Alexander - University of Manchester

Bachelor of Commerce
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

I left my general electives for exchange, and would highly recommend that to anyone who wants to go abroad. It made it easier to choose subjects that UQ would provide credit for and I could pick courses that I found interesting. 

I chose Russian History, Psychology (Brain & Behaviour) and Education & Society. In Manchester, the pass rate is 40%. When I presented my study plan to UQ, I chose around 10 different courses to get approved so I could have a broad choice. 

Since I study commerce, some of the content and procedures were unfamiliar as they were all in different faculties. Whenever I came across confusion I would just approach my lecturers or course co-ordinators, they were all extremely helpful!

Personal experience

I went on exchange for two main reasons 1. To meet individuals from all across the world and 2. To travel Europe as much as I can. I can definitely say that I succeeded in these. I made friends from all different countries (e.g. England, America, Canada, France, Italy, Germany etc.) and I travelled all over Europe as well. I learnt and confirmed one thing that I wanted to know. It was that all people around the world are pretty much the same, we all want to be happy and have a good time! 

As this was my first time travelling and living alone, I grew tremendously. There are certain situations that you need to solve which make you mature. For example in another country that doesn't speak english and you need to get somewhere or knowing no one and making new friends. 

The main skills I developed would be independence, interpersonal skills and becoming much more open-minded about the world.

Accommodation

I lived in Student Accomodation, in Fallowfield (Tree Court, Owens Park). There are 3 main accomodation places, Whitworth (Next to Uni), Fallowfield (3km from uni) and Victoria Park (in-between Whitworth and Fallowfield). 

If you enjoy partying and meeting people, Fallowfield is where it's at. Even though it's the furthest from Uni, it's definitely the most social and fun. The whole suburb is pretty much like a mini student town. I had people tell me during the semester that they wished they chose Fallowfield but they just didn't know. 

I lived in catered housing, so we all ate breakfast and dinner together. That was a good way to meet new people. We lived in a building where everyone had their own room, and this building had 300 people or something. I know in Self-catered you lived in flats with about 8 other people.

Costs

Majority of students have a Student Bus Pass, so it's unlimited travel on all stage coach buses. This cost 145 pounds, for 1 Jan to end of June. I think you just needed to take 90 trips to make your money back. The main places you'll need to go is the University and Manchester City, which are all on the same road, Oxford Rd. This road is actually the most popular bus route in all of Europe with buses coming every 30 seconds. 

As I was in catered halls I only needed to buy food on weekends and lunch on weekdays. In Owens Park, there was something called Source Cafe, they sold lunch deals for 2 quid. Otherwise I went to Sainsbury or Tesco to get some cheap food to microwave or they had already made meals. 

Majority of my cost was used on travelling. Some of the airlines have sales across Europe, so just keep your eyes peeled and you can find some absolute bargains.

Professional Development

The main skills and attributes I learnt in regards to professional development would be the increase in global acumen and interpersonal skills. As the world is becoming more integrated, companies look at students who go on exchange as a huge benefit. By meeting new people in all different countries, you learn just how to start and make conversation with new people. Companies and firms want to work with individuals who can do this, either with important clients or just with co-workers at social events.

Highlight

My main highlights would be living in Manchester (I love the city), making friends from all different countries and travelling all across Europe.

Top tips

I remember I waited so long for my application to get approved by Manchester, I only found out I was accepted the very end of November and that's only because I sent them an e-mail. So don't stress if the acceptance is too late by them. 

When in Manchester, join the international society. They do loads of interesting trips. I went to Liverpool, Oxford, Edinburgh, Bath & Stonehenge with them. They use a bus, so you get to meet all other international students on the trip. With clubs and societies, be sure to join ones that interest you. You get to meet cool people with similar interests to yourself.  

If you go in Semester 1 (Sem 2 in Aus), you'll have an easier time making friends with locals. This is because everyone is new and willing to meet new people. I went in Semester 2 (Sem 1 in Aus) and a lot of people had groups already. I still made friends with loads of locals, but it's something to keep in mind. 

If you're interested in travelling Europe, make sure to make friends with either fellow Aussies, Americans or Canadians. Because they are in the same position as you, wanting to travel Europe. I made European friends, but they aren't as interested to travel as they live in Europe (can travel whenever) or they've already travelled.