Internships Abroad in Manchester

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Manchester

Manchester, the commercial and cultural capital of the northern U.K., is tucked neatly between far-reaching mountains and expansive plains. Rich history seeps through the victorian architecture, untouched cotton mills, and faded red brick facades. The home of famous football clubs and wonderful artistic outlets like opera, performing arts, and museums, interns in Manchester who loves sports and/or the arts will feel equally at home. Internships in Manchester are a good fit for a city-loving individual looking to find the perfect job placement for their cosmopolitan career.

Internships in Manchester

While not quite as populous or expansive as London, Manchester is a close second, offering internships in almost any industry you can think of. You can find many informative and engaging internships in Manchester’s famous sports industry, as well as in hospitality and engineering. If none of these industries tickle your fancy, not to worry. Many companies help you find an individually tailored internship in your field, whether it be communications, web design, or business administration. The world is within your reach in Manchester, you just have to decide where you want to work!

Sports. Manchester is widely known for having the best sports clubs, teams, coaches, and management agencies. Taking a sports internship in Manchester will give you a great introduction into the global sports industry while also setting you up with connections for life. Many companies have contacts with over 2,000 sporting organizations and are always excited to get you connected. Internships can be as short as four weeks or as long as a year. You can choose to work either part or full-time, depending on how much time you are looking to dedicate to the (sports) field. 

Hospitality. The hospitality industry is constantly seeking hard-working, customer-focused interns to staff their hotels. Opportunities for placement include reception/front desk, housekeeping, kitchen, and restaurant/bar. Many companies require interns to be at least 18 years old and to have a basic to intermediate level of written and oral English. Interns in Manchester can choose between six weeks to year-long programs. Keep in mind that some internships in the hospitality industry are reserved for undergraduate and graduate students with a valid student visa. 

Engineering. There is a strong engineering industry in Manchester seeking engineering students who have just graduated with their bachelor’s degree. No prior experience necessary! You will gain practical skills in engineering while applying what you just learned in university. Internships are available in many different aspects of engineering and can last anywhere between four months to a year. Engineering internships in Manchester are the perfect way to begin or continue your career in engineering.

Life in Manchester

Manchester, the third most visited city in the U.K., is a major metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester County, which is the second most populous urban area in the U.K. — perfect for international internships! Bordered by the Pennines Mountains and the Cheshire Plains, Manchester has mild summers and cool winters. Located 160 miles (a two hour train ride) away from London, interning in Manchester definitely means convenient access to the capital.

Best known for its two premier league football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, Manchester has no shortage of athletic events and sport enthusiasts. Visit Old Trafford to get up close and personal with the home of Manchester United and Etihad Stadium for the home of Manchester City. 

If football is not your cup of tea, Manchester will sweep you off your feet with its mixture of victorian and contemporary architecture. The widely used red bricks are highlighted by new, shining skyscrapers and surrounded by public squares and nature reserves. The city center is filled with designer shops and boutiques as far as the eye can see. Take a break from shopping and pop into one of Manchester’s numerous museums and galleries to learn a little more about art, history, and the U.K.! 

Nightlife as you intern in Manchester will be thriving, predominant, and have a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for a special night out, Manchester is known for its amazing opera, performing arts, and music. Top the night off by going to one of the numerous pubs, clubs, and bars located throughout the city.

Salaries & Costs

Internships abroad in Manchester are a mix of paid and unpaid opportunities frequently with additional benefits to make your life a little bit easier. The paid internship opportunities tend to be in the hospitality and engineering industries. Internships with hotels usually include free accommodations and meals in addition to a monthly stipend. Engineering positions typically offer competitive monthly salaries in order to draw interns to their companies. On the other hand, internships with the sports industry as well as many of the custom internship placements are unpaid. 

Oftentimes companies will compensate you in other ways while interning in Manchester, like helping you find a place to live, editing your resume, and supplying a local coordinator to help you throughout your internship. They will also frequently help with the visa process and occasionally offer medical insurance.

If the thought of taking an unpaid internship is making you panic, here’s the good news: Manchester is one of the cheapest places in the U.K. to live. You get the big metropolitan experience of London without paying the price! Unfortunately, this does not mean that Manchester is an extremely affordable or cheap place to live. Recently named Europe’s 11th most expensive city, you will have to plan and budget accordingly to make ends meet. That being said, it is possible to find a room in a shared apartment for approximately $500 a month plus utilities. If you work at it, you can make your dream internship in Manchester a reality. 

Accommodation & Visas

Most living arrangements in Manchester, with the exception of interning in the hospitality industry, require you to find your own housing. This means that the company will help you find a safe place or a safe neighborhood, but does not arrange anything for you. The most affordable living situation is to find a private or shared room in a shared apartment. There are a ton of students and interns living in Manchester who are also looking for someone to live with, so there is certainly no shortage of roommate options. Another option is to find an apartment by yourself, but it will likely be very small and expensive. If you are interning in the hospitality industry, they will typically provide you with a room in a shared apartment or house.

All internships in the U.K., whether paid or unpaid, require a visa. The most common type of visa for interns is the Tier 5 visa, or the temporary worker-international agreement visa. This visa requires sponsorship from the company you will be working for, and you cannot switch companies while remaining on the same visa. The process can take a couple of months and will typically allow you to stay for up to two years, but in certain cases, you can only stay for six months. Students can intern abroad with a Tier four student visa as long as at least 50 percent of their time is dedicated to school and no more than 50 percent of their time is spent at the internship/work placement. Visit GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more information.

Benefits & Challenges

Options. Watch out indecisive interns because Manchester is likely to overwhelm you with numerous options for everything you could ever want or need (in a good way!). Between picking the perfect internship and which pubs and exciting event to go to, there will certainly never be a dull moment. If you ever find yourself with a hankering for a specific kind of food, beer, or artistic performance, Manchester doesn’t disappoint. 

Fine Arts. Manchester may not be London, but it certainly has a corner on the market of fine arts. With art museums spread throughout the city and opera and theater performances on a daily basis, there is always something to feast your eyes upon. Be sure to save some time (and money) to attend as many of the beautiful, unique fine arts events as you can!

Cost. Balancing an unpaid internship with a decently expensive city can seem really daunting. But between the professional experience you will gain and the experiences you will have, finding a way to make the finances work is a small price to pay. Whether you save up money in advance or ensure that you find a company that pays its interns, there is a way to make it work. 

Taking on an internship in Manchester, a thriving northern hub of the U.K., will leave you wanting to come back for more. Manchester offers more internship options than are possible to list, leaving you room to explore and participate in the perfect internship for your career. Accept the challenge and take on an internship that will jumpstart your career and inspire you to make the most out of each and every day.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Manchester


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