I can’t believe my Manchester journey is coming to an end! It’s definitely been the most exciting year of my life and I’m so grateful to this University to have given me an opportunity to learn, grow, and make friends from all around the world! Looking back, I can think of many things that I could have done better or things that I did that have helped me, so this blog is a compilation of my tips for prospective students.
If you plan to live at one of the university accommodations, then trust me, you’re super lucky and your decision is amazing! There are heaps of events planned by almost all university halls. These events are not just at the start of the academic year, but also on festivals like Christmas, end of exams, summer time events, and exam refreshment events. There are drinks, food items and games organised. These events I definitely recommend because they are so different than just your normal outing with your friends. Make the most of it! While university halls are amazing, you should know that you’re living with people coming from different cultures and backgrounds, hence patience and respect is what you need at all times. Be very considerate about their likes and dislikes in order to have a healthy relationship. I would also suggest to have a timetable for each person in the hall for tasks like grocery shopping, cleaning etc. This is of utmost importance, because it enables better communication and avoids misunderstandings.
Living in Manchester:
You’ll love this place the minute you land! As an international student, I was overwhelmed knowing I’ll have to cook for myself. I had no clue where could I buy cheap groceries and no idea where I could Indian vegetables. It took me time and a lot of trials to figure out the best shops. My suggestions:
Lidl: Best bakery items for breakfast! Just grab a croissant or focaccia on your way to uni, and you’re good to go! Super affordable as well. This place also has all vegetables and grocery items and you don’t need to go anywhere else!
Morrison: The best salad bar! This place has their own salad bar and you can choose your toppings and options and get it packed for your lunch. Super affordable and delicious!
Worldwide: This grocery shop in curry mile is an Indians paradise! You’ll get all your spices, masalas, Maggie, tea, and other Indian vegetables. What I recommend is to buy frozen parathas/rotis/naan instead of worrying about kneading the dough.
University and course:
Masters course is just for a year, but there’s so much happening in the year that you tend to miss out on things. What I recommend is to utilise the career service, because they’re amazing. Read your emails regularly for upcoming events or seminars. Be a part of at least one society and attend events, volunteer and get experience! Students Union should be your go-to place for any doubts, literally anything! The campus has so many cafes, bars and restaurants, so catch up with your cohort on a regular basis. For your course, ask as many questions as you want to the lecturer, and don’t stress about exams or assignments. There will be times when you’ll have a lot of things to get done, at that time focus and prioritise! The Dissertation is a big part of my course and in case you have a dissertation, make sure you’re doing your research from the first semester itself. Ask questions to lecturers, read articles and narrow down topics that interest you. I’ve realised that time flies really fast, so it’s important to plan your dissertation stages beforehand.
Places to visit:
Manchester is beautiful! From your busy schedule, make time to notice and appreciate the weather changes that are so significant. Autumn, winter, spring and summer! I’ve enjoyed watching the transition and have loved it! To make the most of the city, I recommend getting a bus pass. City centre is an amazing place for shopping, eating and partying. On my free days, I prefer going to Piccadilly gardens and sit near the fountain. It’s a serene view, soothing to the eyes! Other places to visit are Salford quays and Old Trafford for all Manchester United fans. Around Manchester, there are amazing cities and places to visit on a weekend. Liverpool, Lake District and the Peak District are a few places I’ve visited and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them!
End tip: Utilise your time here, make memories and enjoy because one year will change your life, for the good! There will be times when you’ll miss home, you’ll feel lonely and you’ll be stressed, that’s when you sit and think of the little time you have here and all of it is part and parcel of your Manchester journey which you’ll cherish forever!