June 2017: Strengthening ties and harnessing opportunities

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Despite all the hard work, this venture has been a wonderful experience, and now, my main concerns are finishing my dissertation work and what is going to happen after university. Although there is still academic workload, there is also time for extracurricular activities and fun with friends and classmates. In this blog, I want to share with you my experience with the two student associations, and what you harness from them.

The International Society is a great place to make new friends, learn about different cultures directly from the students, learn languages and enjoy trips around the UK. Practically anyone can take advantage of the activities that the society offer, but if you pay a membership, you will receive discounts on the events, classes and trips. I am a member, and with the academic classes finished, I decided to take French classes. I liked it very much, and in a certain way, it helped me to keep feeling the university environment.

Moreover, the Students’ Union of The University of Manchester is also a great place to share with other students. You can hang out at its friendly bar and participate in its societies, which discuss a broad range of topics, from cooking to aeronautics and astronomy. In addition, if you are thinking to work as a volunteer in charity programmes, this is the place to find out about many opportunities. The Union also has counselling services about living, financing, legal and general affairs related to your wellbeing as a student in Manchester. Finally, when you are here, ask about the NUS card at the Union. It gives you many discounts on products and services all around the UK.

Talking about the Students’ Union, I assisted at the Graduation Ball organised by them. The ball took place at the Principal Manchester, which is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city. This meant that the event was very elegant and we had to wear our best outfits. In fact, I went with some Latin American friends, and all of them looked stunning. I had so much fun with the live music and DJ. The food was very good and of course the wine, all-inclusive! I sincerely encourage you to attend these kinds of events when you are here; these moments will stay in your minds forever. Although we have not graduated yet, because the dissertation is still pending to submit, it was a great occasion to celebrate the end of the classes and have the opportunity to share with the classmates again, since now we see each other less frequently.

I think it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to meet with your friends and classmates and strengthen the new friendships. That is why many of us within the programme took advantage of a girlfriend’s birthday to meet again, and we shared a lovely day in Heaton Park having a picnic. A highly recommended plan for summer, although the weather in Manchester is very unpredictable despite the season, and there will be rainy days throughout the whole year!

Finally, I had the fortune to attend to the One Love Manchester concert, in which Ariana Grande and many other famous singers made a tribute to victims of the terrorist attacks on 22 May 2017. It was not only an excellent opportunity to help the victims families since all the ticket revenues were allocated to them, but also to see many great artists together and enjoy with some friends. The event was very well organised, including the public transportation services, the entry to the stadium and the exit at the end of the show. That day, people also made recognition to the police work during the attacks and the event itself. This was my first concert in Manchester, and I loved the way this city organises that kind of event.

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Leslie Garcia

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