Federica Russo

Federica has moved to Manchester from Italy to study Human Resource Development (International Development).

On choosing my master’s at Manchester

Federica Russo

Prior to my master’s I was studying BA Interpreting and Communication at the IULM University of Milan. While translating NGOs and international organisations documents in my BA, I became passionate about development-related topic. I love working with people, and the Human Resource Development (HRD) profession perfectly fit my career aspirations. I chose Manchester because it offers an international perspective of HRD. Furthermore, the university also occupies a high position in the major world university rankings.

On my learning experience so far

In the first semester I only chose one elective module, so I am attending four classes. I do quite a lot of independent readings, so I spend around six hours per day studying.

I am particularly enjoying the fact that lecturers encourage group discussions. Even if we are studying online, I had to work on a group project for one of my modules and it has been amazing! I was able to meet people from different countries, but the very interesting thing is that we all have different backgrounds, so we can learn a lot from each other.

Since I come from a very different background, I had to do a lot of independent reading to acquire the knowledge I need to fully engage in discussions during classes. Furthermore, since in Italy the assessment method is very different, I also had to learn some academic writing tips and the Harvard referencing.

On my student experience

My student experience so far has been very positive. I was able to make friends, volunteer and participate in a society. Even if everything is online, if you are proactive and search for opportunities you can find them easily. Furthermore, the staff are always available to answer questions.

Manchester is a beautiful city, full of parks and interesting places. Unfortunately, because of COVID, I was not able to really do all the activities the city has to offer, but I’m thinking of staying another year after my graduation because I really like it.

On my accommodation

I am living in an ensuite room in private accommodation. Living in a house with other PGT students has been amazing. I immediately got on with my flatmates, and especially during these challenging times having friends has been important. 

On my extracurricular activities

I am volunteering with the “Friends of Platt Fields” every 3rd Sunday of the month. I am also part of the French Society and I am attending a conversational class organised by them every Tuesday.

On my experience as a non-UK student

I am an EU student during the Brexit process, and I am receiving a lot of support from the University staff. Regulations are changing fast, but the university has promptly given us the information we need in order to our rights in the UK. Furthermore, I had the occasion to participate in activities organised by the international society and meet other international students.

On my tips for other students moving to the UK

I was really anxious before moving to Manchester. I had never lived in the UK (or outside Italy) before, but I must admit that looking back, most of my fears were exaggerated.

The university supports students in a lot of way, from academic writing to rapid responses to emails. The student union and the societies help new students to meet people, and even if you are shy, especially when you meet other international students you just have to think that we are all in the same situation!

Sometimes it can be overwhelming being in a different country, but I think that at the University of Manchester there is always someone you can count on.

While preparing the departure, especially if you have never been to Manchester, I recommend joining several facebook groups and ask people about the different neighbourhoods.

Since the moment I moved to Manchester, I started drinking so much tea! You cannot refuse a cup of tea in the UK when someone offers you one…

On my plans for life after graduation

I think I will try to find a job in Manchester. I am regretting not having had the chance to fully integrate in the life of this city because of COVID, but I would definitely like to do that in the future. It is a vibrant, multicultural city, and I cannot way to see it in a ‘normal’ situation.

The University of Manchester have given me a broad perspective of HRD, so in the future I will definitely be working in an international and multicultural environment. I am already living this type of setting during the course, so I am confident I am acquiring all the right skills to be successful in my work life!

On my advice to future students

Do not be afraid to change your pattern. I was studying to become a simultaneous interpreter, but then I found this course and I truly understood what I want to do in my life. Just because your background is unconventional, it does not mean that you do not have the right skills to be successful. So be brave and demonstrate in your application how passionate you are!