Less Study, More Abroad August 05, 2023

By (Neurobiology, Neurosciences, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/26/2022 to 01/23/2023 with

University of Manchester: Manchester - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think the main thing I learned was resilience. I was (unknowingly) struggling with mono during my entire four months, but still had an experience of a lifetime. It was definitely worthwhile as I have since returned to Manchester to visit someone for a month, and plan to return again within the year.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Attending the University was definitely a case where you got out of it what you put into it. Lectures were >50 so attendance was not required. Seminars were smaller (~10) and were required, but participation was not required. To do well on the assignments, I found that it was necessary to have a lot of discipline to prepare for and participate in classes. There were only a couple of big assignments per class instead of smaller assignments throughout the semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food was not very good and the portions they served were so tiny I was left hungry. In hindsight, going off the meal plan would have been better.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have good experiences with health care. The university does not have its own health services so you have to register with a GP in the city. It took over a month to register with them and then when I finally an appointment my symptoms were dismissed as a common cold. Months later back home I was diagnosed with Mononucleosis that took me months to recover.

* Safety:

Just like any city, there are some safety issues. When I was there, a student was killed outside a student bar several blocks from my accommodation. I, however, felt safe as the University responded very well with increased security. However, I learned that the UK does not allow carrying self-defense weapons (such as pepper spray). Only rape whistles/alarms are permitted. This made me a little nervous so I never went out alone. I never had any issues using the buddy system, so don't let this scare you. Just keep it in mind.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I chose Manchester because I wanted to fully experience another country, and not so much for education purposes, and that is what I got out of it. I went to several concerts, traveled to several European countries, ate some amazing food, met some lovely people, and grew a lot individually.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would recommend not going on the meal plan. It was not worth it at all as I still had to eat to fill myself up.


* 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
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • City
  • Flexibility
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • Food
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I guess that everything would work out. Traveling internationally for the first time was stressful, but it all ended up okay.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.