Fall in the Rainy City January 03, 2018

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/14/2017 to 12/15/2017 with

University of Manchester: Manchester - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had a great time in Manchester and learned a lot about a) how I learn b) British culture and c) the type of institution I prefer. I loved getting to know other people, exploring a new city, and the opportunity to travel around Europe. I also got to explore new classes and subjects that aren't available at Wellesley. It was absolutely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was able to take all 3rd year or graduate level classes, which was great, but I found them pretty uninvolved and not very rigorous. Professors were generally pretty available, but overall it was a lot more hands off than Wellesley (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just an adjustment!). Readings, assignments, etc were all much less.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Frankly, the exchange office seemed pretty overworked and were very hands off after orientation. Figuring out classes was a burdensome and overly complicated process, but if you saw them in person they were very responsive! It just took a lot to get into that room.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I ended up in the very cheapest accomodations Manchester offered, but I had a great time. I thought they were actually really nice! I lived in Oak House, in a flat with 4 girls and 4 guys. We had 2 bathrooms, all had singles, and had a shared kitchen/common room. I loved the experience.

* Food:

So I was self catered, so I suppose your experience will vary based on how well you cook! I would recommend self catering because I found the dining hall hours in catered accomodation to be pretty limited (and you don't get food at lunch or the weekends anyway, so might as well cook all the time and save money and convenience!)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't live with any other international students and definitely enjoyed living in Fallowfield in halls with all British students. If you want to be integrated, definitely live in halls and I recommend Fallowfield or Victoria Park.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had to use it, but they had an orientation just on healthcare and I'm sure I could have found someone to help me out if necessary. I had a bout with bronchitis and the pharmacists were very helpful.

* Safety:

Manchester is not known for being a very safe city, and Fallowfield (the neighborhood I lived in, one of the U of Manchester's 3 campuses) is especially unsafe. Every week people posted about break ins in the local area and tons of muggings - the actual campus (like, the gated, fenced in part with the halls on Fallowfield Campus) and the academic areas felt very safe, but the surrounding areas not nearly as much. Overall, though, common sense gets you a long way. I don't drink and so wasn't walking out at like 4 am, so I was a lot safer. If you're going to go clubbing and be out walking late, make sure you're with other people.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I absolutely LOVED Manchester, don't get me wrong! However, if I could do it again I'd probably pick a program with a language component just for personal reasons - it was more that I figured out that what I would prefer from a study abroad program was different than what I went with

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Manchester is a very cheap and affordable city. I lived in the cheapest hall and was able to shop for groceries at Lidl/Aldi - there are loads of grocery stores at every price point. Eating out can get expensive, but honestly, even restaurant food was very reasonably priced compared to Boston. I didn't drink but if you're going to be spending on alcohol it'll add up.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75-100

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The broad class selection
  • integration with local students
  • the city!
* What could be improved?
  • communication and accessibility of admin
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I probably would have preferred to know how to cook a bit more.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!