My first semester in Manchester

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Education, Postgraduate | 0 comments

Are you curious about the life of an international postgraduate student at The University of Manchester? In this blog, I will share my first semester experience studying and living in Manchester as an international postgraduate from China majoring in DTCE.

When I reflect on my first semester in Manchester, I can’t help but marvel at how quickly time has flown by. As a postgraduate student, I only need to study here for one year. As I write this article, time has surreptitiously slipped away, and nearly a quarter of it has passed unnoticed.

In the past semester, as an international student studying alone in a foreign city, I was lucky not to encountered any exceptionally dark or painful moments. Primarily, this is because Manchester is a convenient city, which meets my basic life needs. Most importantly, upon my arrival in Manchester, I was fortunate to meet one of my best friends for life. We always organize our daily lives in an orderly and vibrant manner together. With the companionship and friendship, every day doesn’t feel lonely.

A year is indeed fleeting; every day brings a multitude of academic and personal challenges that I must navigate independently.

I have three courses in the first semester, two compulsory and one optional. Every course is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, so during busy weeks I have to attend classes every day. After classes, there are numerous pre-lecture or post-lecture articles to read, as well as assignments to be done individually or in a group. Therefore, I am used to planning my study schedule for each day to ensure that learning tasks are completed in an organized and high-quality way.

Beyond the regular mandatory courses, the UOM also offers students a wealth of learning resources. For example, as an international student, one of my goals while studying in the UK is to enhance English proficiency. Our university provides specialized free tutoring to support students whose first language is not English. Additionally, there are many culture exchange activities held by students or schools, and I always take part in these events where I can not only enhance my speaking skills, but also make new friends from all over the world.

One of the advantages of living in Manchester is its extremely convenient transportation. Moreover, its central location within the UK makes it easy to travel to most cities. Thus, practically every weekend, my friends and I opt to explore the nearby renowned cities or districts, providing a refreshing break away from the heavy studies and recharging ourselves. Among the places we have visited so far, I highly recommend you to travel to Edinburgh, Chatsworth House, York, and the Peak District. Every place has its own unique beauty and charm that is truly captivating.

Studying abroad alone is a challenge, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn to enjoy one’s own company. The busy pace of my life leaves little room for me dwelling on emotions. If you find yourself going through some low days, perhaps organizing your life to be more fulfilling will help, and let fatigue conquers sadness or anxiety. Furthermore, I also post about my life on social media so as not only to record precious memories in the UK, but also push me to discover the bright side of everyday life.

Written by Luning, current MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education student at The University of Manchester