its history and peaceful, yet vibrant, atmosphere. It is an old City with a big influence from the Viking era, in fact, there is a Viking festival held in the city every year around February.
York is a small city but full of things to do and explore. Most things are within walking distance, with the popular attractions being located in the city centre including museums, ancient buildings, cinemas, parks, cafes, restaurants, shops, and old pubs. Although you can find pubs anywhere in York, actually it is said that it has more pubs than the number of days in the year and I would say it is true.
Studying at the University of York was a life-changing experience, being an international student comes with its challenges but the experience also brings tonnes of satisfaction and learning. Personally, I gained confidence in speaking English, new knowledge, and long-lasting relationships. The situation also reinforced my independence and my resilience and it made me appreciate more my home country.
I was introduced to Across the Pond at a graduate fair at the University of Toronto – if it wasn’t for them, I may never have so easily considered studying in the UK. I am now completing my MA in English Literary Studies at the University of York, and I can say without a doubt that it has been the best six months of my life. Moving to the UK, especially a beautiful, friendly city like York has been much more than a degree for me. The postgraduate English department at the university is extremely accessible and welcoming. There is an instant connection between students and professors. The research facilities, conferences, seminars, talks and events enrich the experience even more.
The UK has been especially a great place for me because of the nature of my program. My research focuses on renaissance and drama which makes England the perfect location for me. Also, York itself is a very special and memorable city. Amongst the many qualities, one of my favourite things about it is most certainly the people.
Across the Pond helped me apply to a number of universities in the UK and made the entire process really easy stress-free. They helped not only with the application process but also with what to expect once I was over there and what I should do to prepare. Arriving to York was scary because I hadn’t known anyone at the time. However I was surprised to find a large number of other North American students who also used Across the Pond to apply to York (one even in my program) and we all became really close friends really quickly!
The University of York is an amazing university! It is a beautiful campus, has great teaching facilities and friendly and supportive faculty and staff. The historic City of York is also nearby. The train station in right in the city so there is easy (and relatively cheap) access to travel.
I am so happy that I took this chance, moving half way around the world, for my studies. Across The Pond made the transition quite easy; I’ve made life-long friends, and couldn’t imagine my life anywhere else.
Had it not been for Across the Pond and my incredible advisor, I don't know if I would have ended up studying here, in the UK, as I have always wanted to do. The whole process of applying to graduate school is extremely stressful in itself, let alone applying to universities in another country.
I was so lucky to have found Across the Pond when I began looking into universities in England because the entire process from researching and applying to programs to constructing a personal statement and applying for a visa was made so much easier with the help of a knowledgeable advisor. I would strongly recommend using Across the Pond if you are interested in studying in the UK, you will be glad you did!
Coming to the UK has been one of the best decisions I have made. I love it here and will find it hard to go back home. When I first arrived, it was daunting and a little scary, but it quickly became a second home. On my first day in York I ended up going out with my housemates to a Freshers' event and since that day we have become such a close-knit group of friends (from several different countries) that I feel so secure in whatever problems might come my way. I would say the only downside of living in the UK is that the cost of living is higher than back home and a little more than I expected. However, if you keep your eye open and find out different options, it’s not too hard to live decently on a decent amount of money.
The University of York has a beautiful campus and being in archaeology I get to have classes in a building once used in Tudor times. The history of the York is so amazing; from the Roman walls to the Minster and the Georgian housing, I'm amazed every time I walk through town. Hence, a great place to study archaeology. My classes are much more specific than they would be back home, but I think that allows you to focus on what is especially interesting to you. The professors are so welcoming and you can tell that they are invested in your work as well and are always willing to help and just provide even further avenues of knowledge. It was weird at first calling professors by their first names, but it does help to establish a closer connection that facilitates a greater understanding.
I want to thank Across the Pond for making it a lot easier to make all of this possible. My advisor was extremely helpful in the application process and it was great to have guidelines and advice to prepare me for life in the UK. I even asked for assistance with an issue months after arrival and it was helpfully answered. I would definitely recommend Across the Pond to anyone wishing to travel to the UK for school.
Across the Pond was an absolute godsend for my school and visa applications, and beyond really. My adviser was exceptionally polite and helpful. He responded to any and all questions I had, held my hand throughout the entire process, and assured me every step of the way that he was as involved in this process as I was.
When choosing my university, I was asked about what my study interests were, and then we narrowed down the choices based on the programs available. After this, my adviser liaised with my selected university to find out if, based on my academic standing, completing a full application was recommended. This was excellent as I'd been through the Postgraduate application process before only to be told (after spending a great deal of time and resources) that I did not meet the matriculation criteria.
My adviser was very hands-on throughout my entire process- filling out forms, sending me frequent emails to advise me of what was being done, and proofreading my personal statements. It was excellent and reassuring! The visa application document was exceedingly helpful, as it gives you a comprehensive step-by-step process of what you should do. Also, my adviser was willing to chat with me via Zoom to clarify anything that I was unclear about.
I managed to settle in well enough and the reception team at my accommodation is always very helpful. York is gorgeous! Lovely cobblestoned town, with lots of restaurants, shops, and sights that will enchant you.
I was on the fence about which aspect of psychology I wanted to pursue... clinical or educational. My program delves into both and gives you a better understanding of exactly what each avenue entails so that I could make the decision that is right for me. The program is also a year, which financially was the better option for me. In my spare time, I love reading and exploring! I've always been a fan of architecture, and that was yet another reason why I chose York.
Working with Across the Pond made this entire process 100% easier for me. I was always given quick and helpful responses day or night, weekdays or weekends. I was heard when I talked about what I wanted to study and what programs I felt would suit my needs. My adviser was gracious enough to put up with my anxiety-filled emails. It was truly a wonderful experience working with Across the Pond I have recommended them to a few of my friends, and I will definitely recommend them to anyone! Cheers!
I can’t thank Across the Pond enough for guiding me through my decision to study abroad in the UK. I was looking for a career change and decided that I wanted to pursue a full-time master’s abroad first. I knew I wanted to go to the UK due to the high standards for education, the language, and since the postgraduate degrees take around half the time as in the US, but knew little else.
One of the Across the Pond's advisors guided me in narrowing down universities according to the program that I wanted and gave me insight into the quality of the universities and cities they were located in. She also helped me through the application process, especially in understanding the differences between the expectations and the process compared to the US. She also gave me the tools to successfully apply for my student visa, and I was able to go to her with any questions. It made the process much smoother and stress-free.
Now I am about to graduate from the University of York with a Master’s in Global Marketing, and I couldn’t be happier about my experience here. I was able to find my own flat off-campus, the cost of living is manageable, and I found a campus environment that I knew I couldn’t have found in London. Not to mention I got a high-quality education and met some lifelong friends. I would highly recommend Across the Pond and am so thankful for the experience and support they provided!