Well, since this is my first blog I’ll introduce myself a bit and then dive into what everyone wants to hear about — my life in Manchester!
My name is Yasmine and I come from California. I’ve lived in different parts of California and travelled a bit before moving to Manchester, which luckily helped cut down on the culture shock! I am studying a Taught Master’s in Politics, focusing on Public Policy & Governance. This is really similar to my BA and I love the subject, so I’m really happy I was able to continue with it. I moved to Manchester the second week of September this year, so I’ve been here 2 months now! It has gone by so, so quickly. I have done so much in and around Manchester and have a trip planned outside of the UK really soon!
I’ve settled here fairly well. It’s difficult moving 5,000+ miles across the world for anyone, but my willingness to be open-minded and adventurous has definitely helped tons! I’ve gone to most major museums in Manchester already, tried out many new restaurants (Lal Quila on Curry Mile is my favourite Indian restaurant so far), had my first British tea & cake in the Northern Quarter, and took a day trip to York (a must see)! Oh yeah, I also went to a Manchester City game on Bonfire Night. The game was terrible (we lost), but wow…English people definitely get into football. It was great.
My MA program has been…well what postgrad should be — a lot of work and a lot of socializing. The amount of reading is insane. Maybe just because I didn’t read much in undergrad I didn’t notice how much was required? Or maybe it’s just a lot and they have high expectations. Either way, it’s exhausting! What’s the brightside you ask? It’s almost always really interesting! One course in particular (Democracy: Practice & Theory) has been really interesting and insightful for me and has definitely made me really happy I decided to attend here. Also, everyone in my program is nice! So everyone tends to socialize — for example, there was a Halloween party last week and we often grab coffee after class, or go shopping together. It’s really nice that everyone can stress out about all the same stuff, but then relax together as well!
Here’s some photos giving you an idea of how much you can do in just 7.5 weeks in Manchester!
Sometimes I pick noses in the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).
The Footage is a really popular pub about a block from the main University buildings! They have fairly good food (vegetarian options at a pub always make me happy) and cheap drinks. It was a cinema at one point, so the architecture is pretty cool!
Looking at Piccadilly Gardens from the Northern Quarter. Northern Quarter is one of my favourite parts of Manchester by far — it’s really young and hip. They also tend to have a lot of street art and old buildings, which are basically my two favourite things.
Whitworth Art Gallery. I usually like history museums more than art museums, but some of these paintings were amazing! It’s not huge, but can easily take up an hour or two. Since it’s really close to the Arndale—I went here and then went shopping. Ideal for everyone involved. 😉
Eithad Stadium! This is where Manchester City plays — huge stadium and super nice. It was FREEZING that night, but I definitely will remember my first English football game.
York Minister in York. This is hands down the most gorgeous building I have ever seen in my entire life. It takes about an hour and a half on the train from Manchester’s Oxford Road station. The Guy Fawkes pub is also right across the street — it’s an interesting pub as it’s the birthplace of Guy Fawkes and has a really really relaxing ambience.
You can climb to the top of York Minister for £14 as a student — only £4 on top of the museum entry. I know it sounds like a lot, but this view. You climb up 275 spiral steps – it’s not the easiest of climbs, especially if you’re afraid of heights, stairs (which I am), or not in the best shape, but you can see all of York and beyond at the top. Breath-taking (and I’m not talking about the stairs this time)!
This was on the walls that still surround much of York. It was dusk and right before we headed home. They have lights along the walls though I believe they stretch nearly 2 miles across the city. I really like that they didn’t tear these down — it just made the city feel so medieval!
I have lots of work to power through these next two weeks as my lectures end mid-November, BUT right after my last lecture I am headed off to Budapest for a few days! I’ve never been to continental Europe before and I can hardly contain my excitement!