My First Semester at Manchester

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Geography and Global Development, Postgraduate | 0 comments

From comfortable late-night study sessions, city exploration, and meeting inspiring people to the thrill of intense raving and even being just 5 feet away from the former president of Ukraine, my first semester in Manchester has been an incredibly fast-paced journey. And I’m absolutely certain it’s going to accelerate even more!

The Course

Entering the academic year was already an exciting adventure, given that I was finally going to advance my passion and ambitions through the tutelage of globally respected scholars in GDI and SEED. I had neatly organized my Notion, conceptualized the amount of coffee I should intake per day, and planned the amount of rest and exercise needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle throughout my postgraduate life. I was dedicated to focusing on my motto “Strive to Thrive,” and I was sure not to deviate from my path. Certainly, the lectures, workshops, tutorials, and seminars thus far – and I believe will continue to do so in the foreseeable future – are fostering my ambitions and fortifying the theoretical base I desire. The “postgraduate only” access at the Sir Arthur Lewis building at night is a bonus as I have had the luxury of working overnight in relative silence. The opportunities just by being in the department alone are another beautiful aspect. On Tuesday, October 24th, I was ineffably stunned to have been given an exclusive opportunity to join a special lecture with the Former President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, and Former First Lady, Katherine Yushchenko, as guest speakers addressing the Ukraine-Russian War. The atmosphere in the room was palpable, and I could feel the immense pride of the fellow Ukrainian students being inspired by their former leader. Definitely one for the memory books!


The City

I thought I had seen it all, but Manchester is a gift that keeps on giving. The abundance of places to visit, a variety of cultural cuisines to feast on, and a plethora of locally initiated activities to engage in, my to-do list has been ever-growing since I first stepped into the city. I can evidently see why Manchester has its charm because experiencing it continuously as a new local has kept me wanting more. As a fervent fan of raves, the city’s vibrant culture has made a lasting impression on its rave scenes. I often re-watch the videos I’ve taken, longing to experience those moments again. For those wanting an alternative to clubbing and/or feeling courageous to try something new on their weekend nights, I recommend going to raves at the Warehouse Project or White Hotel – it’s like a super intensive and super fun cardio workout!

The People

The people are another beautiful encounter. In my course, I have had the privilege to meet remarkable people from all corners of the world, from all walks of life, and who have continuously imparted so much wisdom and inspiration. It is truly a great honour to be in a circle of kindred friends and colleagues pursuing the same aspirations and possessing the same drive and hunger to accomplish their goals – which also fostered a healthy competitive spirit! What’s more, I had the pleasure of experiencing the welcoming spirit of the student body because the new friendships I have developed through joining events and societies are truly fated. Despite only being a few months in, the friendships so far feel like I’ve known them in a past life, and I cherish every moment spent with them. By and large, I feel very reassured to be around supportive friends who help define my time in Manchester!

Written by Glyre, current MSc Global Development (Environment and Climate Change) at The University of Manchester