An insider’s guide to Manchester

Eating out

The Curry Mile, Rusholme, Manchester

The Curry Mile, Rusholme, Manchester

There are great cafes on campus at MMU serving a selection of sandwiches, snacks and hot meals at rock-bottom prices. The coffee is good too and cheap at £1.45 for a latte. To avoid crowds, go to Couch Potato food-truck outside All Saints Park; the usual greasy stuff but grab a hot dog with onions for £1! Oxford Road has many popular spots to eat – too many to mention – so it’s best just to go exploring! Walk down Oxford Road (or jump on a bus) and you reach the famed Curry Mile, so called because of number of Asian and Middle eastern restaurants, takeaways and kebab shops found on it. The largest concentration of South Asian restaurants outside the Indian subcontinent, with over 70 establishments in a one half mile stretch, there is tonnes of choice.

Dogs'n'dough restaurant, Manchester

Dogs’n’dough restaurant, Manchester

If you want something different, Dogs n Dough is a basement restaurant offering gourmet hot dogs, or pizza served in a takeaway box. On Sundays, you get free sides with any main! Hunters BBQ is a late-night café specialising in game curries. Grubby chic at its best, enjoy mismatched crockery, cheap cutlery and a slightly tatty interior as you tuck into pheasant, rabbit, venison or even quail! If you’re having one of those days deciding what you fancy, head to The Printworks, home to countless restaurants to choose from.

The Printworks, Manchester

The Printworks, Manchester

Nightlife

With 85,000 students, the social scene in Manchester is vast, but there are a few hubs to head towards. Oxford Road (known as the Student Quarter) is stretches 2 miles down to the Curry Mile, and littered with superb places, many offering deals on food & drink. The Northern Quarter is another lively area well worth a visit with a bewildering choice of bars. Whether you’re gay or straight, the Village – scattered around the famous Canal St – has over 25 friendly, tolerant venues offering great music and atmosphere.

Music

For a city which gave us the likes of Oasis, The Chemical Brothers, The Smiths, Happy Mondays and Simply Red, music is a big deal here. You will find live music played regularly in the hundreds of bars and pubs across the city. For big names in the music industry, a must-stop is the Phones4U Arena (or the Manchester Arena) – one of the busiest music venues in the world.

The National Football Museum and Old Trafford Football Stadium, home of MUFC

Top: The National Football Museum
Bottom: Old Trafford, home of MUFC

Sport

Sport is an important part of Mancunian life, with the bitter rivalry between two of England’s great clubs; Manchester United and Manchester City. A tour of the Trafford and Etihad stadiums are well worth it for footy fans. The National Football Museum is open 7 days a week and home to the world’s greatest football collection with over 140,000 items to see. The 2002 Commonwealth Games left a lasting sporting legacy in the city including fantastic venues like the City of Manchester Stadium, the Manchester Velodrome, the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Aquatics Centre. Rugby League is popular in the North West so why not check out a game, or watch a cricket match at the 155 year-old Old Trafford ground, one of the most famous in the world!

The Arndale and Trafford Shopping Centres

Top: The Arndale Shopping Centre
Bottom: The Trafford Centre

Shopping

Shopping is a huge draw for anybody coming to Manchester. There are two massive shopping malls, the Arndale (2nd biggest shopping centre in the UK boasting Europe’s biggest food court and UK’s busiest cinema ) and Trafford Centre (6th biggest but the most visited, with 41 million visitors.) Both contain hundreds of shops including all the big names. Afflecks Palace is must-see gem full of vintage and quirky stores. If you aren’t shopping, it’s still a great place to look around. The area surroudning it boasts more vintage stores, haberdasheries and vinyl exchanges. Spinningfields is home to some of the more upmarket shops like All Saints, Armani and Ted Baker – the destination to go if you are looking to treat yourself.

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

Hidden gems

A must-see is the stunning John Ryland’s Library. Regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s Gothic style architecture – inside and out – transforms you to a different world. It may not be an obvious destination, but it is one of the most impressive with great exhibitions alongside medieval illuminated manuscripts dating to the 1400’s, making it an amazing space to learn, visit and study in!

Ski or snowboard on the UK’s longest indoor slope at Chill Factore or indoor-skydive next door at Airkix. For something more relaxing, check out Heaton Park with an historic hall, farm and animal centre, boating lake and tram museum to visit. On rare sunny days, head to St. Johns gardens – just off Lower Byrom St – a little known green oasis is in the heart of the city, perfect for a picnic! Wherever you are in the city, you will see the rolling hills of the Pennines on the horizon. Never forget that the Peak District is literally on your door step – a short car or train journey – will take you to some of the most beautiful, idyllic countryside the UK has to offer!

Manchester horizon and Peak District

Top: Manchester horizon
Bottom: Peak District

Tell us about your favourite places in Manchester in the comment’s section below!

 

A guest blog by David Heffer.

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Welcome, international students!

Welcome2013

Welcome to all our new international students! 

There is a huge amount going on for the next few days. It is all detailed in your Welcome Programme (here’s a PDF copy, you’ll get a hard copy on Wednesday!) but here is a round up of the things not to miss.

Pre-enrolment

Remember, pre-enrolment is mandatory!

You will have received an email outlining the time and location of your pre-enrolment appointment. Please bring the following documents to your pre-enrolment appointment:

  • Your passport
  • Proof you hold valid immigration permission to be in the UK, e.g. Entry Clearance sticker, Biometric Residence Permit, or proof you submitted an application to extend your permission to be in the UK before your visa expired.
  • A printed copy of your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) statement, or Unconditional Offer letter if you were not issued with a CAS.
  • Qualifications used to get your offer.  If you have been issued a CAS these will be the documents listed on your CAS statement.  If you were not issued a CAS these will be the highest level of qualification you have studied before commencing your course at MMU.
  • English Language qualifications showing you meet our entry requirements, e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • Proof you have paid your deposit towards your tuition fees if you were not issued with a CAS, unless you are an exchange student.
  • ATAS certificate, if your CAS statement said you required ATAS clearance.

Once you have completed pre-enrolment you will be able to complete online enrolment and join your course. (Please note, the system takes up to 24 hours to update before you can enrol online.)

Visit the information market

The information market, in the atrium of the Geoffrey Manton Building, between 10:00 and 16:00 on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September, is an unmissable opportunity to meet representatives from across the University, to open UK bank accounts, to register with doctors and to join library services.

These services will all be in the same place for two days only, so don’t miss out on the chance to get these important things sorted in one go!

Attend compulsory sessions

There are lots of information sessions which will help you settle in to your new life in the UK as quickly as possible. Some of the talks not to miss are:

Academic skills – Learn how to study successfully at MMU, as the UK system might be different from what you are used to. Each faculty has student support officers who are there to help you, you can find their contact details on page 10 of your Welcome Programme. One of the officers will be able to take questions in this session.

Budgeting for your student life at MMU – We know budgeting is a bit boring, but it’s important to plan your spending for the year ahead so you don’t get any nasty surprises. You might pick up some new money-saving tips too.

Cultural changes – Most people experience culture shock when they arrive in a new country. This session will help you find out what to expect when moving to a new culture, whether you are new to Europe, Manchester, or just MMU. The International Society will also be there to introduce themselves and tell you about their activities.

English language support – Good English is vital to get the most out of your studies. Come to this session to find out how to access our free English support, which will get you reading faster, communicating more effectively and writing better assignments.

Staying safe – Manchester is a safe city, but come and meet officers from Greater Manchester Police and get tips and advice on personal safety.

Join a few recommended sessions

Over Welcome Week there are a huge number of recommended sessions for you to attend, and most are repeated. Find out exactly when these sessions are in your Welcome Programme. The sessions include:

  • Moments of meaning – religion and spirituality
  • Banking in the UK – an introduction to the UK system
  • MMU Students’ Union – your representatives
  • Accommodation – the culture of sharing accommodation
  • Protecting your Tier 4 (General) visa – understand your responsibilities
  • International Student Network – network with other students and hear about paid opportunities
  • The National Health Service – registering with a doctor
  • Applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa
  • Careers and employability, Jobs4Students and placements
  • Introduction to MMU’s library
  • Supermarket tours

Make new friends

MMU’s International Buddies are current students who are interested in different cultures, languages and making new friends. They will be arranging weekly get togethers, called Buddy Groups, to catch up, explore and try new experiences. Go along to their meeting on Friday 20th September, at 13:00 in Lecture Theatre 3.

On Thursday evening MMU International are hosting a dinner and traditional Irish Ceilidh. This is an informal evening of music and dancing with a dinner at the Students’ Union on Oxford Road. This event has a limited capacity, so make sure to pick up your ticket on Wednesday or Thursday from the Information Market.

Have a free lunch with other international students, and Chaplains from different faiths between 11:00 and 14:00 on Friday 20th September. Meet at the Meeting Point.

We are also hosting walking tours around Manchester to help you explore your new city. Experienced professional guides will tell you more about the shopping, cultural venues and the history and heritage of Manchester. Tours start at 11:15 and 14:30 at the Meeting Point. These tours have limited capacities, so make sure to pick up your ticket on Wednesday or Thursday from the Information Market.

Remember, follow #MMUwelcome2013 on Twitter for any last minutes update through Welcome Week!

So, we hope you have a great Welcome Week; get involved and make lots of new friends. We look forward to meeting you all!

Travel while you study – widen your horizons

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to widen your horizons by living in a new culture, meeting people from around the world and trying new foods.

One of the best ways to widen your horizons is by travelling. Studying in Manchester makes travelling around the UK and Europe very easy. Manchester is well connected by road and rail and has a busy international airport.

The map below shows some of the UK’s best tourist towns and cities. Over the coming months we will be posting guides to each city or location; including how to get there and what to do while you’re there.

map of UK tourist destinations

Let us know if there are any other places you’d like to see included, or if you’ve visited these places before, let us know what you got up to.