Welcome to SALC Linked – the weekly round-up of news, tips and resources for students in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Please look out for SALC Linked each week as it contains important reminders and announcements relating to your studies and University services. There are 8 items for you this week, including information on your exam timetable, some important surveys for you to complete and opportunities to volunteer with a fantastic homelessness charity.

Remember, there is a wide range of academic and personal support available to you at the University summarised on our blog. You can also find a full list (including the Counselling Service) on the University’s Student Support website, including details of our new 24/7 Mental Health helpline (0800 028 3766). The website is also full of resources to help support your wellbeing and studies.

Please be aware that, from Saturday 19th December until Monday 4th January,  SALC staff (including programme administration teams, the Student Experience team and the Student Support & Guidance Office) will not be able to answer emails due to the University Christmas closure period. However, there’s still plenty of support available to you throughout the break and you can find more information on the University’s Christmas support website.

If you have experienced mitigating circumstances that have had a significant adverse effect on your academic performance or ability to meet upcoming deadlines, you may wish to find out more about our Mitigating Circumstances process.

If you’re feeling isolated, remember that the Student Union’s Buddy Scheme is open and Togetherall, the free, online community monitored by trained clinicians offering free mental health and wellbeing support, is also available 24/7. SALC’s Student Support and Engagement Officers, Gareth and Emma, are also here to talk through any issues that you might be having. To book a telephone or Zoom appointment, please email them at salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk.


Semester 1 Exam Timetable

 The SALC Semester 1 Exam Timetable will be ready to view on the Student Intranet from 5pm on Tuesday 15 December. Here you can also view general guidance on how to undertake these exams; please ensure you read this information carefully. Course-specific guidance relating to word limits, rubrics, marking criteria and referencing expectations will be issued to you in due course by individual Course Unit Directors. Unlike on-campus exams, your individual exams will not be displayed on your personal My Manchester timetable. Therefore, please take note of when exam papers or Blackboard tests will be released and the deadlines for submitting your answers.


Continuing Your Studies in the New Year 

If you haven’t already, please complete our study survey as soon as possible to let us know if you plan to study wholly remotely or via our blended, flexible model (with a mix of online and on-campus activities) during Semester 2.


Semester 1 Course Unit Surveys

The surveys for your Semester 1 course units are open between Monday 14 December 2020 and Sunday 10 January 2021. The surveys are your chance to let us know what’s gone well and how we can improve. They are anonymous, don’t take long to complete and your input is more valuable than ever. You can download an app onto your Apple or Android device to complete your Unit Survey. A one-time download of the survey EvaluationKIT survey app will last for the whole time you’re at University. You can find instructions on how to do this on this guide. All you need is the unique key which will be provided in your Unit Surveys email. You can also complete the Unit Surveys by logging into Blackboard using the link in My Manchester to find the individual Unit Surveys. For more information, please go to the Your Say page.


Flights from China to Manchester

Hainan airlines are proposing to operate secure flights from China to Manchester on behalf of a specific group of UK universities for students who are planning to arrive on campus in January 2021, subject to permission from the Chinese government. The flights will operate from cities in mainland China, via Chongqing, to Manchester airport. Hainan have polled students to understand demand for flights between 6th and 26th January 2021. The University sent this survey out to current Chinese students on behalf of Hainan (24th November). Hainan airlines representatives will contact students who have registered their interest through the survey directly from their call centre in order to provide further information and to manage bookings once the flights become available. For further information, please contact chinateam@manchester.ac.uk.


December Virtual Celebrations

SALC Virtual Celebrations for the Class of 2020 is an alternative way to mark the achievements of our graduands remotely this winter, as we recognise how important this celebration is to you and your families. The SALC Virtual Celebration is to be launched on 16 December 2020 at 3pm, via the SALC YouTube channel. This will be followed by live, virtual social events specific to departments. Links to the socials will be circulated to graduating students on Tuesday 15 December 2020. If you are due to graduate this month, you should have received your invite on Friday 4 December. If you haven’t received an invite yet, please contact salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk as soon as possible.


Are You Travelling Abroad to Get Home?

If you’re planning international travel, your destination country may require you to take a different type of COVID-19 test, such as a PCR test, before you travel. You must check this before you travel. These tests aren’t provided by the University and may have an additional cost. There are many companies offering this service – among the local ones are Epistem, Pall Mall and HealthWorkThe University has also published updated information on assistance with travel costs for students facing severe and unanticipated hardship. For further information, including details of the University’s dedicated testing and travel phoneline and live chat, please see our testing and travel webpage. 


Volunteering Opportunities at Mustard Tree

Mustard Tree helps homeless people to change their lives, find better accommodation and secure economic wellbeing. Their focus is on tackling both the causes and consequences of poverty and homelessness. They are looking for volunteers to help support them to deliver services in their Ancoats centre over the December period. Volunteers are needed to work as Kitchen Assistants or in the Community Shop from 8:30am – 2:30pm, Mondays to Saturdays, in the run up to Christmas. PPE will be provided and Mustard Tree are looking for people who are flexible and happy to volunteer for either of the positions – the specific role will be assigned on the day of your first shift. For further information or to sign up, head to the Volunteer Hub.


Your Careers Service

You can use the Careers Service website for careers information and support, practice interviews and appointments for advice on applications and PG study personal statements. please note however, that the Careers Service will be closed between 19 December and 3 January. You can also find vacancies on Careerslink as well as online workshops, including recordings of our previous sessions. The careers team run drop-in sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am-11am. Search ‘Careers Desk’ in Events on www.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink for access to the Zoom link and pop into the Zoom Room – no pre-booking necessary. They’re also open on Chat from 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday.

Interested in finding out about a particular career? Use the Which Career pages and see the Find Jobs page for internships and job opportunities. For further information, contact careers.info@manchester.ac.uk and and connect with us via our social media.

That’s everything from us this week. If you have a society, scheme or event that you’d like to promote to the rest of SALC, please contact us via salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk and we could be including your content in the next edition of SALC Linked.