By: Andrea Gagliano, Foster Undergraduate
When I first came to Manchester I was not a fan of the city. It was very dreary, cloudy, and I didn’t feel that I belonged – mainly because I knew nobody. This changed very quickly! I now love every day in Manchester whether I am enjoying a night out, studying in the library, or learning quirky words from my English flatmates. When the school year starts, Manchester fills with university (uni) students and it transforms into a very lively city. There is a vibrant music scene (similar to Seattle but bigger and cheaper), a lot of quaint pubs, and a nonstop nightlife just a bus ride away if you want it. There are also a lot of ways to explore outside of the city. I joined the hiking club and went out on a beautiful sunny day last weekend to “scramble” my way to the highest peak in Wales. The scramble was a half hike and half rock climb along the top ridge of a mountain. Of course, I also got all decked out in red and went to a football (soccer) game – Manchester United versus Newcastle. Being in an English football stadium is such a different experience than in the US. It’s a very pure showing of football. No glitzy lights, music, or other ways of entertaining the crowd. It was refreshing to just purely watch the game and see the die-hard fans break out into song. And, in the last couple minutes of the game, someone from the stands jumped the gate and ran out on the field in mid-play.
The first week I was here, we had orientation all week with other business students which made it extremely easy to meet other students. I’ve met people from all over the world including almost every country in Europe! In classes, it is really interesting to hear references to the US and to US companies. The class structure here is different from UW, because there are two hours of lectures a week, so you are expected to do a lot of independent reading on your own time. Also, there is just one exam at the end of the semester which your entire mark depends on. Although the classes will be challenging, each one so far seems really interesting.