What to expect of Manchester and the UK


Do you want to help the University find out more about the first weeks being a student? Would you like to help future students feel more prepared for their time at the University of Manchester?

The Orientation team need your help!

For the first time, we are running a project into what NEW students are doing in their first three weeks in Manchester, and when. The experiment is relevant to both international and home students and involves participants being sent 4 or 5 texts each day randomly between 10am and 8pm. Each text will ask participants where they are, what they are doing, who they are with, and how they feel. It only needs a short reply – it will not take up much of your time, and you will get paid £45 worth of Amazon vouchers. There will also be a bigger smart survey at the end of each week.

There will be a briefing session (including tea and biscuits!) that will be no longer than an hour held on Thursday 13th September to give more information about this project. If you are interested in coming to this briefing and taking part in this short project, please sign up on the quick smartsurvey link below!



Part 6

For the final part of this topic, let me tell you all about the UK. Although the UK is by no mean a big country in terms of land area, it has surprisingly many locations that you can visit. Don’t like the hustle and bustle of the city? Go visit the castles. Not a fan of medieval architectures? Go camping in the Lake District. Don’t like anything I have suggested? Stay at home, study, get good grades and make your family proud!😆 There are infinitely many options and I can guarantee that you will not be bored in the UK (for the first few months at least 😎😎).

Here…😐is another list

  • London – it should go without saying that even if you don’t plan to go anywhere or do anything during your time in the UK, you should at least visit London once. It is like the bigger brother of Manchester, has more shops, types of foods, tourist attractions (this means it’s going to be very crowded everywhere) and more expensive as well (it is the capital after all hehe🙂).
    • The best way to get to London is through the high-speed train which will take you there from Manchester Piccadilly Station to London Euston in around 2 hours. A downside is it is quite expensive depending one when you are booking it. Cheapest round trip is about £40, but it can go over £100 if you book with a few days in advance.
    • The cheapest way then it is, of course, the by the coach with a big downside of the journey taking 5hours. How much the coach is will depend on which company you are going with. You can find tickets to London as cheap as £4 (return as well!) and the most expensive coach tickets are cheaper than the cheapest train tickets.
    • london-cityscape
  • York – a historical city only a 1-hour train journey from Manchester (the trains that go there are slower than the London ones 😲). Surrounded by a medieval defence wall and at the heart of the city is the awe-inspiring York Minster, the cathedral of York. When you have finished visiting the central area, you can hop down to the campus of The University of York to see what a campus university is like. They are known to have one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK so it is definitely worth a visit. Compare and contrast you know😄.
    • There are regular trains to York from all three of the train stations we have in Manchester so I highly recommend taking the train there. Prices are below £30 for a return trip and can go as low as £12.
    • York_Minster_from_the_Lendal_Bridge
  • Wales – when you are tired of the city life, stressed over university work, it could be a good idea to visit Wales. The magnificent scenery will help with opening and cleansing your minds so you can be more productive. I don’t have much to say about Wales, but I will let the pictures do the talking
    • Again, the most convenient way of going there would be by the trains, and the price will be vary depending on where you are going in Wales(Cardiff, Conwy, Wrexham, Swansea, etc.)
    • snowdonia-2975437_960_720conwy-castle-3391259_960_720wales1
  • Lake District – one of the most popular camping/hiking spots in the UK, the highest mountain and the largest lake in England (yeh the big ones are in wales or Scotland 😅😅) are both situated here. Spectacular scenery and…FRESH air!
    • if you are interested then you can check out this site to learn more.
    • 213
  • Surrounding cities – Liverpool, Sheffield, Blackpool, Birmingham, Leeds, etc. are all great cities to visit if you enjoy exploring cities. As all the locations are metropolitan areas, they are extremely easy to get to through trains and coach.

There are also many places down south of the UK which are a bit harder to get to, but if you are dedicated and have a big enough budget you will not have any problem to reach wherever you want to go in the UK (thanks for it being a relatively small country and also a country with great public transport). If you would like to leave the country and go somewhere further, you can get really really cheap flights to places like Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, etc. for less than £50(keep looking as prices change all the time)! You can download apps like Skyscanner (Skyscanner has a feature that will give you all the cheapest options in an easy to read manner)and Expedia to search for the cheap flights. Also, Google’s flight search engine is really good too. As for cheap accommodations, you can use Airbnb.

This is all for today, thank you for your time reading this blog. If you have any questions please ask and I will try my best to answer them.


What to expect of Manchester and the UK

Before you start reading, could you please click this link and fill in the preference form to secure your place in one of our Welcome Presentations. The presentations contain essential information on life in the UK. It will be extremely beneficial for you to attend one of them!

Part 5 – Student life

Having briefly mentioned what student life is like studying in The UoM in my last post, I thought I would elaborate more on that and give you a better idea of what life is like here. High expectations lead to hard disappointments. However, you can’t be disappointed if you know exactly what to expect 😎😎. Let me tell you all about life as a student in this post and save you from disappointments.

Humanities G

Let’s start with the weather. You are going to arrive in September; the weather during this time will be nice compared to what is to come later on in the year 😈😈. Most days during your Welcome Week and Orientation will be around 20 degree Celsius (could be as low as 12 or 10 but I would say it is quite rare). It rains quite often here so an umbrella should be picked up as soon as you can. Make sure you get those small extendable ones so you can put it in your bag and have it with you WHEREEVER you go! Speaking from experience, it could look sunny in the morning before you leave the house and starts pouring down by the time you have walked half of the way to university, then it stops by the time you reach your building (yes, it happens all the time).

During winter we have shorter days and longer nights (8 hours day and 16hours night) with the sun rising at 8am and setting around 3 or 4pm. To compensate for the lack of sunlight, this cycle flips during summer (16hours of day and 8 hours of night). This was unusual for me when I first arrived in the UK as where I came from we had 12 hour day and night cycles throughout the year so I think this might surprise you as well😐. Snowing is rare even during the coldest days and when it does; it gets flushed by the rain that follows shortly after. Basically, you are not likely to be building your snowman or even having snowball fights, disappointing right 🙁🙁?

What is it like to be a student a The UoM? Well, this will vary with the course you are doing. For me (I study Mathematics so I think my course structure will be similar to other STEM courses), I have 12 lectures and 6 tutorials every week (each session is one hour long). Lectures are where your professor/course coordinator will teach you the course; they will deliver it in front of the whole class in a big lecture room or a classroom depending on how many people are in the course. Although some lecturers will provide a set of typed up notes, these are notes from the lecturer and contains everything you need to know for the course, some lecturers will leave gaps in the notes as a way to encourage you to attend the all the lectures. Most lectures now are recorded so you can watch them online, it is still important for you to attend as many as you can because this is the best way you can learn the material (you are paying for it so don’t waste your money!). Tutorials are in smaller groups of around 20 people where you get the chance to ask your lecturer questions about materials of the course they teach. For my course, we have an example sheet every week where we have to work on prior to the tutorial so we can ask questions during this time.  Self-studying will also be a big part of student life, and this is where you will spend most of the time doing.

History, Faculty of Humanities, SALC

Now onto the topic of holidays! We have two big holidays in one academic year, the winter break, and Easter break. Winter break is 4 weeks long and starts on the third week of December up to the second week of January. Then we will have 2 weeks from the third week of January till the end of January for the end of semester 1 exams. This means you will have one month of free time before the January exams. Use this time wisely to prepare for your exams! The second semester starts between the last week of January and the first week of February. Easter holiday is 3 weeks long and starts between late March and early April. Compared to the winter break, you will still have a month worth of lectures when you return from the break. This is the perfect time to catch up on coursework and start preparing for your end of year exams (it’s stressful, and it only gets more stressful in the second and third year🙁). All lectures finish around 2 weeks of May and then you will have exams for the following 3 weeks. This means there are no breaks between the end of the semester and your exams like in the first semester; this will make exams a bit more stressful as you might need some extra time to digest the material of your course. Apart from these two long-term holidays, there is a reading week in week 6 (the 6th week of the first semester) where we will not have lectures. However, some lecturers will have things planned for you so it’s not entirely a break (midterm tests, lab classes, etc.).

This is all I will cover on today’s post, there is still your nightlife, society, travelling, etc. we can talk about, but these are unique experiences to you so I won’t touch on that and leave them for you to explore. I hope this post has given you an insight into what university is going to be like. As usual, thank you for reading and if you have any questions please comment and I will answer them as soon as I can!

What to expect of Manchester and the UK

Before you start reading, could you please click this link and fill in the preference form to secure your place in one of our Welcome presentations. The presentations contain essential information on life in the UK. It will be extremely beneficial for you to attend one of them!

Part 4 – Manchester

Student life will be very tiring. Typically, people will start getting busy around week 3 or week 4 to prepare for their midterm test or coursework deadlines. Week 6 is what we call ‘reading week’; we don’t have any lectures during this week. However, this doesn’t mean it is a week to relax, some lecturers will utilise this week to give you a midterm test (or you will have it in either week 5 or 7) and some may run lab classes. This will vary based on what courses you are doing and you may not even have a midterm test or coursework to hand in, but the point is, you will be busy in one way or another.

Although your first year results don’t count towards your degree at the end (you need a minimum of a Third Class or 40% to pass your first year, otherwise you will have to resit exams or be dropped from the course), putting in the effort and getting the best result you can will still be beneficial. This will allow you to gain an edge on applying for internships in the second year (big companies generally open up their vacancies in September of the year so your results in the first year are what will reflect your academic performance). With all this being said, I am here to talk about having fun in Manchester and all the places you can visit. You can’t work hard if you don’t play hard 😆😆.

I hope you now have a rough idea of how the public transport system works in Manchester(you can read part 3 to learn more if you haven’t already). If not, don’t worry, you will get used to it after a week or two so just let it flow~~. Now I am going to introduce you to some of the popular tourist attractions you can visit when you are here. They are great for weekend trips or you can visit them after you finish your classes if you happen to finish early in some days.


National Football Museum is the building on the left side of the picture.

  • Football stadiums – with two of the best football teams located in Manchester. Watching a game from both teams should be on you must do list. If that is too pricey then you can visit the stadiums and participate in the stadium tour.
  • National Football Museum – this free entry museum located in the city centre a variety of football displays that it worth a visit even if you are not the biggest football fan. If you are a football enthusiast then this place is a must go to place for you!
  • Museum of Science and Industry – a large museum with 12 galleries devoted to the development of science, technology and industry. It is situated on the site of the world’s oldest rail station. Lovers of trains, planes and science need to come here!
  • Manchester Art Gallery – located in the city centre of Manchester, this gallery possesses one of the largest art collections in the UK. It’s free to enter so go inside when you are shopping in time and enlighten your inner artistic mind🙂🙂.
  • John Ryland’s Library – built over 100 years ago and now part of the University of Manchester Library. Although it is part of the University, you are unlikely to use this library as the one located on campus is far too convenient compared to this one. Make sure you go and have a look inside this beautiful neo-Gothic building before you forget about it 😐😐.
  • Chinatown – this is one of the biggest Chinese communities in the UK, there are plenty of good restaurants (Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and some more) you can choose from.
    • here is a picture of the arch of ChinatownChinese-Studies_005.jpg

These are just a fraction of what Manchester has to offer, the rest is left for you to explore! If visiting museums and old buildings doesn’t suit your taste, there are still many things you can do. You can have a food tour (many good restaurants are located in Chinatown and city centre), a club tour, a pub tour, etc. The only thing stopping you is your imagination haha😉.

As usual, thank you for taking your time reading and don’t be afraid to ask if you have any questions.

What to expect of Manchester and the UK

I have some pictures to show you!

They are what our staffs and student ambassadors will be wearing on Welcome Week and at the airport for pick-up service. Make sure you remember what they look like so you know who to ask for help (we are wearing purple so it’s easy to spot us!!).


Part 3 – Public Transport

The University of Manchester is not a campus university, its’ campus is built within the city of Manchester (called a city university). What this means is that the university is based in the central area of Manchester rather than in some rural area far from town with its’ big campus (called a campus university). There are pros and cons of being a city university but we are not going to discuss that today… maybe in another post though🙂.

The UoM was the result of two universities (UMIST and Victoria University of Manchester) merging together back in 2004. This separates the campus of UoM into the north (formerly UMIST) and south (formerly Victoria University of Manchester) campus. North campus is located closer to the city centre but the south campus is located on one of the busiest bus routes in the UK. It takes around 15 minutes to walk from south campus to north campus. With the convenient locations of both campuses, no matter where you live you will be able to get to campus with ease and how you can do it is what I will be talking about today 🙂.

Public transport within the city

  • Bus – like most cities in the UK the most common transportation method is by bus
    • There are many companies with buses operating in Manchester, but the company with the most buses operating in Manchester is Stagecoach (another big company is the First group). Therefore I will only be discussing the fare prices and term tickers of Stagecoach.
    • There are different types of tickets you can get. If you are just travelling from one place to another for once, then you can go on the bus and ask for a single ride to the place you are going to. You need to say where you are getting off because the fare price is based on how far you are travelling.
    • There are no return tickets available for buses, but an all-day unlimited rides ticket is available. You simply just tell the bus driver that you want a ‘dayrider’ and pay.
    • The more economical day rider is £3.60 and you can get access to limited routes but if you are travelling on Oxford road and within university buildings then this is a good option.
    • The normal day rider cost £4.50 and this allows you to get on any Stagecoach bus within the Greater Manchester region.
    • If you plan to travel many times for a week then you can also get a 7day ticket called the ‘megarider’ and this will cost you £8 or £12 (the more expensive one will allow you to go on more buses).
    • For term passes, this is most valuable for those who live far away enough to require travelling by bus to uni every day. There are various plans and term tickets will allow you to get on any bus (basically 90% of the buses available in Manchester) within Greater Manchester that is under the Stagecoach company.
    • Below are the plans they offer
    • tics
    • How does it work? You can buy it online here and have them send you a plastic card (only do it when you are in the UK). This plastic card will have your ticket stored digitally, you can use it by tapping it on the machine when you get on the bus.
    • The ‘magic bus’ is a yellow and blue double-decker bus and a typical Stagecoach bus can be either blue and white or green and white. The magic bus is cheaper and has a uniform fare price for single journeys so it cost the same no matter where you go (£1.50 for single, £3.60 for a whole day, £8 for a whole week).
    • One more thing I want to say is the bus route 147 is free for all students, just show your student ID to the bus driver when you get on.
    • Here is what a typical Manchester bus looks like.IMG_0326 copy.jpg
  • Taxi/Uber
    • Most bus routes will stop operating from 12am – 6am
    • The popular bus routes will continue to run at late night with longer waiting time in between.
    • If you plan to travel at night time then Uber or black cabs will be your best options, but of course much more expensive.
    • Download the Uber app when you are in the UK just in case you need it one day… like when you are drunk after a night out, or for whatever reasons you may have. You will thank yourself for doing it when you need a taxi immediately.
  • Tram
    • There are trams available in the city, but they don’t go through our campus so it’s not the most popular way for students to travel.
    • You will see them in the city centre and may want to give it a ride because they look really fun hahaha.
    • Here is a picture of a tram in Manchester.ManchesterUniversity--190.jpg

Intercity transport

  • Coach – relatively cheap and convenient way to travel across cities. Very ideal for when you are travelling to another city that is close by (Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, etc.).
    • The biggest company with the widest range of service is the National Express, they have services to and from Manchester across the country
    • Not ideal for long distance travel as seats are not comfy to nap in and many other reasons (smelly toilet on some buses… sometimes🤢🤢).
    • Fares vary from where you are going but they are generally very affordable.
    • If you are looking for even more affordable coaches then you can write down ‘Megabus’ on your notebook. It is a branch under Stagecoach and they offer very very very cheap rides from Manchester to London and other cities (takes about 5 hours to arrive). Although it is cheap (around £10 normally), the destinations are very limited. You can check out more on their official site
    • National express official site
  • Train – this is the most convenient and the fastest way to get to any major cities in the UK. The trade-off is it’s much more expensive.
    • Trainline is an amazing website you can use to book your tickets (you can also book tickets for the coach with National Express here). They also have a mobile app to plan and book your journey. Tickets will be sent directly to your email and your app as a QR code and then you can scan it to get on the train.
    • There are 2 stations close to our campus. Piccadilly station and Oxford Road.
    • One more big station is the Victoria Station, it is in the city centre and further away from our campus.
    • Piccadilly station is one of the busiest stations in the country and has trains directly to many of the major cities in the UK.
    • Oxford station is one stop away from Piccadilly; it is closer to our campus so you can also choose to travel here.

Overall, it is relatively easy to get to where you want without a car in Manchester. Although I do think all the options are a bit expensive, that’s what you get for having the convenience (I guess ??🤔). I didn’t mention what number bus you need to take, this is for you to figure out as you spend your time here. Many of the halls in Manchester are all within walking distance to the campus, if you do get the halls that are far away then you can try to find accommodations closer to our campus for the second year. This way you can utilise our 24-hour facilities (mainly the Ali G).

When you first arrive, you will struggle with directions and how to get to certain places. For this problem, you can use Google Map to guide you, they will even tell you what bus to take and how to get to the bus stop. Another useful app is Citymapper. Both apps work for other cities as well so when you are travelling to other places, they will come in very handy.

This is all I have to say about public transport, as usual, thank you for your time reading and any questions just leave it as a comment and I will answer them as soon as I can. Thank you

What to expect of Manchester and the UK

Part 2 – Welcome Week/Freshers

For international students, your Welcome Week starts a few days earlier (15th September) than local students. This is so that you can get a head start on settling down in Manchester. This way, when Welcome Week starts (17th September), you can fully concentrate on enjoying the most exciting moment of your life (exaggerated… but it should be super fun 😐😐).

This post is to introduce you to some of the activities we have in Manchester and what you can expect from it. But before you start enjoying all the fun activities the uni has to offer, you will have to attend a welcome presentation and some other workshops(not compulsory). Some of these events are very important for international students so make sure you know the dates, time and locations of these events.

All the scheduled events for Welcome Week are listed in this booklet called “What’s on”. For past years, the university would send them out to students before they arrive. For this year, you will have to pick one up when you arrive on campus. Please make sure you pick up a copy as soon as you can so you can start planning your Welcome Week with all the events you want to go to. As of now, I will just give you a brief guide on what’s going to happen 😃.

Orientation events (begins on Friday 14th September, this link will have all the information you need)

  • Global Village Fete
    • The ‘Global Village Fete’ is one of the biggest events planned for our new international students.
    • We will have stands showcasing some of our national and faith societies, a stage area with music, dancing, singing, and performances of all kinds in our big, spacious and beautiful marquee.
    • This will be held on Saturday 15th September(two days before Welcome Week)
    • Make notes of this on your planner now! You don’t want to miss it!!
  • Campus tours and city bus tours
    • These will be given by our student ambassadors. You can find more information at the Global Village Fete (see above 😃)
  • Welcome presentations and workshops
    • There are a total of 4 welcome presentations taken place in University Place lecture theatre B. They are not compulsory, but they will cover all the essential information you will need to know for your life in the Uk. The dates are…
      • Friday 14th September, 11am
      • Friday 14th September, 2pm
      • Sunday 16th September, 10am
      • Sunday 16th September, 2pm
    • There will also be workshops for international students
      • Please check out this link! It contains all you need to know about orientation
    • I am not an international student so I wouldn’t know what these events are like, but I would definitely go to as many as possible so you don’t have to worry about how to set up bank accounts, registering, etc.
  • Also, please go on this page and fill out the form for which welcome presentation you would like to attend. this will be extremely helpful for us as it will give us a rough idea of how many people will attend each session. Thank you😃😃😃.

Daytime events during Welcome Week (begins on Monday 17th September)

  • Society fair
  • _JIL9313.jpg
    • The society fair is one of the main attractions of Welcome Week, there will be many stands set up by different societies to grab your attention and convince you to join them.
    • The fair is held across multiple buildings within the campus. Make sure you pay the Students’ Union Building a visit upon your arrival on campus and ask one of our student ambassadors for the details.
    • Societies are the best places to meet new people and make good friends; it gives you the chance to bond with someone who has the same hobby as you. You like playing chess? If you go and join the chess society. You like to play football? Join the football society and be active!
    • Joining a society is the best way to meet new people and make good friends; it will give you’re the opportunities to bond with others with the same interest as you (make sure you go and have a look!!!).
    • We have the most societies out of any universities in the UK so don’t you worry about not finding a society that’s right for you 😉😉.
    • My personal opinion on societies is that you s
      should join one or two. Make sure you take some time and turn up for the events for those societies. Studying hard and getting the best grade possible is important, but making the most out of your student life and meeting people is equally as important. Widen your social circle and enjoying your time here should be your priority. : )
  • School events
    • School events are the ones created and set up by the school you belong to, so if you are a Student of School of Mathematics, then there will be events set up just for students from your course/school.
    • As every school will have their own event’s, I am not entirely sure what will be available to you, but what I would suggest is that you go to your school building (if you don’t know what building your school then leaves a comment and I will find it out for you😃😃) on the Monday of Welcome week and ask what is on.
    • Make sure you attend these events as you are most likely to meet your lifelong friends there. After all, the friends you will spend the most time with are your course mates.
    • I met most of my close friends through the school events so please make sure you go to them! To make the most out of these events, don’t be afraid to arrange meetups after.

Night events during Welcome week

  • If you think you can take a break after sunset then you are WRONG! This is when it starts!
  • For those who live in halls, this is a great time to bond with your flatmates. Don’t need to be shy and just go for it, they want to have fun and make friends too.
  • If you don’t live in halls then this is a good chance for you to invite them out for a few drinks (doesn’t have to be alcoholic 😉).
  • There will be clubbing events set up just for students (I won’t be listing them here, but you will be able to see posters all around campus during Welcome Week). These events will be attended mainly by students so you will be able to meet even more people by taking part.
  • If clubbing events aren’t for you then we have Movie nights (some halls will also have their own movie nights too) in the Student Union Building. More details will be available on the What’s On guide (pick up a copy when you arrive on campus!).
  • There are bar crawls available if you are more into social drinking (again, doesn’t have to be alcoholic). This is where you and a group of people going around the city to try different pubs. This way you can find your ideal pub to chill at English people love to hang out in pubs so yeah, get used to it 😉).
  • There will also be events set up by societies to meet at night time. These can be a small party, and dinner with other new students at various restaurants.
  • Most nighttime events aren’t free and you will have to buy tickets. Some events might not have tickets on the door so be sure to buy your tickets in advance!
  • Nigh time Manchester is amazing! Although it might not be what you have been expecting, I am sure you will love it
  • Here is a website you can have a look at to see what it’s like

This is all I have to say about for Welcome Week. There will be an event for you so don’t worry if what I have listed doesn’t interest you. As usual, I want to thank you for taking your time reading this and if you have any questions, please ask! Oh and stay tuned for future posts 😉.

What to expect of Manchester and the UK

Part 1 – Shopping

Many of you guys reading this have probably never been to the UK or have been here only for a short amount of time; it is likely that you wouldn’t know what it’s really like to live here. For the next few posts, I will be talking about life in the UK and in particular Manchester.

Moving to a new country can be exciting, but at the same time, it can be incredibly daunting. I hope by writing this blog, I can fully prepare you for your student life in a strange country. When I first moved to Manchester two years ago, my first impression was that the city is big. Not London big, but BIG none the less. There are lots you can do here, I am sure you will not be disappointed when you arrive.

The first place you want to get used to is, of course, the campus. There will be campus tours given by our student ambassadors during welcome week. For more information, you can ask our student ambassadors when you arrive on campus during Welcome Week. If you are not keen on spending an hour walking around campus, then my advice is to have Google map (or whatever map app you like to use) ready and search for where your lecture rooms are for the first week or two. Slowly you will get used to it and can walk around campus blindfolded🙂.

You can read my previous post on our campus if you haven’t already!

Once you have settled in at your accommodation, you should start exploring Manchester and buy all the necessities you need for your new place.

What you should expect shopping in the UK? There are two main shopping districts in Manchester; both places will have everything you’d need and more. They are perfect for dates, meet up with friends and just hanging out in general as there are many entertainment options available in both places.

  • Trafford centre
    • This place is quite far away from our campus. You can reach here at the final stop of the “250” bus from Oxford road or the City centre takes about 30 minutes.
    • It is the third biggest shopping mall in the UK. This means you name it, you’ll find it here somewhere … eventually … if you don’t get lost.
    • The best gaming arcade in Manchester, Odeon cinema, and Sealife (aquarium) are all located here!
  • City centre
    • This is closer to our campus as it takes only 20 minutes of walk and 10 minutes on the bus(less if traffic is smooth) to get to.
    • Same as Trafford centre, everything you want can be found here.
    • Personally, I prefer the city centre over Trafford centre as it is closer to campus and the shops are more compacted.
    • Any bus on Oxford road towards the town centre direction will take you here.
    • China town is 5 minutes walk away where many of the Asian restaurants are located; this includes Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, etc.
    • There are multiple Asian supermarkets where you can buy most of the things you can get back home (if you are from Asia of course).
    • There is this store on the upper floor of Arndale called “Clas Ohlson” (my favourite shop for reasons I do not know 😐), this place is where you can get all your necessities for your accommodation. They will have most of the things you need. Everything for your kitchen, your room and your bathroom can be found here so make sure to check it out!

The University and Manchester City Shoppers on Manchester's Market Street

Manchester City Centre

The last thing I want to touch on is grocery shopping. This is where I think most new students will struggle. Budgeting how much you can spend a week and following it through is surprisingly difficult (from an experienced budgeter with 90% fail rate 😐). I am not the best person to give you advice on how to budget and follow it through, but I do know all the good places you should shop at to get the most out of your money so here is a list(yes, More lists!)

  • Tesco
    • BThe biggest supermarket chain in the UK by market share and surprisingly, you will only see their small to medium-sized stores in Manchester.
    • One of its’ stores is conveniently located on Oxford road
    • The store is quite small (more like a convenient store) so you only have limited choices on what you can buy.
    • This place is also quite expensive compared to other options on this list so I’d suggest you try to buy your groceries elsewhere and only shop here when you are lazy to reach for the other stores.
  • Sainsbury’s
    • The second largest supermarket chain in the UK by market share.
    • They have one store located on Oxford road, and very close to all the major building on campus.
    • You are more likely to shop here as its’ location is too convenient.
    • Prices are similar to those of Tesco’s so I’d advise you to shop here only for your lunch when you are on campus.
  • Morrison’s
    • The fourth largest supermarket chain with a medium sized store located a few minutes walk from campus (next to a Sainsbury’s).
    • They have the best lunch meal deal here (it is my favourite!). If you want a quick and cheap lunch then come here! Downside it most of the food that is worth getting is cold. If you prefer hot food then there are plenty of places around campus for that too!
    • Morrison’s tops both of our two previous choices as it has a bigger store and cheaper price tags on many things. Shop here, guys!
  • Lidl
    • The seventh largest supermarket chain in the UK by market share.
    • A fairly large store is located at the end of Oxford Road
    • The style and layout of the store is a bit different to the traditional supermarkets like the 3 listed above
    • Has almost all you need at the lowest prize red all the other options on this list (I do most of my grocery shopping here).
    • A bakery with freshly baked bread, baguettes, pastries, etc.
    • Closer to most accommodations than the others
  • Aldi
    • Their store is located in the city centre so it is not as convenient compared to the other options listed above.
    • The style of Aldi is similar to Lidl’s with the small difference in prices for a few items.
    • if you shop here without looking at the sigh before you walk in, you’d think you are shopping at Lidl.

Once again thank you for reading and stay tuned for the next part😉😉. If you have any questions please leave a comment and they will be answered as quickly as possible!

Planning your trip to UoM

Hi everyone! Before you start reading today’s exciting post of planning your trip, please take note of this new WeChat mini program “Discover Manchester 探索曼城”. This page has all kinds of useful travel tips in Manchester and the UK, it is very useful and could potentially be your lifesaver when you arrive in Manchester(sorry for our non-Chinese readers as this page is only in Chinese😞).


There are only 40 odd days left until you start your student life in Manchester. This means it is now time to start planning for your journey here. Some of you may be still waiting for your exam results to confirm your place with us, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning ahead (I hope to hear good news from you soon)!

Booking your flight and arriving

  • Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the UK serving around 100 airlines to over 200 destinations(so wherever you may be living in right now, you will be able to get here with ease!).
  • If you are arriving at the Manchester Airport between the 11 and 16 September 2018 (7am to 9pm), we will have plenty of student ambassadors at the airport to help and guide you to your destination (here is a link for more info).
  • We will also have airport pick up services between the 12 and 14 September. We will drop you off at you accommodation free of charge. This service is only available if you are living in university student halls. Sign up for airport pick up service here!
  • If you plan to arrive somewhere else in the UK (somewhere that is not Manchester airport), then click here for more information.

Packing up

With limited space provided by the airlines(here, I’ll assume you are given one large check-in bag and one small carry-on bag), you’d have to think carefully on what are the things you will actually need to put in your suitcase. I have put together a list of things you should consider bringing, use this list as a starting point and work out what you need to bring. As usual, if you have any questions or can’t decide whether to bring something or not, please leave a comment and I will try my best to help you.

For Twitter users, please take a picture of 5 things you are bringing to Manchester and post it with “#hellouom” to share it with your fellow students coming to Manchester.

  • Underwear – you’d want to bring two or three weeks’ worth. Ideally, you’d want to do your laundry once a week (twice at max), so the more you bring the less often you’ll have to do your laundry.
  • Socks – again, bring two weeks’ worth just in case you need more. They don’t take up much space anyway so bring them!
  • Bed Sheets/linens – one set only and you can buy another set when you arrive so you can switch around. Duvets are provided by the halls so you don’t need to bring it. If the ones provided by the halls aren’t what you want, then you can buy them as they aren’t expensive.
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste – they are small so bring them!
    • Makeup – try keeping it reasonable if you have a whole set.
    • Towel – I would suggest bringing one only and then buy another one when you arrive, you can bring two if you want of course but NO more than two, please.
    • Shampoo/body wash/conditioner – bring travel size packs only for your first day or two and then buy normal sized ones here. They are not expensive so don’t waste your luggage space on them!
    • Feminine products – one month’s worth.
    • Razors –  again, it’s small so squeeze it in somewhere
    • Nail clippers – many people often forget about this, bring it’s small!
    • Brush/comb – bring it, it’s small.
    • Deodorant –  you can bring it if you don’t it’s no big deal because you can find them at most places here
  • Coats/jackets – bring two or one if you are running out of space. Make sure it’s a thick one as it gets COLD here in the winter (and rains a lot so bring your waterproof ones!).
  • Flip flops – this is essential! If you live in halls, you’ll have a shared kitchen and/or shared bathrooms. The floors at public areas aren’t always clean so yeah, bring a pair. You can buy them here as well but I’d say bring a pair just in case you will be too busy during your first few days here.
  • Umbrella(it rains a lot here during the winter) – if you have space then squeeze it in, it is OK if you don’t, you can just buy it here. Make sure you get one before winter because you will need it!
  • Clothes – this is the last thing on the list because you’d want to pack your clothes at the end because this is probably going to take up all your spaces
    • Jumper (sweater) – This is essential as it’ll be cold even with heating on indoor so this thicker layer of clothing will keep you warm indoors.
    • Short sleeve/long sleeve shirts – this really depends on how much space you have and how much you want to bring to make your mind up!
    • Pants/skirts – again, it’s up to you.
    • Scarves and gloves – this will come in handy (hehe😉😉) in winter. You can also buy it here for cheap of course.
  • Shoes – bring a pair of good walking shoes because you will be doing lots of walking on campus
  • Extras – this is a sub-list of things you might have already thought about bringing, but I’ll include it just in case.
    • Adaptor – make sure you get a UK adaptor so you can charge your phone and laptop
    • Reusable water bottle – This is ESSENTIAL! Keeps you hydrated and use less plastic to save our world, one stone many birds.
    • Stationary – on average, a pen costs £0.30-£0.60 in the UK and a notebook will cost you 2 to 3 pound. If they are cheaper in your home country then stock up!

Once again, thank you for reading and please leave a comment below if you have any enquiries (ANY!).


Your beautiful campus

Hello everyone, I am back again with another post! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

I understand some of you may have never been to Manchester(thus have never seen our campus) before, so today we are going to get familiar with the buildings on our beautiful campus. As you are reading this, the campus is undergoing a heavy development with 1 billion(wow emoji) investment over the next ten years(click here if you want to learn more😃)

The University place

This is where you will need to go to collect your student ID, so I advise you to come here first and get your ID. The unique “Tin can” look will be very hard for you to miss.


Alan Gilbert Learning Common

Commonly known as the “The LC” or “Ali G”, you can study here, sleep here(no, am not joking), eat here, make friends here,… this place will consume you and eventually you will call this your second home. opens 24/7 too!

ali g.jpg

University of Manchester Library

The university has two libraries, one is in city centre which is about 30min walk away from campus, and the other is on campus by the LC.

Below is the campus library(it’s really big inside but it does run out of spaces during busy weeks such as the weeks before midterms and finals)

Campus winter - Library

Simon Building

You will likely have lectures here at some point so make sure you know what it looks like and where it is. The canteen in this building is one of the largest of any buildings on campus and also houses a PC cluster on the top floor of this building(This should be your go to place if both the library and LC is full as it’s just across the road from the LC).


The Student Union Building (the S.U.)

This is the student union building, and the biggest students’ union in the UK, it will provide you with the space, resources and support to make the most of your time at University. Many societies will have their stands in this building to promote during welcome week so please make sure you come to this place(again, this is next to our glorious LC)!!


This will be all the places I am introducing to you on this post, you will eventually get to know all the buildings by heart so don’t worry about the ones I didn’t mention here. If you want to learn more about all the different buildings on campus, there will be campus tours given by our student ambassadors during welcome week.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try my best to help.




What to do when you have been accepted into your course?

So you have received your confirmation email saying that you have been accepted into the UoM (CONGRATULATIONS!!). There are still a few steps you need to take to finalise your spot here.

This will be a brief guide on what you need to do, but a more detailed guide is provided on our “get ready” and “arrival guide” booklet (please have a look, they are very useful!). Physical copies would have been sent to you as well.

If you are an EU based student (Germany, Italy, etc.), then this is your to-do list (non-EU students please scroll down!)

  • Activate your IT account(for more detail please refer to “get ready”, pg2)
    • you can do this when you receive your activation email from UoM(you should receive it around late August)
  • Register online(for more detail please refer to “arrival guide“, pg44 or “get ready”, pg3-5)
    • you can do this anytime between 1 Sept to 30 Sept
    • this will lead you to a fee payment page where you will pay your fee
    • late registration after 30 Sept will incur a £200 charge(put a reminder of this on your phone now!)
    • this is where you will pay your tuition fees.
  • Lookup student accommodations if you have not already applied.
    • you need to be quick as the spaces on popular halls go really quick. So Go Go Go!!
    • click here to do it!😉
    • the deadline is 31st August(You can still apply for accommodations after this date, but it will be unlikely for you to get your desired options)
    • there are many private student accommodations, these are accommodations owned by private companies.
    • anyone could be living with you in private halls, it could even be students from another university
    • private halls may be more expensive
    • you can apply for private accommodations here
    • when applying for private halls or private accommodation, please be aware that there are people out there that will post rooms/houses that don’t exist
    • so please make sure what you are applying is real and legit before making any payments

The to-do list for non-EU students consist an extra step, here it is

  • Activate your IT account(for more detail please refer to “get ready” pg2
    • you can do this when you receive your activation email from UoM(you should receive it around late August)
  • Register online(for more detail please refer to “arrival guide“, pg44 or “get ready”, pg3-5)
    • you can do this anytime between 1 Sept to 30 Sept
    • this will lead you to a fee payment page where you will pay your fee
    • late registration after 30 Sept will incur a £200 charge(put a reminder of this on your phone now!)
    • this is where you will pay your tuition fees.
  • If you have not started applying for your Tier 4 student visa, please start doing it as soon as possible
  • Lookup student accommodations if you have not already applied.
    • you need to be quick as the spaces on popular halls go really quick. So Go Go Go!!
    • click here to do it!😉
    • the deadline is 31st August(You can still apply for accommodations after this date, but it will be unlikely for you to get your desired options)
    • there are many private student accommodations, these are accommodations owned by private companies. 
    • anyone could be living with you in private halls, it could even be students from another university
    • private halls may be more expensive
    • you can apply for private accommodations here
    • when applying for private halls or private accommodation, please be aware that there are people out there that will post rooms/houses that don’t exist
    • so please make sure what you are applying is real and legit before making any payments

This is just a brief guide on what you need to do, so if you want to know more you can leave a comment below and I will try my best to help you or read the booklets I referenced above. Also, if you have yet to receive your exam results, I wish you good luck and I hope to see you soon in September!!

A small introduction


My name is Jun, and I am the new summer intern for the Orientation Programme. Don’t know what the Orientation programme is about??? Well… if you are going to be a student of the University of Manchester (I will type UoM for short from now on🙂) and you don’t already live in the UK, then this is the right place for you! The goal of our programme is to give you the kick start you need for you upcoming and exciting student life at UoM.

The aim of this blog is to help you with any enquiries (Yes, ANYTHING!!!) you may have before coming to the UK. So please feel free to leave a comment with your questions and I will try my best to answer help you. By commenting, you are also helping those who might have the same questions as you  but are too afraid to ask. so you are also helping by asking!😉😉 There will also be regular updates here where I will talk about all the fun activities available in the UK and important information that you will need to know. So stay tuned.

If you have found this blog through the official university website, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates of this blog and this programme. This will be extremely useful during Welcome Week as we will post live updates on what we are doing from the 13th Sept to 16th Sept(this is when the Orientation events will be held)!! Also, if you have a friend who is coming to study at UoM from abroad, then be the good friend you are and guide them right here.