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I never feel like an outsider here

Posted on 25 July 2012 | Narrative

Our city is a destination for students from all corners of the world. Laura Walker shares with us how she has settled in her new academic home.

“When I first started at the University of York, I felt very homesick, even though I was only half an hour’s drive away from home in Leeds. I missed my boyfriend and my family and felt upset a lot of the time, even though I’d made some good friends in the first couple of weeks of term.

One Wednesday, at a point in term where the workload hadn’t really started up yet, I decided to go into town for a couple of hours. It took me a while to get there at first, as I thought the shuttle bus that came round the campus was the same bus that went into town, and only realised my mistake as it turned up at my bus stop.

Once I eventually got into the city centre, I suddenly felt much more in my comfort zone when I saw Waterstones, my favourite shop, and set off hunting for other shops and places that I knew from previous visits. I got lost quite a few times, and felt a bit touristy carrying around one of the guide-books whilst constantly halting and having to turn back to retrace my steps, but it felt good to be out of my room and exploring the city I was going to be living in for the next three years.

The best part about it is that there is so much to see, and I know I’ve hardly seen any of it yet. Also, being constantly surrounded by people from the South who can’t understand, or affectionately mock, my Yorkshire accent (which seems to have become much more pronounced since I came to York) makes interacting with the locals that bit nicer because they sound like me, and so I never feel like an outsider here.”