Are you interested in a international exchange while studying at Manchester Metropolitan university?
The International office is there to help you navigate the practical process of applying for an exchange abroad while the Departmental Exchange Coordinators are there to assist you with the academic side of choosing a programme suitable to your needs and interests.
Once you have decided which you route you prefer, depending on your choice, you will follow one of the two processes outlined below.
|English exchange coordinator||Helen Nicholson|
|History exchange coordinator|
|Politics exchange coordinator|
Philosophy exchange coordinator
|Spanish exchange coordinator||Idoya Puig|
|French exchange coordinator||Mathew Screech|
|Information and Communications exchange coordinator|
|Sociology exchange coordinator|
|Manchester Fashion Institute exchange coordinator|
|Architecture exchange coordinator||Sally Stone|
|Art Theory and Practice exchange coordinator||Beccy Kennedy|
|Fashion exchange coordinator||Robin Kerr|
|Fashion Art Direction exchange coordinator||Anze Ermenc|
|Film and Media Studies exchange coordinator||Helen List|
|Filmmaking exchange coordinator||Joseph Duffy|
|Fine Art exchange coordinator||Ian Hartshorne|
|Fine Art (Postgraduate) exchange coordinator||Ian Rawlinson|
|Illustration with Animation exchange coordinator||Ian McCullough|
|Interactive Arts exchange coordinator||Tim Brennan|
|Interior Design exchange coordinator||Simone Ridyard|
|Photography exchange coordinator||Jacqueline Butler|
|Textiles in Practice exchange coordinator||Sally Morfill|
|Three Dimensional Design exchange coordinator||CJ O’Neill|
View all Exchange Coordinators:
Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime; however, like any trip, it takes planning. The more preparation you do before you leave, the better chance of having an amazing experience you will have.
Being an international student can be difficult, especially as teaching practices and the general university environment can vary from country to country. It is vital that you find out the expectations for the subjects you will be studying, the town or city you will be in, and what you can do there. Mentioned below are points that may seem obvious, but these are often the most neglected areas when conducting research on where to go abroad:
It is important to make sure you know the university at which you will be studying so you can adjust quickly when you arrive. Pay attention to the style of the campus. For example, the MMU campus is spread out over urban Manchester. Some universities you may be considering could be smaller and in more rural locations. They may have more of a closed campus with almost everything from food to entertainment contained within university grounds. This could mean that student life is much more on-campus focused and you may have more difficulty accessing things outside of the university.
Accommodation is important as the exchange university you choose will be your home for the duration of your stay. You want to make sure you are happy with your choice.
Whilst familiarising yourself with the university, look at what there is to do, look at what services and extra circular activities are available. Studying abroad enhances your C.V. and it gives you valuable life experience. There may be opportunities to work or volunteer, either through the university or independent of it, which can improve your professional profile and/or provided some extra money to travel.
Having a group of friends and getting involved with activities can help immensely to enhance your experience and it also helps on the occasions you may be feeling home sick. Some students have found that joining social networks in advance of leaving can help with the process of settling in. Websites such as thirdyearabroad.com are great places to start as you can speak to people who have been away already or are in the same position as you.
Another major thing to consider is the country you will be studying in. Ensure that you prepare for its climate, its norms, and the laws that are enforced there. Some things that may be legal in the U.K. may not be the same for the country you are visiting. For example, in the USA, the legal drinking age is twenty-one. One of the points that past exchange students have noticed is that even in countries that are similar to the UK, there are social and cultural differences that can be difficult to adapt to. Take the time to look at the culture and familiarise yourself with things that are prevalent to the area you will be staying in.
Finally, in order to make sure you have the best opportunity to make the most of your trip, SAVE! Although you will still receive your student finance monies, it is advisable to save as much money as possible so that you can travel around and see as much as possible.
Although every experience is different, there are some things that almost every exchange student agrees on when it comes to being away.
Keep up to date with work:
If you keep up to date with your work it takes the pressure off when it comes to adjusting to life at another university. If you feel like you are struggling, it is vital that you speak to your tutors at the institution where you are studying as soon as possible. They can help signpost you to other university services.
It is imperative that you keep all your documents and paperwork safe. Make sure you put them somewhere where they are accessible should you need them. It is also advisable to make copies of important documents such as passports, visas, driver licenses etc. and keep these safe and separate from the originals so you have a spare copy should something happen. If you are eligible to work, make sure you keep any documents you get from your employer as you may have to fill out paperwork, including potentially tax forms, in the following year.
Keep in Touch:
It is normal for you to miss friends, family and being at home in general. However, with the technology available it is easy to reduce these factors by using applications such as Facebook, Skype and email. You should also stay in contact with tutors here at MMU and let them know if there are any problems or things with which you are struggling, especially if you are unsure or do not feel comfortable talking to someone at the exchange partner institution.
During your research, you should have been able to find out what things are available to do on and off campus. While you are away, try to get involved in as much as possible. Whether it involves sports teams, volunteering or any other clubs and socials. Try to get involved in different things as it allows you to build a network of friends that will prove invaluable both during and after your time in university.
Towards the end of your time away you will be looking forward to coming home, seeing all your friends and family again, and having those home comforts you have missed while you have been away. However, it can be difficult to adapt to life back in MMU and the UK. If the exchange university is very different to MMU, it can take time to adjust back into what is normal here. Speak to your tutors about your work and seek help and advice on how to get back into the swing of things.
Having studied abroad is becoming one of the most sought after things for employers and it is a growing credential that separates you from the other graduates. Speaking to the Careers and Employability Service when you return can be very useful for thinking about how to best incorporate your experience into your career directions.