When in Manchester

By: Amy Imus, Foster Undergraduate

I have been in the UK for a full month already but it has gone by in the blink of an eye. Luckily I have already had some memorable experiences and learned new things about myself and the new city I live in.

I initially spent about a week in Scotland before I moved to Manchester and I would recommend a trip there to anybody. Although I stayed in Stirling, I was able to make trip to Edinburgh and some of the surrounding countryside. I was lucky with the weather most of the time but Scotland is gorgeous rain or shine. The castles, old streets and buildings, and friendliness of all the locals really gave me a wonderful experience and I look forward to returning as soon as I can.

Moving on to the main event, I was finally off to Manchester to begin my study abroad at the Manchester Business School which is part of the University of Manchester. Manchester is known for being one of Britain’s largest cities but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at it. There we only a handful of buildings taller than 10 stories and most of the buildings looked like they were from the industrial revolution era, not from centuries past. This disconcerted me at first but the more time I spent exploring and learning about the city, the more I came to love its unique character and admire the reasons it was the way it was. Now I couldn’t imagine studying anywhere else!

Housing: I was very happy with my rooming arrangements and feel very fortunate to have ended up in Oak house. Although it is a fresher’s dorm, it is so easy to meet new people and there is a good mix of local and international students. 99% of the locals in my dorm are freshmen so it’s nice to have other exchange students so I don’t feel too old! I live in a flat of 3 girls and 4 guys, we each have our own room and all share a kitchen. It might not be the prettiest or the most spacious but it already feels like home. The 7 of us have a family dinner every Monday since we all have busy school schedules and like to cook together at least once a week.

School: Academics here have some similarities to UW but are very different in terms of assessments. Lectures and seminars (quiz sections) are the same style and size and the professors are all nice and knowledgeable. However, the reading requirements are much heavier here and they only grade you on a single essay at the end of the year (about 3000 words). I am taking 5 classes which keeps me busy but allows me time to take trips on weekends and go out during the week.

Nightlife: Being 20 years old, it is so nice to live in the UK! Since there are so many universities in the area, Manchester has one of the best nightlife scenes in the UK. There is always something going on every night and there are too many bars and clubs to count. It can get a bit pricey on the weekends but a lot of students go out on weeknights when there are good deals. The first week of school, known as fresher’s week, was exhausting but so much fun! I managed to make it out 10 days in a row before I finally couldn’t stay awake another night.

Also, just as a side note, if you are a music lover, Manchester is the place for you. I couldn’t believe how many bands/singers/Djs come here! From Armin Van Buuren to The Band Perry to Trey Songz they have so many concerts at decent prices.

I guess to sum it up, you’re never short on things to do here.