From India to the unknown: settling in as an international student at Manchester

Kartik Oberoi.Kartik Oberoi is an international student on the BSc Biomedical Sciences course at Manchester. Here, he talks about what it was like to move to the UK from India, and how he settled into university life.

Choosing a course was difficult for me, as I didn’t feel like I was passionate about anything.

After a month of pondering and overthinking, I settled on biomedical sciences because it is a broad course that gives me the freedom to study several areas within the topic that I am interested in.

Once I chose a course, selecting The University of Manchester was an easy decision. Manchester is highly ranked for biosciences and has one of the highest graduate employability rates in the country.

Moreover, Manchester is famous for its culture, music, football, nightlife and so much more.

Moving away

Going to university can be a scary time for anyone. “Will I like my course? Will I like the city? Will I fit in?” All these questions raced through my mind in the months before starting university.

The experience seemed even scarier to me, as I am an international student. I had already realised that the UK was very different to my home country, India. The culture, the people, the food – they were miles apart.

I had visited the UK a few times before; however, I was concerned that visiting and living are two very different things. I had always been in the comfort of living in my hometown, New Delhi, and living at home with my parents and brother.

I had never cooked anything or done my own washing. I had to go from being in that sheltered lifestyle to an independent, self-sustaining one.

Getting social

I have always been a social and outgoing person. However, however there was still a part of me that was nervous about meeting new people and making friends.

I was afraid that being an international student might make me feel like an outsider. I really wanted to meet the right people who I would be comfortable with. I was nervous, scared, and excited, all at once.

However, in my first week in Manchester, I realised that most of my worries were for nothing. Everyone was extremely friendly, and I instantly made a great group of friends that I am still living with in third year.

Not once have I felt like an outsider, and the University has helped a lot. It has several helpful resources and societies that have helped me acclimatise to life in a different country.

So, the questions that were on my mind before the start of university were answered within the first month. The course is the right choice for me, I love the city and, most importantly, I fit in.

Learn more about studying biosciences at Manchester.

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