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My journey from India to Manchester

My name is Celeste Fernandes and I am originally from India. I am studying MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations at the University of Manchester. I enjoy trying out new recipes while grooving to my favourite music. My flatmate says that I am a good cook!

My journey to Manchester was somewhat nerve-wracking. It all started with my visa application, I had applied on the 9th of August and booked my tickets to London the same day. After waiting for 15 working days (the time needed to process the visa), I started panicking. I had started all my preparations, told all my friends that I was leaving on the 9th and my visa still hadn’t come. I visited the embassy twice and finally received my visa 3 days before my flight to London. The 3 days that followed were busy, and by busy, I mean only shopping, shopping and endless shopping.

I decided to travel on the 9th of September because my dad was celebrating his birthday on the 8th. After a small celebration at home, my family and a few of my friends came to drop me at the airport. A few tears later, I had finished all the visa formalities and boarded the flight to London. It was always my dream to study at a good foreign institution. Although I was on the flight to London, a part of me found it to be unreal, it almost felt like a dream. The flight was pleasant but what followed after was a nightmare. The immigration queue in London was 4 hours long. Yes, 4 hours!

Soon after I got to where I was supposed to quarantine, it started raining. I got to witness the UK rains on my first day in the UK. The climate here is quite different when compared to the climate in my home country, India. After I finished my mandatory 10-day quarantine, I left for Manchester. My landlord was sweet enough to come and pick me up from my Coach station. I got home and within 30 minutes of reaching home, I left to go to the City centre with my flatmate. The city centre is a very busy area, people are just walking around in all directions. I went to Primark and got a few things for my room.

University started 3 days later. I was really excited to see all my classmates. We all had been talking to each other on WhatsApp for a few months before we could get to Manchester but seeing all my classmates face to face did put a big smile on my face. The first week of University was exciting, we all were getting to know each other and making new friends every single day. The societies fair was the highlight of the fresher’s week. I was pleased to see so many societies in the building all at once. It was hard to believe that there is a society to appreciate garlic. I mean I love garlic but don’t know if I’ll join the club to prove my love for garlic. Overall, my journey from India to Manchester was nerve-wracking but it is one that opened me to a world full of endless possibilities. :) 

Celeste Fernandes outside the University of Manchester

A picture of the wing of a plane from inside the plane