Surrounded by England’s great industrial cities, Manchester is incredibly well-served by transport connections. The M6 speeds south to London and north towards Scotland and the Lake District, while the M62 cuts west to Liverpool and north-east to Leeds. Three trains an hour leave from London’s Euston Station, and Manchester Airport is just five miles from the city centre.
Manchester has the busiest bus route in Europe due to the number of universities on the Oxford Road corridor, with buses covering most of the city. Manchester’s new Metrolink trams offer a convenient and fun way to get around the centre and out into the suburbs. Mainline trains connect major areas of the city, too. BIMM Manchester itself is well connected to the rest of the city via public transport and there are bus stops located a few minutes’ walk from BIMM on Oxford Road, or if the train is more your style, you can access the College via Oxford Road station. But the most cost effective way to travel around Manchester is by bike – it’s very cyclist-friendly and accessible cycle lanes abound.
Food and drink
Eating out in Manchester is easy and always interesting, with a huge array of cuisines to match the diversity of the population. Gorilla’s a favourite for students, combining a venue with a late-night bar and some of the best breakfasts in the city to help you through your subsequent hangover. Tucked down a side street in the Northern Quarter, This & That is one of the area’s original curry cafes – no-frills but cheap and full of flavour – while Trof has an inviting rustic edge that lures the student creative types. Groceries too are easy to come by, with branches of all the major supermarket chains within a short walking distance of BIMM and the accommodation areas popular with students.
Where to shop
The Arndale Centre and The Trafford Centre both lure in fans of high-street shopping like moths to a flame, packing in hundreds of major stores behind their glass facades, whilst Deansgate offers high-end surroundings and price-tags to match. For more bohemian fare, head to The Triangle and the Northern Quarter, which brims with bookstores, record stores and retro stalls.
There are no halls of residence at BIMM Manchester, but we do have a whole host of resources available to help you to find accommodation that suits your needs. Whether you choose to live in a bedsit, a flat, a shared house or even on a part-board basis with a family, there’s plenty to choose from… although as Manchester is a university city, there’s always a heavy demand for student digs – so start your search early! The good news is that loads of private student accommodation options are within a ten minute walk or less of the BIMM Manchester campus, so check out MCR Student Village, Mansion Student, Student Castle, Prime Student Living and Unite Student Accommodation. Otherwise, there are online houseshare websites, such as Gumtree and Spare Room, or you can search for Facebook groups with names like ‘BIMM Manchester Freshers’ and post what you’re looking for. If it’s letting agencies and private landlords you’re after, try some online listing sites such as Accommodation For Students, Fish 4 Lettings, Find A Property and Latest Homes.
Manchester is often said to be one of the most cost effective places in the UK to be a student. With over 85,000 students living in the city, local businesses are falling over themselves to gain your custom, offering a whole host of lovely bargains in the process. If you’re trying to calculate a budget, it’s safe to allow around £360-£600 a month (including bills) for accommodation costs in student halls, or between £250-£350 a month (not including bills) for a house or flatshare. Then on top of that allocate around £50 a week for food and utilities, £20 for travel and £40+ for entertainment depending on your likes and budget.
If it’s a bargain you’re after, The National Union of Students (NUS) offers a range of exclusive discounts in high street shops, restaurants and online on sites such as Spotify. Check out the NUS Extra website and buy yourself a £12 student discount card which will quickly start paying for itself. Or else just get cheeky – it’s always worth asking for a student discount wherever you go, as lots of places will happily accept a Student ID Card.