After a whirlwind 5 months I have now been home in Adelaide for 3 days. Looking back on my time in Manchester leaves me feeling happy and sad, so happy it happened, but so sad it’s over. Manchester was such an incredible experience which I will never forget.
The last few weeks at MMU were stressful to say the least, lots of work due but also lots of social events. I found the MMU workload to be a little intense at first but then I settled into it, it definitely did push me though and I feel like I learnt a lot from my time there. The work consisted of making a coat and finishing four portfolios, all really rewarding assignments. I also managed to score some 9 pound tickets to Porto so did a solo weekend trip! That trip was incredible, and with the accommodation costing me 10 euro per night, it was definitely one of the cheapest trips I’ve done.
I feel as though my time overseas has definitely heightened my confidence, even with things such as solo travel. I never would have thought I could live overseas for 5 months, let alone solo travel Greece and Portugal! But this trip has shown me that pretty much anything is possible, as cliché as that sounds.
It is so nice to know that Manchester will always be a part of my life and I will always feel as though it is home. Saying goodbye to people was probably the hardest part of leaving. So many great friends and they all live on the opposite side of the world, but it’s just an excuse to go on more holidays I guess! I also loved when my parents came over in my last week in Manchester, I was able to show them around and take them to my favourite restaurants and bars, as well as explore Manchester a bit more with them. The sense of independence that came with living overseas was definitely something I got used to, and I already feel a bit weird being back in Adelaide and living with my parents again.
Even though I have only been back in Adelaide for a few days I am deeply missing my life in Manchester. I have made some incredible friends in an incredible place and it was so hard to leave that life behind. I am so happy I pushed myself to go on exchange and feel as though it has been a real turning point in my life. I miss Manchester but am excited for my third and final year of university in Adelaide. Good things to come.
Til next time Manchester.
Grace Kandelaars, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Fashion) student, went on outbound exchange to Manchester Metropolitan University for S2, 2018.