I am finally here, in the vibrant city of Manchester! It feels surreal and I am relishing every moment slowly, making memories on the go.
It’s my first time not just in Manchester but also in the UK and the very first-time staying miles away from family. The place has so much to offer that there is absolutely no time to miss home, which I consider to be the best part till date. There are two things that I admire about this place. Firstly, the University is gorgeous! I can’t get enough of the magnificent buildings and the architecture! I personally love walking around the campus. Adding to this, every place within the university is superbly connected, so the commute is hassle free as well. Convenience right at your doorstep to be precise! Secondly, the people here are super friendly! There is always someone available to guide and that is comforting beyond words, especially for an international student like me who had absolutely no idea on how to go about doing things.
My journey in the university is rather a short one, just a year long, and I am already upset about leaving. I have enjoyed the first two months travelling, making new friends, adjusting to the new environment, attending lectures and workshops and above all learning how to cook! It’s a lot more fun cooking with your flat mates, and I’ve been lucky enough to get caring flat mates who are my best friends now.
The first week was overwhelming, adventurous and exciting! I would wake up daily with so much enthusiasm to explore the activities and events that the university had planned for the welcome week. There were students everywhere! The place didn’t feel any less than a city market, with food stalls, campus tours, freebies stalls, music and the student ambassadors in purple t-shirts and hoodies helping students around. Everyone was busy clicking photos of the campus, selfies with friends and family, the entire environment was blissful! At the end of the week my course had the Brathay trip, which was one of the best trips I have had till date.
The overnight trip to the Lake District National Park at Brathay was a brilliant way to break the ice between our course mates and an exceptional way to learn the art of team building and strategy planning, all in the form of games. It was a thrilling experience and the countryside took my breath away! The best thing that I have learned from the activities is how to cope with challenging situations, and the risks that are required to be taken for the overall success of a group.
After a fun filled welcome week, came the start of the course week. I was anxious and quite scared as to how the professors will be, how difficult the course will be, how will I score, etc. But all my worries were put to rest after the course induction, where we were introduced to all our professors. They clarified all the doubts that were circulating in my head. Such a relief! Moreover, it was the way in which they made us feel comfortable, with welcome lunch and informal meeting session where we could talk to them regarding anything at all. The lectures commenced the same week, and even though they are theoretical, the class interaction kept the class engaged. I enjoy the seminars and workshops the most, since they are mostly practical and I get to implement my learnings here.
Assignments, presentations and readings are a part of weekly course structure, and they keep me on my toes. But apart from studies, I am making sure I travel the city every fortnight, and I have been quite successful till date. The City Center and Salford Quays are the two places I have visited, both of which are amazing! The City Center is huge, with shopping malls, food markets, restaurants, café, garden area and of course the busy streets packed with buses, trams and people. One of the best things here is the “Street Food Market” at Piccadilly. There are some great variety of food items that one could try there. I tried some really good chocolate pancakes, which were out of this world and super pocket friendly. I am totally going back to try other delicacies that the place has to offer!
I visited the Imperial War Museum North one of the weekends, which is located very close to Salford Quays. It was fascinating getting to know the details of both the world wars and how it impacted the general public, the technologies used in the war, and the life of the soldiers. The most impressive parts were the artefacts that were kept for showcase in the museum. It surely is stunning how the city has literally everything for every kind of person depending on their likes. I am already in love with Manchester!
The coming few months are going to be challenging, with pressure of exams and submissions that’ll start to build, but I am looking forward to this stimulating experience. I am sure to learn a lot more, travel a lot more, and eat a ton more of delicious food that Manchester has to offer!