There are many reasons why international students love the University of Salford — the fact that it is the home of the warmest welcomes in the world is one of them. “It’s a lovely choice for international students,” affirms Perle Esmail from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who made her decision based on her brother’s positive experience.
This is a place where students will feel they belong. Salford, a city in Greater Manchester — just minutes away from bustling Manchester — is bursting at the seams with diverse cultures and vibrant people who are always up for a good time. After all, with an endless array of good food, great music, captivating art, inviting retail outlets, and heart-pumping athletics, who would want to stay home?
Having many fun things to do balances the broad range of learning that takes place here. Of course, its supportive community helps too. They ensure that when new students arrive — from near or far — they understand there’s no need to have it all figured out. They can join the International Foundation Year first while they figure out their next steps.
The foundation year was developed for international students who have yet to achieve the necessary qualifications to pursue an undergraduate degree. It prepares them for the next step by teaching basic English, subject-specific skills, and study skills needed to thrive at a UK university-level bachelor’s programme.
“The course made me feel more at home,” says Perle. “I didn’t feel lost whatsoever because I had the relevant support. Whenever you feel like you don’t understand anything, there’s always someone there to help you. There’s also a big emphasis on career services at Salford.”
Their guidance came in handy when Perle completed her BSc Business with Human Resource Management programme and began her job hunt. Today, she is a talent sourcer at TalkTalk — the UK’s leading value for money connectivity provider.
Placement years prepare students further. At the University of Salford, many undergraduate programmes offer students the chance to spend a year adding value to esteemed organisations, gaining real-world skills and getting paid for their hard work.
Anna Nguyenova is a prime example — the business student did just that at IBM. There, her role revolved around analysing finances, proposing and monitoring budgets, as well as collaborating with partners and executives. “I’ve gained interpersonal skills, as communication is very crucial when you’re working in a big team,” she says. “I’ve also developed my Microsoft Excel skills and gained analytical skills.”
Meanwhile, Zahra Alhumaidi — a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate — completed her placement at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital as a Biomedical Science Trainee. There, she learned the basics of good laboratory practice before processing patient samples, carrying out different diagnostic techniques for testing samples, and conducting quality control checks.
It was an eye-opening experience. “You get the knowledge you need by studying at university, but when you go on placement you learn a lot from the working environment,” she explains. Once she had completed her placement, Zahra — a first-class graduate — received The Institute of Biomedical Science President’s Prize.
More future-focused students achieve similar success at the University of Salford — some even impress industry leaders without having even taken on a placement. Take Greek graduate, Anestis Sitmalidis, for example. He was offered a job at the Salford Energy House testing facility just before completing his BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Cyber Security — which he credits for getting him to where he is today.
“What I enjoyed the most about my programme was the broad range of learning opportunities on offer, alongside the standard lectures,” he enthuses. “For example, I was often able to network with industry professionals, and this is exactly how I met the staff at the Energy House here at the university! I was able to showcase my abilities to them, and eventually, this led to a job offer!”
For two Aeronautical Engineering students — Abdul Rahman and Oliver Kanjoo-Parsons — what they learned in Salford lead to winning prestigious awards. Abdul won the Teddy Fielding Mini-Lecture Competition 2022 that is hosted by the Royal Aeronautical Society, whilst Oliver was selected into a group of 25 for the “EW Class of 2022.| The Electronic Weekly Bright Sparks Awards run in partnership with RS Components.
Both students were part of Salford Racing Society, a unique opportunity that allows students to build a racing car from scratch and race it against other university teams at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Formula Student competition held annually at Silverstone.
Salford Racing was crucial to their learning. Both students said it played an important role in them achieving the awards. “It’s fantastic that the knowledge, skills, and work ethic of these students is being recognised,” says Aidan Dunbar, Lead Technician at Maker Space and Faculty Advisor for Salford Racing. “It will be a shame to see them leave, and I’m sure they have bright futures ahead of them!”
It’s clear that for the ambitious, anything can happen at the University of Salford — they just need to use the resources that surround them. Many did last month at Global Week — a five-day event for students to get answers to their burning questions on employability, international cross cultures, and research in a global context.
A range of global organisations happily contributed to the week-long event, such as Dubai Food Safety Development, the NHS, Petroleum Technology Development Fund Nigeria, Sanam S4 India, Warsaw University of Technology, Lancashire County Cricket Club UK, Brabners, Solicitors UK, Sabz Solicitors, and The Candidate UK.
“The Global Week at the University of Salford was a week of inclusivity, networking, and enlightenment,” says MSc Biotechnology student Somdutta Ghosh. “I got to interact and meet people who had started off from the same exact place that we are in as international students. It made me feel like I belonged here at the University of Salford.”
Consider yourself warmly invited to find your place at the University of Salford too. Chances are, you wouldn’t want to leave once you have. Click here to register for updates so you can find out more.