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Courses

Exchange Report 2007 Manchester Business School

    Exchange Report

    Winter 2007

    ----- Manchester Business School

    Prepared by: Jingqian Li (Lindy) thYear: 4 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.

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