Manchester – the global city

By Luna Sickau, Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany

When you’re going abroad, you always inform yourself about the place which is your home for a couple of month. You may google it, check the wikipedia entry or ask your friends and family. You may also visit the city before you’re even decide to apply for a university exchange. But you’ll never know if you made the right choice before you start living in the city and start to live a daily life there. If you’re reading this and already know that you will come to Manchester – CONGRATULATIONS! You made the right choice.

My name is Luna, a 21-year-old girl from Düsseldorf (Germany) and decided to come to the University of Manchester before finishing my bachelor class of Social Science at home. I fell in love with this amazing city one year ago, when I made in internship in Manchester for a month in the summer of 2017.

Now, more than a year later I am finally back and able to experience Manchester for half a year. I am living in a private flat, shared with international students (I would always recommend staying in a private house rather than living in a small and expensive student accommodation) and I want to give some insights of my daily life and the tell you how it is to be a part of this vibrating city – the city of Manchester.

Manchester is a colourful and busy city with endless opportunities and places to go. Since the day of my arrival, I felt welcome, accepted and appreciated. You’re never alone and even if you feel so, there are so many places to go (in Uni and everywhere else in the city). The people here are friendly, open and helpful (even though I was a bit confused that the bus driver called me ‘love’ on the first day).

The organisation of the University was brilliant, I already got loads of information at home and the welcome week is a must for everyone who’s coming over for their studies. Luckily, I found my two besties on the first day of the welcome week during a campus tour and we started to go to events and parties during freshers week. After spending the first days (and nights) in the city, you’ll get to know other students and the most popular places to go. Even if you experienced the freshers flu week (week 2), it is easy to catch up with your courses and the teachers and tutors are willing to help students if there are individual problems. At the beginning I was a bit confused because of my timetable (as I didn’t have as many courses as I normally have at home), but the workload might be higher than at home and before the first due dates after reading week, you’re happy to have enough time to focus on essays and catching up with readings.

Enough of first impressions – the next post will have loads of photos and tips where to go and what to do. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME IN MANCHESTER!

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Northern Quarter

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St Peters Square

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University in September

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The University of Manchester

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Oxford Road

All photos made by myself, please do not copy or use.

Time of your life.

By Chiara, University “Federico II”, Italy

 

When I went to the airport with my friend, a couple of nights ago, I later took a taxi to go back home. It was six in the morning and not at all near dawn, and the car followed the same route of the taxi that got me home for the first time, five months ago. I remember my past self looking out of the window and wondering whether my new house would look the same as the ones I was seeing passing by, all red bricks and round edges.

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A month before that, I was looking at the city on a map, trying to imagine what my life – what everything would be like. It all feels like centuries have passed, as if I were a completely different person from when I began.

To be honest, I think I am. And that’s what makes going home so scary now.

Will I be the same as I am now? Will I go back to being what I was before? Will I remember the important things this city has taught me? Will I forget?

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Last night on Earth

By Chiara, University “Federico II”, Italy

 

As a child, I loved to travel at night. I loved to get up when it was dark outside and watch as the sky turned light blue then gray then pink and gold. It felt like an adventure, and as if my excitement couldn’t be contained by a normal night’s sleep.

This kind of travels were rare, but I still woke up before dawn on some other special occasions; I remember doing this on my tenth birthday, and before school trips, and after my last high school exam. Watching the sun go up would make me feel so calm and peaceful and at the same time impatient to see what the new day would bring me.

Sometimes I would not even go to sleep: I would stay awake all night until the sun rose. Some of these nights are the best memories I have in my life, moments in which time seemed to stop and the night stretch on forever, then bursting in the blinding light of a new day. I call these moments my ‘last nights on Earth’, maybe because it feels like leaving something behind, maybe because it feels like beginning anew again. Tonight is both.

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Travel First: In which I Make The Most Of Being In The Northern Hemisphere

Author: Michaella//University of Auckland//New Zealand

Hello lovely readers! Long time no see! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and an even better New Years. It’s crazy knowing that I’ve started 2018 in a country that isn’t New Zealand – it’s even crazier knowing that I’ve got three weeks until I have to fly home! Back to that little corner of the world to a country that some people don’t believe actually exists. However, before that happens I made sure that I got to have a good taste of the countries surrounding England, those countries being France, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland.

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Just like time travel

By Chiara, University “Federico II”, Italy

One week from today I’m going home.

I spent 92 days in this country. In seven days I’ll be seeing my family again. Yesterday I took one of my final exams. Two days ago my roommates left our house forever.

Let it sink in: it’s Christmas in less than two weeks. I made it to week 12. Three months ago I didn’t think I would make it to week 3.

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A Month Left

As I sit in Kro Bar, a cozy restaurant/bar that has easily become one of my favourite spots in Manchester, two men sit down at the end of the table next to me.  My interest was piqued at the mention of research grants.  It appears to be an interview about some type of research job.  There’s a mention of biology, biophysics, gene regulation, cancer, cell behaviour.  The older man starts talking about what his lab at Yale is like.  I listen to their conversation, unable not to.

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The International Society: How I’ve Gotten To Know The UK

Author: Michaella//University of Auckland//New Zealand

Hello lovely readers! I can’t believe that I have been in the UK for almost two whole months now! The time has flown by so quickly, I’m already beginning to feel a little sad about having to leave in January. However, this time has definitely not been wasted. When I first arrived in Manchester I was introduced to the International Society, a group dedicated to sharing and learning about cultures from all around the world. Through the International Society I have been been able to explore the UK, learn about different cultures, and make friends. So, for anyone reading this who is thinking of coming to Manchester in the future, or is an international student who is already here, join the club!! Not tempted? Well maybe you will be when I tell you about the trips I’ve gone on through the society (trips that occur every weekend, so you’re spoilt for choice friends!)

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British Property Law: How to Define a Valid Trust

One of the more startling aspects of studying abroad was learning that British students at the University of Manchester Faculty of Law begin studying trusts before general real estate in introductory property law courses. As a Canadian law student, ‘Trusts’ and ‘Wills and Estates’ are taught as advanced level upper year courses, which are not touched upon in the 1L program. I am personally intending to take the ‘Trusts’ course in my final semester of 3L. As a result, I’ve had to catch up a bit with the British program!

Roughly speaking, a trust is property transferred to a trustee that is ‘on trust’ for beneficiaries. This is distinct from a gift, which is property transferred absolutely to a donee, and also unique from a power of appointment, where property is transferred to a trustee but the donee of the power of appointment is given the power to select who should receive the property. These concepts are all virtually identical in Canadian law.

To break down these concepts even further, a trustee can choose to distribute their property through a fixed trust or a discretionary trust (where the beneficial class is certain but trustees have discretion as to individual beneficiaries and/or beneficial shares). Most importantly, whether or not a trust is fixed or discretionary, it can only be valid when the following criteria are met:

  1. There is certainty of intention to create a trust;
  2. There is certainty of subject matter; and
  3. There are certainty of objects.

The seminal British case dealing with the concept of validity is Knight v Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148. In this case, there was an attempt made to dispose of a large amount of property via trusts and wills. The significant phrase used was: “I trust to the liberality of my successors to reward any others of my old servants and tenants according to the deserts, and to their justice in continuing the estates in the male succession, according to the will of the founder of my family, my above-named grandfather Richard Knight.”

The question for the courts was whether this was a will, a general statement, or a power of appointment. The phrase “I trust” was pivotal: was this a casual “I expect them to do so …” or significant enough to create a valid trust? While the testator was expecting successors to be liberal and just when rewarding his old servants and tenants, this is a call to moral justice. But does a call to moral justice create an obligation to leave property down the male lineage and/or give money to past employees?

Lord Langdale specified that the three certainties needed to be judged objectively according to the language of the document. He emphasized that courts should not intervene in order to make a will for a testator  if they had not been clear in doing so themselves. In simpler terms, the testator was not clear in his intentions – and the courts should not read his mind. It is a testator’s obligation to set out his mind in a will, which was emphasized again in the recent case of McPhail v Doulton [1971] AC 424 by Lord Wilberforce, who noted that a trust will only be valid if it is practically certain what the settlor wanted to do.

This brings us to the next general question: are words imperative?

It’s important to note that in British law, trusts can be created without using words at all, which are a subset of trusts known as implied trusts. Re Kayford Ltd [1975] 1 WLR 279 [Kayford] is authority for the proposition that the word ‘trust’ is not needed to create a valid trust: courts are allowed to look to the intention of the parties rather than the form of the document. In Kayford, a mail order company was in financial difficulty. A separate bank account had been created to deposit money for customers whose goods hadn’t been used; the main question of the case revolved around whether the money in the bank account was the assets of the creditors, post-insolvency, or the original customers.

In Kayford, even though the formal word ‘trust’ was not used, the conduct of the parties was clear. A valid trust had been created. Due to the presence of a separate bank account, the customers were able to get their money back: actions spoke louder than words.

However, the British case law is somewhat muddled on this point. Alternately, in Re Snowden (Deceased) [1979] 2 All ER 172, an elderly lady left property to her brother in her will, stating that he would know what to do with it. The court found that there was no obligation imposed to create a trust – instead, this was an absolute gift. Although there was a moral obligation on the brother, a moral obligation is not enough to create a legal or fiduciary one.

Similarly, in Jones v Lock [1865] LR 1 Ch App 25, a father placed a cheque for his infant son in his safe. While he made an appointment to see a solicitor to change his will so that his infant son would receive his money upon his death, he died before actually changing the will. Unfortunately for the child, the courts held that there was no intention to create a trust. While it was self-evident that the father intended the son to receive his property, simply putting the cheque into a safe did not manifest the intention that he was holding property as a trustee for his son. The justification for this decision stems from a policy argument: the courts argued that it would create a dangerous precedent should a valid trust have been found.

Looking forward to learning more in the final two months of the semester!

Cheers,

Tamie Dolny