Mancunian Life in the Sunshine (and the Occasional Showers)
As my undergraduate journey comes to an end, I find myself at a crossroads. I am faced with a sense of déjà vu as I consider which university to attend for my postgraduate course. My name is Amanda and I am an international student in my final year studying BSc Educational Psychology. At this stage in my academic career, I reflect on how I made the choice to study at Manchester in the first place.
When I first travelled from Malaysia to study during the pandemic, I was initially quite intimidated, but as the days got brighter, my worries were quickly forgotten. There is just so much to explore in Manchester in the summer, I just have to get my summer swinging with the
Manchester Jazz festival. This is a music festival that typically runs from late May to early June – it is the perfect way to get the summer started for music lovers. It has loads of free gigs with an outdoor mainstage so you can enjoy the music in the Sun. There are more hidden outdoor gems that also lend the city its magic and are great to explore in the summer. One area which stands out to me is Abraham Square. This square got its name from the statue of the former US president which was erected to commemorate Lincoln’s letter of thanks to the City of Manchester in the wake of the city’s solidarity against the slave trade. It is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
If you are peckish whilst visiting the square, I cannot recommend enough eating at Maray, a fusion tapas restaurant which provides delicious menus for a relatively affordable price with a chill vibe. If you fancy a little stroll after your meal, opposite the restaurant is a beautiful 14th century church. Seeing such ancient beauty in the heart of the city is truly awe-inspiring and is a can’t-miss sight in summer.
If you want to admire the Mancunian skyline in the evening, I have the place for you. The Castlefield Viaduct has been transformed into an incredible sky garden with accompanying views of the city’s futuristic high rises and its historic canals. For those who do not want to stray too far from Oxford Road, as students slowly leave for summer holidays, the University changes into a tranquil summer retreat. Seeing Oxford Road this quiet, inspired me to learn skateboarding on the once busy roads.
And based on my many fond memories of summers in Manchester on top of my whole University experience, I decided to accept my offer from this University again in the city I love. I think making the decision in the summer when Manchester is full of sun certainly did the University some favour – that is for sure, but in my opinion, it is important to remember that choosing which University to study at is more than just academics. It is about which city will make you feel most at home, and for me there is no place like Manchester.
Written by Amanda, final year undergraduate student at The University of Manchester