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					Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




Exchange Report
Winter 2007

        ----- Manchester Business School




                            Prepared by: Jingqian Li (Lindy)
                                    Year: 4th iBBA
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




COURSES

Were you able to enroll in the courses that you wanted? Was this difficult to do? What
advice would you offer to next year‟s students regarding registration? How would you
compare the courses at your Host University with those of Schulich School of Business?
Are the courses more or less difficult? Is the workload heavier? What is the academic
focus of your Host University?

Registration Process

The enrollment system at the
Manchester Business School is
very systematic and convenient.
During Orientation day, student
services provide us with a set
package of all the information
regarding the courses and
enrollment codes. We simply had
to follow the instructions given
to register with the University
and type in the course codes to
enroll. The administration was
very accommodating and helpful
towards the exchange students
whether it was switching to
classes      that     required     a
prerequisite or enrolling into
lectures or tutorials that were already full. I do not have too much advice to give in terms
of registration, as it was an easy and painless process. It was literally done in ten minutes
on the day of Orientation given however, that you have already picked out the courses
you wish to take.

Course Comparison to Schulich (difficulty & work load)

The selection of courses for MBS exchange students is somewhat limited as they are all
business and non-accounting related. However within the limited list, the spectrum of
fields is quite large ranging from human resources management, strategy to diversity
issues in the workplace. The breakdown of each course when compared with Schulich
courses is quite different as usually their evaluation is solely based on 100% final exams.
Consequently, there are no assignments or other types of formal evaluation throughout
the course of the semester. In my case, I completed six courses during the semester and
had to write six 100% exams. However, there are certainly some courses that included a
final project such as some finance courses. (I recommend students to visit the official
MBS website to obtain updated course descriptions and breakdowns as they are subject to
changes each year).
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




In terms of the level of difficulty, I felt that they were somewhat easier than Schulich
courses. In many of the 2000 level courses, the knowledge and concepts taught were
equivalent of first year Schulich courses. In addition, depending on the courses you wish
to choose (as for some there are essentially no assignments and projects throughout the
semester), the academic load on an everyday basis is significantly less than that of
Schulich. This requires effective time management skills because students need to have
an organized schedule of their studies. It is not recommended that they leave everything
to the last minute as the amount of information that need to be learnt and mastered will be
overwhelming.

Focus
The host University is the University of Manchester. Just like any other large University,
it specializes in a wide spectrum of academic fields such as business, sciences, arts and
etc. MBS is part of its business focus. The undergraduate MBS program focuses on the
areas of Management, Accounting & Finance, and business.


TEACHING

Is the style of teaching dramatically different from that at Schulich? Is the material
covered at a similar speed, depth or volume compared to Schulich? What do you think
about the quality of teaching? What style of teaching is used most often – seminars,
lectures, case study, and projects? How much class participation is involved?

Overall the quality of courses at
MBS is high and effective for
learning. The style of teaching is not
very much different form that at
Schulich. All courses are taught in
English. The professors generally
use PowerPoint as their main
medium for teaching as it is also
widely used in Schulich. The speed,
volume and depth are quite similar
compared      to    Schulich.     The
professors prepare clearly outlined
agenda for each lecture and provide a
copy of their lecture notes to the
students before the lecture starts.
This way students can take notes during the lecture (These notes are also posted on
WebCT after each lecture in case anyone was absent).

The size of lectures is generally larger than Schulich, typically ranging from 100 – 200
students. Therefore as with any large class, there are minimum interactions between
students and the professor during the lecture. It is usually not acceptable to ask questions
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School


during class. However, during the break the professor would welcome any feedback,
comments or questions.

Usually these lectures also have tutorials where there are 20 – 50 students for one tutorial
section. This provides the room for interaction between students and with the tutorial
leader. Similar to Schulich tutorials, students as asked to apply the knowledge and skills
they learned from the lecture into real life case studies to further strengthen their
understanding of the topics. The tutorial leaders (TA) are generally very helpful in terms
of answering questions and reemphasizing ideas.

As mentioned in the previous sections, there are generally no assignments or projects.
Case studies are used during tutorials, where there are more interactions between the
students and the TA through questions and open discussions.



ORIENTATION

Describe the orientation program at the Host University. How long was the program?
Does the host arrange airport pick up?

The orientation program at MBS was a 2 days event. During the morning of the first day,
various Professors and the program director presented a slideshow about living in
Manchester, academic standards, procedures and as well as the facilities. Lunchtime we
were provided the opportunity to mix and mingle with all the staff and other exchange
students. In the afternoon all the students registered with the school with the help of the
staff and also enrolled in their courses. The night event at a local bar/club was organized
by the International society at MBS where all the exchange students socialized and were
introduced to the Manchester nightlight.

The second day consisted mainly of a walking tour of Manchester. We went as a big
group and were guided by leaders of the International Society. This event was very fun
and helpful for us who wanted to get more familiar with the city. It is important to know
where things are such as the shopping centres, libraries, campus facilities and etc.

Overall the orientation was quite enjoyable and a great opportunity to get to know the
other students and making contacts with them at an early start.

Unfortunately for incoming winter semester exchange students the school does not
arrange airport pickup. However, cabs are available and the airport is really only a 10
minutes drive to fallowfield (main student residence).
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




LANGUAGE COURSES

Are there any language courses available? Are the courses beneficial? When do the
courses start? Would you recommend other strategies for visiting exchange students to
learn more of the language before starting their exchange?

There are no language courses available as UK is an English speaking country. MBS only
offers business courses in English.


CAMPUS FACILITIES

What are the differences between York‟s campus and that of the Host University? Where
are the best places to study? Did you have access to computers? Should students bring
their own computers? Safety issues: Do the campus or surrounding areas feel safe? Is
there a program for women‟s safety?




York’s campus is a secluded and everything is together in one area. The campus at the
University of Manchester is scattered throughout the city, though the main facilities
(student union, MBS, etc) are quite closed to one another. However there are lecture halls
near the town centre and ones that are closer towards the residences.

Computers are very accessible on campus and in the residence halls. There are computer
clusters everywhere. However, I would still recommend to bring your own laptops
because it is definitely more convenient to communicate with your family and friends in
the comfort of your own room.

The campus and the surrounding areas are quite safe, as it is mostly a student-based city.
Of course general safety concerns should always be kept in mind such as walking in pairs
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School


of groups late at night. Particularly coming home from the local bars and such, it is
always a good idea to have a friend to walk you home.


INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

Is there an international office devoted to helping international and exchange students? If
someone was particularly helpful, please note his or her name, telephone number and
address. What types of programs are organized for international students? What
programs or activities did you find the most rewarding? Is there a “buddy program” at
the Host University?

MBS has an international office devoted to helping international and exchange students.
The staffs are extremely friendly and helpful with academic and personal matters.

The programs organized by MBS’s international society generally consist of nights out
on the town in the local bars and nightclubs and comedy clubs. MBS International
Society does not organize trips. However, the international society for the Manchester
University does organize field trips to various UK cities and other countries in Europe
such as Amsterdam, Netherlands.

There is a buddy program at the Host University. You are paired up with a local student
before you even arrive so you can ask them any questions beforehand.

HOUSING FACILITIES

Does the Host University organize accommodation and is it adequate? If you had to
locate your own accommodation, how did you do this? Are telephones, laundry facilities,
cooking facilities provided? Are rooms quiet? Which are the best residences to apply
to? What is the distance between the housing accommodation and the university
campus? When was housing available? Did you stay in housing over holidays? Is there
a meal plan at the housing facility? What is the quality of the cafeteria food? Is food
expensive? Is eating-out expensive? How close are the grocery-shopping areas?

The Host University provides
and guarantees adequate
accommodation       for    all
exchange             students.
Telephones,           cooking
facilities, laundry facilities
are all available. Depending
on the students you end up
living with and the residence
halls, the noise levels may
range. The general residence
area is called fallowfield,
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School


which includes all the residence halls. This area is known to be extremely sociable and is
consequently quite noisy. There are halls that provide meal plans and others that are self-
catered. I would highly recommend self-catered halls because the catered food is not
something that Canadians would generally enjoy. It is usually consisted of potatoes, chips
and steamed vegetables. In addition, there is a set time in which you must go and get your
food. Consequently, if you have other obligations or are out of town, your food ticket
goes to waste. Self-catered halls on the other hand offer a lot of flexibility, as you can
choose what you eat, the amount and when you want it so that in case you are going away
you do not waste any food. In addition, the set up in self-catered halls are usually suite
styles, where you get to interact more with your flatmates and have better relationships
with them. Catered halls are usually set up on a floor-to-floor basis.

The best residences to apply to are Richmond Park, Oak house and the Tower. Richmond
Park is the most expensive because you actually get your own bathroom in your room,
which is very convenient. It is also very competitive to get in. Due to the high demand for
Richmond Park, I stayed in Oak house and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a self-catered
residence, 8 people flat. The cleaning ladies come in every week to clean up the kitchen
and bathrooms.

Food is not expensive, around the same price marks as in Toronto (with considerations of
currency conversions). Usually my weekly grocery cost is around 25 pounds, which is
just a bit over $50CDN. A very well established supermarket (Sainsbury) is just about 5-
10 minutes walk from the residence halls. Therefore it is very convenient for students to
do their grocery shopping. There are also many other grocery shopping areas on the way
to the University and downtown, which would require taking the bus.

Manchester has a ton of dining out places and restaurants with a diverse background of
food. They range from Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnam, Indian, Middle Easter and etc.
There is a mile long street on Oxford road (main city road) that is named the “Curry
Mile” as the entire area is saturated with Indian restaurants. Around the residences halls
there are many fast food places such as Krunchy Fried Chicken, Subway, Dominos,
Kebab King and etc. Eating-out as normally would in any country is a bit more
expensive. A normal dining out meal (in a restaurant) would be somewhere around 10
pounds, which is a bit over $20CDN. Fast food places are around 4-5 pounds.


COSTS/EXPENSES

Please give cost estimates that are as accurate as possible. Did you encounter any
unexpected costs? Remember to include how much you spent over a period of time, i.e.
rent/month for the term.
    - Accommodation
    - Textbooks
    - Local transportation
    - Food/groceries (is this more or less than Toronto?)
    - Entertainment
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




Accommodation: The prices for accommodation certainly differ depending on the
facilities and whether or not it is self-catered or catered. I would highly recommend to
visit the University’s accommodation website and get updated costs. The residence hall I
stayed with – Oak House is a self-catered residence in a flat style suite. The total cost for
the whole term was 1400 pounds, which is just a bit over $3000CDN. Other halls can be
more expensive, even if it is a self-catered hall such as Richmond Park where you can get
your own bathroom. The price for something like Richmond Park is around 1900 pounds.

Textbooks: For a majority of the courses that you will have to select, there are several
textbooks that you need to get for each course. Fortunately, most of these books you can
find in the libraries and check them out on either a normal loan (3 weeks) or short loan (1
week). However, if demand for the textbook is high then you will have to return it early,
as the library will call it back. Therefore as long as you keep up your readings on a
weekly basis then you should not have to buy the textbooks. For some courses however,
textbooks are not available. The bookstore is located right besides the MBS building. For
the semester I spent about 40 pounds, which is almost $100CDN on textbooks to cover
all of my 6 courses. Overall, textbooks are not a significant expense.

Local Transportation: public transportation is extremely convenient and affordable as
there are over 6 different private companies that run buses throughout the city. Though it
is possible to walk to your lectures, students usually take public transportation especially
when the weather is not as pleasant. The main providers include: Magic Bus, Mega bus,
Stagecoach, Finlands, etc. Generally students would purchase weekly passes that range
from 4-5 pounds for unlimited usage. This is much lesser than that of the TTC. One of
the best features about these bus services is that they literally run 24/7 and very
frequently. Therefore students coming home from downtown at 4am would not have to
call a cab and can simply hop on a magic bus, which would take them straight to
fallowfield (main residence area).
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




Food Groceries: Sainsbury, Tesco and Lido are among the largest grocery chains in the
UK. The prices are quite similar to that of Toronto, taken consideration of currency
conversions. Depending on the individual’s diet and eating habits, a week worth of
groceries including essentials (Milk, eggs, meat, bread, vegetables, juice, fruits, etc)
should cost around 25-30 pounds, which is about $60CDN. Lido is one of the discounted
grocery stores where the prices are a bit lower than Sainsbury and Tesco. However, their
selection varies from a day to day basis and can be limited sometimes and you would
have to end up going to one of the other stores to get what you want.

Entertainment: The social scene in Manchester
is a significant part of student life in the
University. There are literally countless number
of bars, clubs and hangout places around the
residence area and as well as downtown, where
the venues are more posh and expensive. There
are always places to go to on any given day of
the week. Many of the clubs and bars have
student nights where drinks are cheaper and
entrance is free. Most of the students would
attend these social night outs on a regular basis.
It is a great way to meet and get to know some
of the local students and to learn about their
culture. Depending on how many days the
individual goes out on, the number of drinks and
where to (as there are expensive and more
affordable places) 30 pounds a week should
cover most of the expenses. For most of the
downtown clubs, an entrance fee of 5-10 pounds is standard.

Other types of entertainment such as going to the movies or comedy clubs are all quite
affordable comparing with Toronto prices. A student movie ticket at the downtown
Colossus is 4 pounds that is just less than $10 CDN.

The famous Manchester Stadium is located near the old Trafford Centre and about a 30
minutes bus ride from fallowfield (main residence area). Going to football (soccer) games
can be expensive. Even with student-discounted tickets that you can purchase from the
student union, they can still range from 50 pounds and up. However, one cannot live in
Manchester and not go to a football game. It is definitely worth the money.
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School


STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

Did your Host University have a mandatory insurance plan for exchange students? Is
there a health care unit on campus? Did you have to pay anything to use the hospital or
student health clinic, if you used these facilities?

The Host University did not have a mandatory insurance plan for exchange students.
Therefore it is extremely important to make sure that you are covered by travel medical
insurance that can be obtained either by your travel agency or your family insurance
plans before going abroad. There are several health care units on campus; one located
within the main residence area and a few around the University. Once you arrive, it is
highly recommended that you register with the units right away as it does take sometime
and you would not want to deal with that while sick. These facilities including the
hospital do not require the students to pay. The system and processes are pretty similar to
that in Canada. There are also several pharmacies around the school and residence areas
so if you ever catch a cold or something minor, it is convenient. There are also gym
facilities and various exercise classes that students can sign up to keep a healthy life style
at very affordable prices.


SOCIAL EVENTS

What clubs or groups are good to join? Where are the best places to eat or the best
places to go for the weekend? Is it easy to expand your social network? Do exchange
students associate mostly with each other or domestic students?

The MBS International Society and the University of Manchester International Society
are definitely clubs that exchange students should join. They not only organize events and
activities but they also help to keep you updated with what is happening within the
campus through emails and facebook. MBS International Society is more focused
targeting exchange students that go to the business school, whereas the University of
Manchester International Society markets towards all exchange and international students
attending the University. Consequently, MBS International Society events are much
smaller and more local based. Some of the social events include gathering at bars/clubs,
comedy club night outs, and lunches/dinners for mix and mingles. These events provide
excellent opportunities for exchange students to interact with each other and to make long
lasting friendship from all over the world.
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




Above: exchange students at the final farewell party




Sports/Recreation
What sports/recreation facilities exist at the campus or nearby? What are the costs of
using these facilities? Are they accessible? What sports equipment should Schulich
Students take with them on exchange?

There are a variety of sports/recreation facilities on campus. Each residence is actually
equipped with recreation facilities that give students opportunities to socialize and to
relax. In these facilities, you can find pool tables, bars, squash courts, and various other
gaming machines. If you are a resident of the particular residence hall, then access should
be free as it would’ve been included in the residence package. The hours of operation are
usually from 8am-11pm throughout the week.

Additionally, there are a number of gyms equipped with swimming pools, tennis courts,
and workout rooms located on campus. Membership to these gyms is around 100 pounds
per semester. There are also other options, which include pay as you go or monthly
membership.

I feel that Schulich students do not need to bring any equipment with them as they can
obtain them at the University at a low cost.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sport.manchester.ac.uk/healthfitness/
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School




Study hours/field trips
What are the costs of going on excursions? Are they mandatory? What is their duration?

There are no mandatory excursions or field trips required by the MBS exchange program.
However, being in Europe, it is highly recommended that exchange students take
advantage of the convenient transportation available to travel and to visit different
countries. This usually can be done as a weekend trip. However, the three weeks long
Easter holiday vacation is definitely the best opportunity for an exciting “Eurotrip”. The
costs would vary based on where you stay (hotel vs. hostel) and the type of country you
are visiting. For example, Switzerland is one of the more expensive countries to visit. An
average lunch in Geneva would be priced around 30 Canadian. Eastern European
countries are less expensive.


What to bring
What are the 10 most important things to take with you?

    1. Laptop
           Very important for keeping in touch with friends and family
           It is also very good to take on trips with, especially when you travel for an
               extensive period of time (Easter break)
    2. Digital Camera
           One of the must-haves for going on exchange because you want to capture
               all the precious moments, places you’ve been to, new friends
    3. Winter jacket
           Winter in Manchester can be a bit cold. So make sure you bring a warm
               winter jacket
    4. Comfortable clothing
           Hoodies and sweatpants are a must for when you travel and even just
               attending lectures. People are usually very casual for classes.
    5. Warm shoes
           Again, winter in Manchester can get a bit cold so make sure you bring
               shoes that will keep you warm
    6. Umbrella
           Weather in Manchester changes very often, within hours. It is
               recommended that you have an umbrella on you at all times in case for
               sudden changes of weather.
    7. Europe Travel guide
           Since you will be planning many trips, it would be best to have a travel
               guide to take with you on the trips. I found it to be very useful while I was
               visiting different places
Exchange Report 2007 – Manchester Business School


    8. Open-mindedness
            Be open to try new things and make new friends
    9. Smile
            There may be tough times on exchange when you may feel alone or
                homesick. But remember always to keep a positive attitude and make the
                best out of the experience. Because it will end before you realize.
    10. Credit card
            Make sure you save up before going on exchange because travelling and
                living in a foreign environment in general will be a lot more expensive
                than living at home.



General Impressions

If someone asked you to give a „snapshot‟ of your time abroad, what would it look like –
how would you describe it? Remember all experiences are useful for prospective students
to read about.

Manchester is a very lively, student-based city, which makes campus life very fun and
fulfilling. You are always surrounded by students; both local and international. There will
be different social gatherings every night of the week. Therefore it is important that you
manage your time properly and do not go over-board. As we all know, soccer is very
popular in the UK. The Manchester United Stadium is just a 30 minutes bus ride away
from the residence halls. Attending a game is a must, as anyone who goes to Manchester
should attend one. Making new friendships is important as you will all need to travel
together throughout the semester. Through these travelling experiences, you will learn a
lot about the European cultures and its people. Needless to say, traveling is an important
part of the exchange experience.

Being abroad was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only do you learn so much
about other cultures, make new friendships but you also learn a lot about yourself, both
strengths and weaknesses. It is an opportunity for personal development. You will begin
to realize the real important things in life by re-evaluating the “old” life. I would say that
I became enlightened, which makes me feel more mature and more comfortable with who
I am.

				
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