Omar from Saudi Arabia: 10 reasons why Manchester is the best student city 

From world-class food to unlimited entertainment, Manchester’s got it all. Welcome to one of the world’s top 10 friendliest cities (Rough Guides 2021). 

And if you’re an INTO student in Manchester like Omar from Saudi Arabia, all of this is right on your doorstep. Here, Omar shares his top 10 reasons why Manchester is the perfect place to be an international student in the UK.

1. Reputation 

“Manchester is known for being the United Kingdom’s second most important city (after London), with a strong industrial history. This city has also seen the Manchester Blitz, the splitting of the atom, and the birth of world-renowned architect Norman Foster.” 

As a student in Manchester, you’ll be following in the footsteps of many great scientists, politicians and artists – and you’ll find evidence of this history all over the city.

2. Diversity 

“Manchester has people from all over the world. With a large number of languages spoken, it proves to be one the world’s most diverse cities.” 

Omar is right – Manchester is said to be one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, with over 150 languages spoken by its inhabitants ( 2022). As an international student, this diversity (as well as the friendly locals!) is sure to make you feel at home.

3. Connections 

“Manchester is highly connected. With a three-terminal international airport, as well as bus and train routes, travelling anywhere in the world from Manchester is very convenient and easy! You can travel to London in approximately three hours, to Dublin for as little as £16, and to your home country – wherever that may be!”

4. Activities 

“There’s so much to do in any weather. If the weather is sunny, a day at a park such as Platt Fields Park, or a hike in the city’s outskirts (the Lake District) would be amazing. However, if it’s gloomy and rainy, hanging out at Manchester Arndale or The Trafford Centre – or even taking photographs of the gothic architecture all over the city – is perfect! Deansgate is a popular destination for lively nightlife too.”

5. Food  

“Finding your national cuisine or your favorite food will never be a challenge in Manchester! There’s a wide range of cuisines and restaurants all over the city. Check out the Curry Mile and Chinatown!” 

There’s nothing quite like a taste of home, so follow Omar’s advice and eat your way around Manchester’s incredible global food hotspots. There’s also a huge range of shops, stalls and supermarkets selling ingredients – so you can make your own too! 

6. All budgets 

“If you want to treat yourself and eat at fine dining restaurants, check out Rosso and San Carlo. If you prefer to eat on a budget, try restaurants like Franco Manca and supermarket lunch deals, or buy groceries and unleash your cooking skills. You can do it all in Manchester!” 

 7. Architecture 

“Manchester is home to one of the world’s top 5 architecture schools, Manchester School of Architecture (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024). This is reflected in diverse and world-class architecture all over the city, which features a satisfying contrast between the past and the present. Check out MediaCity and Central Library if you’re interested in architecture – and stay tuned for when our City Hall returns from undergoing renovations.” 

8. Careers 

“Manchester is not just a global student city. It is also the UK’s second largest city, which means that many corporations are present. This is great for students as it offers so many internship and future job opportunities for them.” 

Manchester is home to an endless list of global employers including Google, Adidas, Deloitte and the BBC – and that means endless opportunities for you. Many students choose to do internships and placements during their degree, meaning they’ll graduate ready to build their career in the City’s booming industrial sectors. 

9. Football 

“Manchester is also known for being home to two world-class football clubs: Manchester United and Manchester City! You can always watch a match or take a stadium tour. Moreover, the city turns crazy when a competition is won! You can also visit the new Manchester City store at Manchester Arndale and see the new Premier League cup which they recently won.” 

10. The worker bee 

“The worker bee is all over the city. Try to count the number of bees you spot the next time you’re out and about in Manchester.” 

The iconic worker bee has symbolized Manchester’s impressive work ethic and its ‘hive’ of activity for more than 150 years. The people of Manchester are known for their strength, passion and community spirit – and there’s always room for more! 

Want to experience the vibrant and exciting city of Manchester for yourself?

Choose one of a range of programs available at INTO Manchester, and you can see everything Manchester has to offer.

The University of Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan University
INTO Manchester

Find out more about INTO students’ favourite things to do in Manchester, as well as popular international supermarkets which are perfect for a taste of home. 

Alice Dunbar

Hi, I'm Alice and I'm one of the Senior Content Editors at INTO. I love how studying abroad brings different cultures and nationalities together, helping make the world a more exciting and compassionate place. In my spare time, I enjoy crafts, blogging, cooking, documentaries and singing along to musicals – loudly!

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