Hey my name is Kimi, and I am currently a Junior studying abroad in Manchester this quarter. I have officially been living here for a month already, and the time has simply flown by.
It has been a great month. I arrived and got settled in with no problem. I live in a dorm called Whitworth Park, and I am really enjoying it. I have my own room, make my own food, and am about 15 minutes from all of my classes.
The actual university is kind of hidden within the city so there is no beautiful campus like there is at UW. While I miss the beauty of our campus, it’s interesting to walk to class with others who are walking to work and such. There is a large diversity of people living in Manchester, and I have met people from ALL over the world.
The classes themselves are pretty interesting and quite similar to UW in the sense that we have big lecture halls. There are some differences however. Here I am taking 5 courses consisting of a two hour lecture once a week, and my entire grade is based off of one essay due at the end of the semester. This basically means that the final month of my time abroad is going to be filled with essay writing. However, the international program that they have here is spectacular and there are always events going on within the school and outside of school. For one of the events we are going to be going to one of the largest indoor ski slopes in Europe! So there has been lots of time to get to know everyone and socialize.
As I said, there are always things to do in Manchester. So far I have been to several concerts (Manchester has two great music venues), enjoyed experiencing different English Pubs and even managed to get tickets to a Manchester United football game. Soccer is EVERYWHERE here! But I miss American football…
The best part about studying abroad in Europe is that I’m able to travel so easily. So far I’ve only managed to explore within the UK. I’ve been to Liverpool (home of the Beatles), London, Wales and the Lake District which was absolutely beautiful. But in the next two months I’m planning on going to Paris, Dublin, and Madrid. We also have a week long period where we have no lectures called Reading week starting at the end of October. For that time Alice (the other girl studying here from UW), and I are going on a weeklong trip to Italy. I can’t wait!
The cultural differences between the US and England are subtle but everywhere. Different phrases and ways of asking things always catch me off guard and sometimes I don’t know how to respond. Some people can be rude when I tell them I’m from the states, but for the most part people here are really nice and are always interested about hearing about which part of the States I’m from and ask me about my time abroad in Manchester.
So it has been a great first month in Manchester. I feel so fortunate to be able to study here and meet all of these amazing people from all over the world. I’ve learned so much about all these different cultures and can’t believe how well we all get along. I also can’t believe how fast this trip is going by. I’m already a third of the way done, and there is still so much I want to see and do. We’ll see if I can manage to get it all done.