Having been around my parents all my life for 18 years, I felt both excited and anxious at the thought of studying abroad. I couldn’t wait to travel and study in one of the most famous countries renowned for its history and landscapes and live an independent life on my own terms without being questioned. As much as this thought would put me on my toes to ensure that I was prepared to study abroad, thinking about the responsibility that comes with it including cooking, doing laundry and living in a budget would freak me out. Flying into Manchester, I took my own time coping with all of this, but little did I know about the convenience the city offers to its people and the university to its students.
A lot is said about its convenient transport system, great job opportunities, vibrant ambience and its connectivity to other places in and around Manchester etc. – Manchester is frequently ranked as one of the best cities in the UK to live in. Now that I have lived in in Manchester for three year as an International student, I can vouch for all the things said.
It has been very convenient for me to reach the City Centre. The Centre includes all the fancy restaurants, a shopping centre, a Selfridges and so much more. Plus, it is only 15 minutes away from my hall and costs just £1.50 on the bus. One of the recent developments in Manchester is its cycling pathway that run all the way from Fallowfield to Oxford Road to City Centre. My friends living in Fallowfield prefer this as a means of transportation as it is cheaper and a healthier option.
Travelling outside Manchester is as easy a task as well. Manchester has great connectivity with all other cities via their three train stations. I travel outside Manchester quite often to places like London, Birmingham and Wales. Sometimes, for nearby places, I would even consider travelling via the Megabus and National Express bus stations due to budget constraints – both help save up some money.
Manchester itself is a vibrant city with students at its heart. The shops do not close until 6pm and there are many various places to explore in the city. The Trafford Centre, the Old Trafford football stadium, Deansgate and Cloud 23 are few of the famous destinations explored by those who visit Manchester. Additionally, students do not have to travel miles for simple access to coffee shops or ATM machines as they are found across all the halls of residences and remain open until at least 10pm.
Whilst living in halls, I found out that there were many services which were adapted for student life. For starters, I learnt that the laundry service was open 24 hours and easy to operate on. The supermarkets like Morrisons and Sainsbury’s were just across the street and the cheapest supermarket, Lidl, and the Indian store, Worldwide, were just 10 minutes down the road. They’re open until late and offer every necessity, including chopped vegetables and frozen foods. My other friends studying elsewhere in the UK struggle a lot with these issues, and this is when I realized the importance of such facilities which we take for granted here at Manchester.
The city is perfect for students to engage with the city and the locals. Plenty of memories from university are made in the clubs and bars in Deansgate. The famous Great Manchester Run, the Color Run, various concerts, comedy clubs, activities like Escape Hunt, bowling or laser tag have brought students together and enhanced their student experience. Not only does the city provide convenient access to everyday necessities, but it also provides various opportunities for students to engage and have a fun time, which makes settling in a new city much easier!