Why I chose to study at The University of Manchester?

by | Nov 29, 2023 | Geography and Global Development, Undergraduate | 0 comments

I remember the stress I felt when choosing which universities to apply to. This decision not only affects quality of degree you earn, but also the connections you make and even your whole life! For me, The University of Manchester fulfilled most of my criteria. It is a Russel Group university so obviously has rigorous academic standards, but the city has allowed me to enjoy a fun social life.

I focussed on course ranking, rather than university league tables, when choosing my 5 schools because some universities fall short on the league tables but have excellent specialty departments. (UoM performs well in both aspects). I study BSc Global Development, and the University is ranked 2nd in the UK and 7th in the world for development studies so I was assured that I would receive good quality teaching. The University also has several study abroad opportunities which was a big selling point. I plan to do a summer school next year and there are services which help students connect to the institutions and to apply successfully.

Manchester is not too far away from my home city, so I chose to apply here so that I would have the independence of being away from my parents but could still easily travel home if I want to. The transport links are amazing too, so I knew I could visit my secondary school friends wherever they ended up. Also, Manchester is a very bike-friendly city – I decided to take advantage of this to save money on everyday transport. On the University website I found a useful bike registration scheme to get a good quality bike lock and my bike registered in the University database.

I prioritised choosing a racially diverse university, since I’m Nigerian and enjoy spending time with other Africans. There are so many BAME students here, which I’m so happy about. I think that diversity really makes the student experience because you can share and learn from other cultures. On the Student Union website, I found the Nigerian Society and African-Caribbean Society, both of which I’ve now joined. At UoM there are so many cultural, nationality-based, and religious societies to join so you can make friends with like-minded people and stay in touch with your culture.

Manchester is also one of the most multicultural cities in the UK, so I knew I would find West African markets to buy ingredients. I’m a big foodie, and when I saw TikTok content showing restaurants and food stalls in Ancoats and the Northern Quarter I knew this was the city for me. The Curry Mile in Rusholme is heavily publicised – I didn’t think that the restaurants here would be my cup of tea, but now that I live next door it’s another story! There are so many different authentic cultural foods to try for great prices (I recommend eating at Al Zain for amazing shawarma).

Lastly, because the city is so big, I knew there would be so many activities to try. I’m a non-drinker so I prioritised being in a city where my social life wouldn’t have to revolve around the local pub. There are several live music scenes to experience, art museums and pop ups to visit. Again, TikTok influenced my decision by showing loads of cool live lounges. I visited one (Matt & Phred’s) and LOVED it. There are so many other great things to experience in Manchester, no matter your taste, because there is literally always something happening!

Written by Chi-Chi, current BSc Global Development student at The University of Manchester