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Online freshers events: Your guide to connecting remotely

Starting university is daunting enough without the prospect of having to do it from over a screen. And this will be the case for many students who are studying remotely this year.

The good news? You haven’t been forgotten by your peers, students’ union or university. There’s something for everyone online, just like there is on campus.

From virtual tours of Manchester, to crazy bingo, to even getting taught how to recognise a serial killer. The variety is wide and tailored to all kinds of interests. Here’s everything you need to know:

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union has prepared a selection of online events that cater to anyone and include all those who cannot make it to on campus socials. After kicking it off with a Virtual Welcome Fair and Escape Room, they didn’t stop there:

Society Expos – Studying from home doesn’t mean that you can’t join a society. This year our societies have taken to virtual platforms to show what they’re all about and how you can fit into their family. You will have the chance to explore what different societies have to offer and choose those that take your fancy. Free to attend. (1st October – 15th October)

Virtual Craft Corners – Whether you’re passionate about art or just fancy a fun chat with new people, this free event is for you. (28th September – 2nd October)

Fyreside: A Virtual Chat with Andy King – Ever heard about the infamous ghost festival that was documented through Netflix? Want to know more about how they pulled this off? This event is for you. Tickets cost £4. (29th September)

Bongo’s Bingo with Special Guests – The legendary Bongo’s Bingo goes virtual! Win prizes, listen to music, and have fun, all from the comfort of your own home. Tickets cost £5. (1st October)

How To Profile a Serial Killer – Whilst it doesn’t sound like the most upbeat of events, let’s face it: who isn’t fascinated by true crime documentaries and podcasts? If you are, this online lecture with Dr. Glenn Wilson is for you. Tickets cost £4. (3rd October)

Live Q&A With Advice – Worried about starting university or coping during a pandemic? Bring your questions along to these sessions run by the Welfare and Community Officer at the Students’ Union, and the Advice service. (6th and 7th October)

International Society

Many of you will be international students who haven’t had the chance to visit Manchester yet, or who have and just miss it like mad.

international society social event

Photo: Linda Teo @ International Society

But International Society director Alex D’Netto reassured us they are continuing engagement with all students, whether they are on or off campus.

“Coming to university is an exciting time for all students and despite the current pandemic, we would still very much like to ensure that students feel welcomed and are able to meet and make new friends,” he said.

“The best memories of uni are always the ones shared with friends. The International Society has over 6500 members yearly from 130 different countries and this year we are still here to help you do that by organising a range of welcome events and weekly socials both online and face to face.”

Here’s what the International Society has to offer:

Virtual Tour of Manchester – Studying from home doesn’t mean you can’t get to know the city of Manchester and all the history, art, and entertainment that comes with it. (30th September, 7th October & 14th October)

Meet the members: Q+A Workshop – The International Society has members from different universities in Manchester, so these workshops are great opportunities to seek advice and to get to know people from other cultures and nationalities. (28th & 29th September, 2nd October)

Online Friday Socials – The Friday socials go virtual this year! Join a session every Friday to make new friends and play games. This is a members only event; however, membership is currently free for all University of Manchester students. (Every Friday)

Online language & cultural exchange – This is a great opportunity to learn a new language or pick up some cool idioms by chatting to native speakers from all over the world. The sessions are for members only. (2nd October, 6th November & 4th December)

Online Book Club – Share what you’re reading with other members and get suggestions when you’re stuck for your next read. (13th October, 10th November & 8th December)

Manchester Media Group

Are you reading this article right now and wishing you could write your own? The Manchester Media Group will be holding their online Welcome Meetings throughout the first two weeks of October:

Mancunion Welcome Meetings – If your passion is student journalism and publishing then come along to one of The Mancunion’s welcome meetings to join your favourite section groups and start sharing your writing. (1st & 8th October)

UoM Living at Home

Finally, if organised events aren’t your thing and all you want is to meet new people and have a good chat, there’s a brand new Facebook group solely dedicated to at home students.

The important thing to remember is that there is no one true way to experience university. We all have a different story to tell when it comes to our time in Manchester. The pandemic is affecting everyone in one way or another, but it is still our right as students to enjoy our degrees and learn, both inside and outside of our lecture halls.

Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, International students, online events, remote learning

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