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Living, Working and Studying in Manchester

Postgraduate Study in Manchester, England

The City Has All a Student Could Want

Manchester has everything a student could wish for. It's a 24-hour city alive with films, theater, bars, classical music, popular music, pubs, and clubs, not to mention an endless supply of restaurants including the world-famous "Curry Mile.” Within one or two hours you can reach the Lake District, the Peak District, North Wales, and the Yorkshire Dales. London is less than three hours by train. With everything there is to see and do in and around Manchester, one year is barely enough to get to know this former industrial city.

By studying there you not only get to know local people, you get to experience the city's culture. In January 2000 I left Calgary, Canada to take up a 1-year master’s degree program in urban planning at the Univ. of Manchester. I would highly recommend postgraduate study in this lively, fascinating city.

The first thing to do if you are interested in studying in the U.K. is to find if you can travel on an exchange program or find a scholarship. You then have to apply and be accepted. For information on scholarships and exchange programs go to your school’s international studies office. Also search the Internet for scholarships.

Most postgraduate programs in the U.K. run for one or two years. International student fees can be quite expensive (in the range of £7,000). However, the experience of studying in another country, and the career prospects it offers is worth a lot, and I highly recommend it. After receiving my master’s degree, I explored Manchester’s industrial heritage by working for a charity set up to restore an historic cotton-spinning mill. I then went on to work in the transport policy section of the local Council.

The Univ. of Manchester's International Society is a place to meet other students from almost every country in the world. Members will meet you at Manchester’s airport upon arrival and even arrange a host family that will invite you over for holidays. The International Society runs frequent coach trips around the country on weekends; for a small fee you can visit many of the U.K.'s top attractions. It serves hearty and cheap lunches on weekdays for members—another good way to learn about other cultures and meet people.

The Burlington Society, which hosts weekly get-togethers, is another place to meet friendly postgraduates from other departments and countries. Both the Burlington and the International Society serve Manchester’s various universities and have a large membership base.

Accommodation for postgraduates is available through the student housing office. Undergraduates have a reputation for partying, so if you are serious about studying you may prefer to share a house with other postgraduates or get your own room.

Students are covered under the National Health Service while studying in the U.K. Make sure you register with a doctor when you arrive to ensure access to healthcare. The International Society website (see sidebar) provides a useful links page with much more information about all aspects of life as an international student.

For More Info

• To learn more about events going on in Manchester, visit www.manchesteronline.com.

• For coach bus journeys, go to www.nationalexpress.com. If you plan to fly into London and take a coach to Manchester, book your seat ahead so you don't have to wait long at the airport after a long journey. If your flight is delayed, they will put you on the next available coach. National Express is a cheap, convenient, and comfortable way to travel from London's Heathrow airport to Manchester.

• Manchester’s main universities include the Univ. of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan Univ.

• For information about student plane tickets visit www.travelcuts.com.

• For information about student or work visas visit www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk.

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