Kieran - University of Manchester

B Commerce
Semester 2, 2019
This exchange has helped me develop my social skills far more than I thought I would have at home.

Academic experience

At the University of Manchester, much like many UK universities, a general load is 60 credits. For me, this meant that I had to do 5 subjects to compete a full-time load rather than the 4 that we do at UQ. The subjects that I did were: BMAN 30111 Advanced Corporate Finance, BMAN30131 
Accountability and Auditing, BMAN 21011 Financial Markets and Institutions, BMAN 30060 International Finance and BMAN 30091 Financial Derivatives. The biggest difference I found between UQ and Manchester was that at Manchester, the subjects are far more lecture based. Of the five subjects I did, only 2 had tutorials, and they only happened every 2/3 weeks. This change was easily the biggest challenge and it forced me to be more proactive with my learning.

Personal experience

As cliched as this may be, exchange was genuinely one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have made some incredible friends who I still keep in contact with. One of the best things about exchange in my opinion is the fact that you are pushed outside your social circle and interact with people who you usually wouldn’t have. I also had the opportunity to travel so many different countries across Europe, including France, Poland and Austria, to name a few.


I lived on-campus at the University’s Fallowfield campus, which is about a 35 minute walk into the uni itself. I stayed in self catered accommodation at Oak House. I enjoyed staying in self catered as it gave me the opportunity to develop my cooking skills, which I will no doubt need later in life. I very much enjoyed the ability to just sit in the kitchen and talk for hours on end with my flatmates. On top of this, there was a bar on campus right near my flat, which was always a great place to go to watch the football, play some pool or even just have chat. I would definitely recommend staying at Oak House.


In terms of budgeting, I would say budget around 12-15k for the exchange itself, not including any extra travel. Manchester is not completely different to Brisbane in terms of cost of living (probably slightly cheaper). There are tonnes of options for food, from the higher quality but more expensive to the cheap. In terms of travel within the city, you can get a bus pass for about £100. However, Manchester is a pretty walkable city (it is very flat), so I just walked everywhere.


The biggest challenge throughout my exchange was easily being away from my friends and family. For me, it was the first time being away on my own and living on my own, so I found it difficult. What I found that helped was getting some sort of a routine in order. In doing that it gave me some structure, which helped as my entire support network was on the other side of the world. On top of that, I would say keeping busy and trying to meet as many people as possible early on helped with this, as it made me far more comfortable being away from home.

Professional Development

The exchange has helped me develop my social skills far more that I thought I would have at home. By pushing myself outside my comfort zone I was definitely able to grow more as a person and become more confident in myself. This helped me in talking to and meeting new people. I would also say that having lived away from home and away from everyone I know, I have become better at adapting to changing environments.


The highlight of my experience is easily the friends that I have made. Having lived either with, or in a very close proximity to my friends I made great connections and build very good relationships with them. I still keep in touch with them and look forward to seeing them again.

Top tips

My top tip would definitely be to just get involved in everything you can. Manchester has a great network for international students, who organise various events including trips throughout the UK. These are great to meet new people and see new places. Furthermore, the university has a load of clubs that you can sign up for and try loads of new things. There are so many people there looking to make friends, so it makes it pretty easy.