What to do over the summer

So another (hopefully!) great year has reached its end and you’re ready for a well-deserved break. And while the summer is a great time to unwind, there are a range of opportunities that you can make use of to make your summer productive. Summer’s a good time to consider whether there are any new skills you’d like to learn. Since you don’t have any deadlines looming, go ahead and learn to play the guitar or attend the yoga classes you promised yourself you would once you had more time! If you’re in Manchester, have a look at the International Society’s timetable. Their events schedule is updated frequently, and they offer lessons including violin, hatha yoga and language classes over the summer, starting from June – go ahead, check it out!

If you’re unsure about committing to a class, why not have a look at all the events being held around Manchester? They range from art exhibitions at the Whitworth Art Gallery to Tai Chi lessons. From heritage to arts and wellbeing, there are a huge variety of options available to students and staff as well as the general public, many of them suitable for families too. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

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If you are feeling studious and need to borrow books during the summer, but will be away from Manchester, consider getting SCONUL Access to let you use libraries elsewhere. This is a nationwide scheme which allows University of Manchester students to borrow books from other libraries taking part. As an undergraduate student, you can get access to around 171 universities across the UK; postgrad and PhD students can access 167 and 190 respectively. Applying is free and easy – you just need your student card and University email address, and you never know when it might come in handy!

Summertime is also great for planning your forthcoming year at University, so take this time to explore your academic options. Why not login to your My Manchester account and explore your module choices through the ‘My Learning’ tab? Give these modules some thought and choose the ones best for you. If you are a final year student returning to University, use the summer to think of a possible dissertation topic; have a look at the MLE online resource ‘Dissertations: choosing your topic’ to find out what you should consider before settling on a topic.

You can even explore options beyond your course, and be experimental. For instance, you may decide that you want to learn a new language. The University Language Centre offers several language learning options, and if that’s something that interests you, why not enrol yourself on a language course while choosing your modules? Through the Language Experience for All Programme (LEAP), you can take up a language with your free choice module, or at a subsidised prices for students, if you don’t have any free credits. Languages offered this year included Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu, so there’s plenty of choice!

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If you need a break from thinking about studying, why not get away for a bit? As a fulltime student, you’re eligible for a 16-25 Railcard even if you’re over 25, and you can get a Young Person’s Coachcard too. Both save you a third off fares, with certain restrictions, while an NUS Extra card will get you 10% off Megabus fares. Further discount codes are often available online, so search a bit before buying, then enjoy your travel on the cheap!

When you finally come back to University for another fun year, make sure to re-register each year in good time on your student portal, accessed through MyManchester. Be sure to register before the deadline to avoid a late payment fee!

That said, we hope you have a wonderful summer break and come back to University well-rested and refreshed. Enjoy the holiday!

By Sheza and Kit from the Student Team

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