It’s finally here – the day you move out. Your parent or guardian has you up and awake at an ungodly hour. They’re double-checking you’ve packed everything; toothbrush, chargers, passport – “have you definitely packed the cutlery set we bought you from B&M darling?” Your stomach is twisted with knots of excitement and nervousness and you definitely don’t want to admit that you’re kind of scared to be making such a big change. The grand city of Salford is on the horizon and it won’t be long until every day you’re strolling up and down the main campus between lectures and the Students’ Union or maybe even catching the 50 bus to our dazzling MediaCityUK campus.
Not every student’s daily routine is the same: some might put finding the best club on top of their to-do list whilst studying, but others may want to know the best spot to pick up some quirky vintage clothes. They might want to find the best cafe for student-friendly coffee prices but Instagram worthy aesthetics. However, when moving to a new city there are some places that may not be as unique and interesting – but are definitely essential to your student life. Here are six places in Salford and Manchester that you need to keep a note of.
1 – A big supermarket
When you come to university, it might be your first time in a while that you’ve had to cook for yourself. Luckily, if you have a decent supermarket nearby you can learn a few staple recipes to lean on throughout your university accommodation experience. On the 50 bus route into MediaCityUK, you can get off at Salford Shopping Centre which has a Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, and Iceland for cheap, student-friendly food shops. If you find yourself leaning towards going into Manchester City Centre there is a Co-op only 10 minutes away from our main campus and a Tesco Express outside Salford Central station which is one stop on from Salford Crescent. Here are the postcodes to put into Google Maps:
2 – Local cinema
I mention the 50 bus route a lot but considering it’s free for all Salford students between the main campus and MediaCityUK it is kind of worth the hype. Next door to MediaCityUK you will find the Lowry Outlet Mall which has a fantastic Vue Cinema. There are also plenty of great restaurants surrounding the Outlet Mall so you can plan a perfect cinema and food date-night for you and your new flatmates. If movie-going in Manchester City Centre is more appropriate for your routine, you can find an Odeon only 10 minutes from Deansgate train station or you can go all out and visit HOME to check out some classic cinema.
3 – GP
If you are moving quite far away from your regular general practitioners, it is important that you register with a GP close to the University so you can receive emergency care if needed. This is especially important if you have a chronic health condition such as asthma or diabetes. The NHS website has some great information on getting medical care as a student as well as a search tool to find your closest GP surgery. Here on our main campus, we have a medical centre on the third floor of our Maxwell Building which we recommend all students, especially ones living in Peel Park Quarter, to register with. Near our main campus, there is also Langworthy Road Medical Practice and Cornerstone Medical Practice. If you need walk-in support you can also visit the City Health Centre in Boots near the Manchester Arndale.
4 – Travelshop
Manchester is a great hub for public transport with our rail, tram and bus services that run throughout the county and give us great connections to plenty of cities, towns, and attractions. If you are a commuting student, it’s more than likely that you will be using some form of public transport to get to campus and you may be quite informed about season tickets and such.
However, even if you’re living near campus it’s important to know where to buy a travel pass or find out more information about getting around the city – you may need to regularly travel for a part-time job, work experience or even just for going out with friends!
The Transport for Greater Manchester website has a list of all of their ‘Travelshops’ where you can enquire about transport routes, season tickets and passes as well as pick up maps. One of the closest travelshops is the Piccadilly travelshop, as it is located in the city centre and not far from the bus interchange and Metrolink station from which you can make journeys to our main campus and MediaCityUK.
5 – Gym
It’s not exactly hard to find somewhere to start your fitness journey in Manchester and I have written a blog post full of places to visit to prove it. If you’re a person who just likes a standard gym visit, you’re in luck as a Salford student as we have a fantastic Sports Centre right on the main campus with a gym, pool and regular classes. The Sports Centre is only a short walk from the Students’ Union and you will most likely encounter it during Welcome Week as that’s where our Welcome Fair is held (a.k.a Freebies Galore).
If you are living in one of the Campus Living Villages accommodations, you’ll be happy to know both Peel Park Quarter and the John Lester and Eddie Coleman Courts have a free gym for tenants. If you’re not so close to campus or find yourself more likely to be in the city centre on a day off, there is a PureGym in both Salford Shopping Centre and also on Market Street near the Manchester Arndale – entry charges do differ for both however I personally recommend PureGym because there are no contracts and you can get student discount on memberships!
6 – Electronics repair shop
Did you know around 5,761 smartphone screens are broken every hour? I’d estimate at least 95% of them are students on a good night out 😂. All jokes aside, it’s important to take care of your electronic devices whilst staying away from home whether it’s your smartphone, tablet or laptop – especially if you’re more inclined to use one of these for making notes in lectures than writing them down.
Now I’m not here to try and sell some sort of device insurance to you (although it might be worth looking into it if you’re a self-confessed phone dropper), but I can point out some places near campus and in the city centre who will help you out if you’re ever in need of a laptop repair or phone screen fix. Cell-city in Salford Shopping Centre specialises in repairing laptops, mobiles and even smartphone accessories such as Apple Watches. They are open every day of the week and easy to get to on the number 50 bus route. Inside the Manchester Arndale, there is also a Currys PC World that will happily repair a wide range of appliances including TVs and computers.
If you find yourself still a bit unsure of how to get around the main campus, it’s worth booking yourself onto a campus tour during Welcome Week – you can find more information on our Welcome Week website. Always check back on Made in Salford as well to find out some of the hotspots of Manchester and Salford recommended by our very own students. Here are some for you to check out right now!