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Fancy trying something new? 6 ideas to make Semester Two your best yet

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Semester two is here. How did that happen?  And although there’s not the mad rush of Welcome where it seems like everyone wants you to join in with something, it’s definitely not too late to try something new, learn new things and develop yourself as a person. So whether you fancy studying something different, enhancing your employability, or just having fun with friends, here are some ideas.

Overseas volunteering

Fancy volunteering overseas this summer? We’re looking for volunteers for Team Uganda Summer 2019. This fully funded flagship international volunteering project, exclusively for students from The University of Manchester, is a partnership project between the University and S.A.L.V.E. (Support and Love via Education) International, a charity based in Manchester and working in Uganda with street connected children. Team Uganda will be taking place from Saturday 21 July to Sunday 19 August 2019.

This year there will be three team projects. Each team will focus on a different area of inequality that relate to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and S.A.L.V.E.’s work:

  • Gender equality
  • Climate action
  • Addiction, health and well-being

All members of Team Uganda will also jointly contribute to running a holiday camp for young people who were formerly living on the streets of Uganda, to help develop young people’s knowledge, skills and talents.

Applications are open now until 9am on Monday 4 March.

For more information, check out the Team Uganda website, or you can take a read of last year’s blog to see what they got up to.

Volunteer in the community

There’s no doubt volunteering is great; you get to meet new people, gain new skills and do your bit for something you care about. That said, it can be hard to find time if you’re already juggling studies, part time working and a social life. But it doesn’t have to be a massive commitment. The University offers opportunities to join volunteer days where just do a few hours helping in the community or projects that last up to 6 weeks.

And, you can get started with the Big Volunteer Day on 13 February as part of Student Volunteering Week! This year, we’ll be cleaning, greening and brightening up alleys with Moss Side-based community group, Upping It (take a look at this video to see what we got up to in a previous year).

There’s plenty more happening during Student Volunteering Week – you can visit the website to see what else you can get yourself involved with.

Learn something new

Fancy a challenge or a change academically? Look no further than UCIL or the University Language Centre. Both give you the chance to use your free choice option to learn outside your subject area. No free choices or you want to concentrate on what you love? Some of the language courses can be taken in your free time!

Get artistic and enter the Social Justice Photography competition

Is there a specific social issue you’d like to raise more awareness of? Have a creative flair in photography?  Then the Social Justice Photography Competition is definitely for you! With a top £400 prize up for grabs, you can raise awareness of a social issue that matters to you. Whether you take your photo on a phone, a tablet or a camera, all you need to do is give it a title and explain why your chosen social issue matters in 100 words.

Check out last year’s winners:

The deadline for your entries is Friday 8 March and the winners will be announced at the Volunteer of the Year Awards 2019.

For more information, check out the Social Justice Photography Competition website.

Get healthy and have fun

Have you thought about raising money by running in the Purple Wave? We’ll be hosting our annual 10K Run in May – the UK’s largest, with around 25,000 participants each year.

Think that 10K sounds too far? This year, we’ll be hosting 2K and 5K runs in February before the 10K to help kick-start your training and motivate yourself to get yourself running the 10K.

For more information, have a look at the Purple Wave website.

Join a society

Joined loads in Welcome, got overwhelmed or over busy and didn’t actually go to anything? You’re definitely not alone, but Welcome week of your first year isn’t the only chance you have to join in, in fact it might not even be the right time for you. Take a look at our Content Ambassador Lauren’s society journey.

With so many societies there’s bound to be something out there for you if you fancy trying something new, getting involved and meeting new people.

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