Work hard, play hard; the popular little phrase that all students should abide by. Whilst the student populace will spend a hefty chunk of their time with their heads in a textbook, the student experience should be more than just libraries, lectures and burning the midnight oil.
With friends to be made and a city to explore, the first few weeks of your course are often portrayed as a social extravaganza of trips out, evenings out, and generally enjoying your new surroundings. While this can be a fantastic element of the student lifestyle, not all students settle in so quickly or meet friends with the same interests right away, especially when trying to learn English.
If your first taste of studenthood doesn’t pass in a flurry of parties, activities and friendly faces, never fear, your social calendar just hasn’t adapted yet! Many colleges and universities offer unique events and trips to get like minded students together and introduce you to the local hotspots whilst in the company of your peers.
Whilst stereotypical student nights often depict students drinking dirty pints out of a glass the size of a large vase and then staggering down the high street dressed as smurfs, enjoying nightclubs and alcohol isn’t an essential student past time. Taking part in sports, cultural events and a whole range of unusual activities are just as popular as the local watering holes and are often available free or for a small student friendly fee.
A foray into the fair city of Manchester will unearth all sorts of little delights, a fact New College Manchester have embraced and brought to their students. With large museums covering science and industry, natural history and art and many smaller regional museums, Manchester well and truly has the cultural facet sorted! Not only are these fantastic places to while away a blustery afternoon (unfortunately in the North of England such glorious weather is common), they also welcome large groups such as the frequent trips organised by NCM.
If your tastes are a little more consumerist, trips to the opulent and huge Trafford Centre Shopping Centre are guaranteed to awe and walking tours around the city should have you feeling at home before you know it.
If your social calendar is still in need of a little replenishment there’s so much more Manchester has to offer! Nights out at the football are a regular Tuesday night excursion at NCM and a weekly conversation club is the perfect place to make new friends. Trips to exciting surrounding cities are also regular events and posters around campus should keep you up to date with all the latest NCM social events.
Those who like to mix and mingle should never underestimate the power of a student card, it really is a wondrous thing for your social activities! Websites such as student beans are stocked up with a range of chunky student discounts on activities, eating out and more with many popular restaurants and bars having designated student nights with generous discounts. Many high street stores and cinemas also have year round discounts, just flash that student card!
Manchester might be one of the UK’s biggest cities, but a short trip out of the centre will take you to some of Britain’s finest countryside. Castleton is well worth a visit and can be reached relatively quickly and cheaply by boarding the Manchester to Sheffield Hope Valley train line. Beautiful landscapes, quaint pubs and a selection of underground caverns make this a perfect day out for new found friends.
Finding your feet at a new college in a new city can be daunting enough without the added worry of fitting in but one of the advantages of college or university is the merging of so many interests and talents, everyone is in the same position and making friends often comes naturally to new students.
Still wondering what events you would like to get involved in? Just visit New College Manchester’s social activity guide, there’s so much to explore!