By Julia Nazzareno, Paris School of Business, France
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to live in England because the culture and the Britishness fascinated me. As I grew up and visited the country a fair bit, I knew that I had to live here to truly experience the « British way of life ». So two years ago, when I was given the chance to study abroad as part of my school program, I put Manchester in my top priority list. Could there be a better dream for my younger self: come and study in England and on top of that in one of the best schools in the world ? Certainly not, and that is why I intend on making the most out of this opportunity.
In September 2018, my boyfriend and I took the plane from Paris and embarked on this adventure together. This was our first time leaving our family for longer than a few weeks which was both really scary yet exciting. I have always been very close to my parents which made the process of going away a lot harder than I had anticipated. Our generation usually dreams of having freedom but it is only when we are on our own that we realise we really need the support of our family.
When we arrived in Manchester, we were a bit disconcerted with the mix between very modern-new- looking buildings and the more authentic ones like Principal Hotel or John Ryland’s Library. This strange combination is at every corner of the streets which I thought was weird at first. However, through the process of getting accustomed to this new daily life, I found myself discovering so much about the city and the surroundings. Progressively, you forget about your homesickness and you start making Manchester your home. Every time I step foot in the campus, I am always amazed by the beauty of the main building that looks like Hogwarts. This kind of English architecture is mainly the reason why I love England so much. In France, we do not really have any ancient school premises like that, looking so traditional and authentic. But when you look at London, Oxford, Cambridge or Manchester, it instantly makes you want to study there and have the best of grades.
I feel so much like home or myself when I look at Manchester. The modern side of it keeps me integrated into the real world of business that I am pursuing in my studies but I can always count on the traditional brick buildings to bring me back to my passion for history and Britishness. The first few weeks were not easy because the English system is so different compared to the French one. I was certainly not used to having only ten hours of class a week and not knowing how to manage my remaining free time. However, after feeling homesick, lost and having a fair amount of tea, here I am on this new adventure, learning more about myself than ever and more about this city that I can now call home.
« Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart » – Confucius