My Time in Manchester
I-studentglobal spoke to Meaghan about her time studying abroad in Manchester.
As an international student who studied abroad, the decision I made to go to Manchester, England, led to some of the best experiences of my life. Manchester is a colorful and vibrant city full of activity, local charm, and easy access to adventure. You will have plenty of opportunity studying in Manchester. Opportunity to travel, to go to local events in the city, to meet people from all across the world, to try new and exciting things.
Personally, a few of my favorite trips included going to Bristol by train to meet my favorite author, Lee Child, to Edinburgh with friends to visit the birthplace of Harry Potter, and to Liverpool with my sister to see the Beatles Museum. Within Manchester, I enjoyed many activities such as outdoor films in the City Centre, trips to local football games, tea and scones with friends, the famous Outdoor Christmas Markets, and University events, like formal dances. As an international student, you will be able to make your time in Manchester your own, the only limit to what you can do there would be limits you place upon yourself. If you are open to it, you can find numerous different ways to experience the city. When you do make the choice to be brave, you end up making new friends, traveling to new places, trying new foods, and building memories that will last you a lifetime. This is an advantage of being an international student.
Events are endless within city limits and if you haven’t checked it out already, look up the Manchester Christmas Market. This event takes place in the winter and is a massive outdoor event with shopping and food from all over Europe, music, warm drinks, and an outdoor ice skating rink. There are lights everywhere, fireworks, people and a lively atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. This event is a great way to experience a taste of different cultures throughout Europe and a wonderful way to meet people. I remember walking through the markets with friends I made on my course. The smell of spiced cider on the crisp air, the sounds of people chatting excitedly, the music drifting through the crowds, the lights dancing across the stalls of goodies . . . The markets leave you with a magical feeling of hope and community. Being winter, it is a bit chilly, so bring your scarf and gloves but also bring your sense of enjoyment and a camera!
Another facet of studying in Manchester are university-led events. These events host students from all over the world. There will be ways to engage with other students like yourself through many different avenues, either through your course, with your Students Union, or through University peer inspired outreach. Take every opportunity that comes your way! Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, so take chances to be involved in any way you can. There will be many events to partake in, from upbeat musical concerts to group-led fancy dress events (costumes), to group discussions on what is the student voice. Your participation in any or all of these happenings will vastly enhance your student experience. For me, I was able to participate in many university-led student/peer events and, from that, two of my poems were selected to be displayed on the walls of my University. A few of my friends also participated in peer events and were able to speak at university conferences, in choir concerts, and present ideas that were important to them. There are endless ways to explore your student life within Manchester.
As you can see, the lifestyle of Manchester is one of inclusion. Wherever you come from, whatever your interests are, there is something for you in Manchester. This city has evolved into a pulsing, living entity that thrives off the engagement with its travelers. Music, food, studying, museums, traveling, learning, fun . . . these ideas are the lifeblood of this city. Sundays are great for football and English breakfasts. Tea is an art form and one to be experienced and enjoyed. Local pubs are for gathering with people and soaking in local flavor. The architecture all around you is beautiful, with a coexistence of the very old with the very new. There are museums filled with history, art, and literature. Restaurants with cuisine from all over the world. There are shops and stores, churches and temples, libraries and museums. Buses and trains bustle daily, ready and waiting to take you somewhere new on a moments notice. You are an international student. And opportunity awaits you in Manchester.
Meaghan Couture is a writer from Colorado who spent time studying abroad in Manchester. She enjoys a good writing session every now and again.