Freshers' Week is approaching which means hustle and a huge chaos in minds of young students. Here are some advices that you should keep in mind when settling in Manchester.
Apart from being active, you should also try to settle down during your first days. We suggest you try to unpack your things and equip your room as early as possible. Later on, when the main activities begin, you do not need to worry about these things anymore. Make your room as cosy and comfortable as possible, it will help to make the transfer period smoother.
Get everything you need
Some things are necessary to buy when you move to the UK. For instance, opening a local bank account or buying a new SIM card could save you a lot of money. Further to that, some procedures (i.e. getting National Insurance Number if you want to do part-time work here) require you to have UK number. We suggest you look for online banks, e.g. Revolut or Monzo, as they are cheaper and more comfortable. You could read more about it here.
Think about documentation that you might want to settle. Whether it means obtaining your healthcare insurance at home, signing dormitory contract, signing some papers for university or applying for deferment from military service. You need to sort these things out as soon as possible to avoid any fees or problems at home!
This might seem like a typical suggestion, but you will be surprised how many people actually neglect to do this (including me when I was a fresher). Take part in your course-related activities, socials or events organised by the SU. Try to be part of university life and make be social as early as possible, this may help you to settle down and feel more comfortable in the new place. And yes, being social does not necessarily mean drinking and hanging out. You could just take part in a pub quiz, debates or coffee and tea social organised by your course mates.
Get to know people around you
Connections are important. Making new friends will help to reduce the feeling of loneliness and get more familiar with Manchester. Coming to events and meeting new people is important. I am sure there are numerous different events for you (i.e. socials for international students, socials for students from your course etc). You could also buy some wine with cheese and get to know your housemates or people living in your dorms – they will be your companions for the whole year.
Join as many societies as you want
One of the most popular freshers’ events is Societies Fair where almost all societies and clubs introduce themselves. This is a chance for you to find people with similar interests or maybe try new things (i.e. Hiking, Baking or Quidditch?). We encourage you to sing up for as many societies as you want as you can then attend first meetings and decide which societies interest you the most. NB! From this year onwards, every student can take part in first society meetings for free, especially when it comes to societies with paid memberships. Use the chance!
Do not hesitate to ask
Seriously, staff members and students who organise Welcome Week are the most helpful people you could possibly meet. They know what you feel and how confused you may be, so they will do everything they can to help you out. Whenever you have a question or want to ask for directions, do not hesitate to approach someone around you. There will also be people with Ask Me badges everywhere on campus who are meant to help students like you.
Get yourself a free pizza
Freshers’ Week in Manchester means free pizzas! Every first week of the academic year, Domino’s is handing out bags with coupons on Oxford Road that can get you one free Margherita or Pepperoni pizza. Of course, you would need to stay in a queue as there are plenty of hungry students around you. But this is totally worth it!