As an international student, I would say this year’s Christmas is totally unexpected.
Why? Previously, we were able to travel to Europe or go back home during this time but both options are not applicable for me because of the pandemic. Then, I was planning to travel to London with my flatmate and visit our mutual friends during Christmas and we have already arranged a perfect itinerary. However, due to the government restrictions, London entered into tier 3 just a week before Christmas which means that all the museums and hotels are closed and restaurants are only for takeaway. So we had to cancel everything and decided to stay in Manchester for our safety.
I was disappointed that I might stay at home every day during the holidays. But fortunately, all shops are opened for Christmas shopping and there are two mini Christmas markets and some Christmas lights in the city centre. My flatmate and I went shopping in the Arndale shopping centre and lots of retailers were playing Christmas songs. We finally felt the Christmas vibe!
In addition, it is also important to catch up on your study and digest the information that you need to absorb during the break because the final exam is around the corner. I found that it is hard for me to stay productive when studying at home over the break so I decided to study on campus. It is noticeable that you have to book your study spaces online in advance. There is only one study space (AGLC) available over the Christmas break and other libraries will open after Jan 4th. When you go to the library, the staff will ask you to show your booking confirmation email. So, don’t forget to book in advance! If you want to find the website where you can book, just type ‘study space Manchester’ in Google, the first one that shows up should be the one you need.
There are different study spaces that you can choose from. If you need to talk while studying, choose individual online learning spaces which are usually small rooms. Remember! This type of study space is only for individuals. If you want to work with your coursework group members, use study rooms in AMBS, they usually allow a maximum of three people in a room and you don’t need to book in advance.
If you don’t want to go out or you think it is unsafe to study in the library but you want to be productive, there is another option for you to study with other students online via zoom. Library staff will help you during the session. You also need to book a space in advance from the same website that I mentioned before.