Manchester – University of Manchester

Reasons people went to this university/place

  • When I decided to apply for the Erasmus program, I was certain that I wanted to go to the UK, since I study English and American studies and figured that the courses over there would be of high quality, as are many universities. At first I had planned to go to London, but soon I decided that the University of Manchester matched my interests better than the partner schools in London did. And I am really glad I made that choice. The courses offered at the UoM were very interesting and versatile and perfectly matched my planned schedule.

Recommended semester to go there

  • I wouldn’t be able to establish a rule about which semester is the better one to go abroad. I went in winter (it was my 5th semester), because I knew that I would have been done with most of my courses by the summer semester. I don’t regret my choice at all (the weather was also fine), but I think a summer semester abroad would be awesome too.

Before going there

Accommodation experiences

  • I lived in private accommodation, a house which I shared with four other Erasmus students (all girls). It was really great and I am immensely glad to have found that place (much more comfortable than the room I would have gotten in the student housings) but it was super hard to find that place, since usually contracts run for a minimum of 9 months (I stayed 4.5). So finding accommodation was kinda stressful, I only got this a week before my arrival, but in the end everything turned out more than fine, so I was super lucky.

Special items to pack

  • Adapters, yes. And an umbrella (although it didn’t rain thaaaat often)

How people who went there handled their finances

  • I didn’t open a bank account for the short time I was there. My dad exchanged money for me and whenever friends came to visit they brought me some. I did get a new credit card, though, one that wouldn’t charge as much (or nothing, actually) for withdrawing money from ATMs.

University Information

Rough semester schedule

  • I glad the UoM works on a semester basis (not terms). A semester goes from September to the end of January. You get a whole month off, however, (winter break), before you go back at the end of January to take your semester 1 exams.My schedule per se wasn’t especially rough, but the readings were extremely time-consuming! I had SO. MUCH. TO READ.

Holidays during the semester

  • Winter break (as mentioned above), from December 17 – January 16 I think. And then it depends on how many exams you have and when they take place (You might have an even longer break if your exam is only on. let’s say, Jan. 25th.) But you really will have to study a lot, the exams I took were super tough.

Number of ECTS the university expected former exchange students to do

  • 25-30. You’re not allowed to do less, otherwise you can’t count as a full-time student.

Course restrictions and when the university informed students about those

  • I don’t know. I got into all the courses I wanted. Had to do a lot of calling and asking to be manually registered by university staff but in the end it worked out well.

Did the university actually offer the classes students originally planned to do?

  • Originally? No. But that is also my fault, because I hadn’t paid attention to semester 1 vs. semester 2 courses (usually courses are only offered in one of the semesters). But once I had checked the up-to-date course list all was fine.

Recommended  courses/modules

  • I liked everything I did (American Literature and Social Criticism, Victorian Manchester Culture and Economy, Linguistics of American English)

Exam period

  • For semester 1 (i.e. winter) it was during the last two weeks of Januray.

How exams look like

  • My linguistics exam was multiple choice, my two literature course required essay writing (two essays in 2 hours I think).

Other information

Recommended restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping centers ect.

  • There are sooooo many great places. Manchester is just awesome.
  • Shopping centers: Arndale and the one at Trafford Center. And definitely Affleck’s, a vintage store. There are many great (vintage) shops at the Northern Quarter.
  • Cafés? Northern Quarter. You’ll find everything there. (most of the cafés are vintage – hipster style)
  • Restaurants: where should I start…I don’t think you can go wrong. just go explore!

Recommended secret spots in the city/town

  • northern quarter but I don’t think that’s secret lol.

Recommended day trips

  • Liverpool, Sheffield, Edale (Peak District, national park)…

Recommended places or events to meet new people / make new friends

  • Orientation week‼

Public transport offered in the city / area of the University

  • Busses. I bought a term ticket (September – January) for £105 that I could use for all stagecoach busses. (There are two bus companies, first and stagecoach. stagecoach is more frequent and offers a separate line called magic bus which offers tickets at £1, but I would recommend getting the student ticket because it’s a lot easier.

Other recommendations

  • ALWAYS ask for student discounts‼ also at supermarkets etc. They don’t always mention that there are some but asking doesn’t hurt and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by getting a 10% off whenever you go eat.Also, make sure to put cotton bags for shopping in your purse cause supermarkets charge for plastic bags (also, it’s better for the environment…)

Is this University the right place for me?

You should spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • if you are looking for new inspiration / input / critical thinking skills / new challenges / personal development / a great place to study with vibrant student life
  • because Manchester / the University of Manchester will be a perfect fit for you.

You should not spend your semester/year abroad at this university or place

  • if you are a nature person and need free air to breathe and lots of green space.
  • if you hate trash. There’s a lot of trash on the streets of Manchester.
  • if get depressed on rainy days and by grey buildings.

(all information provided is based on 1 filled out questionnaire)