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    Hi there,
    I am an Australian (sydney-sider) and are now planning to make a move to Manchester or Bristol for further PhD study (economics). Would be very appreciated some advice from either locals or international students on how the city/town feels.

    Some background: I have a decent job in Sydney now but felt life is not just this. The simple reason to choose those two are they are supposedly better than Sydney Uni (which I am confident that I can get in) and outside London (too big for me/family with young children). The aspects that I hope to know are:

    1. what is the main feature of the city? (eg. Sydney - good weather, beautiful harbour) I know both are university towns, but I wish to get a real feel. I have never been to either of them.
    2. Comparatively, which one is easier to find job in IT/computer (for my partner)?
    3. How is the school system there (reputatable primary school) - I know that we all follow national curriculum so guess not much difference?

    My plan is apply to both, and certainly depends on if I receive scholarship or not. But would be good to get some prior knowlege of both cities. Many thanks in advance!

    P.S. I posted this in both Uni of Manchester and Bristol just hope to get some full picture.
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    I'm a Mancunian, but heading to Bristol this year, so I could probably give a fair comparison of the two.

    One thing you could do is check the two wikipedia entries for each city, and that would give you a little overview of each, weather, climate, culture and stuff like that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol

    I couldn't say too much for now as I've only been to Bristol a few times, but here's a little information.

    Populations are pretty similar, with Manchester at around 500,000 and Bristol at 428,000, but obviously the Greater Manchester area has 2,500,000 people plus, and within easy reach of much of the North-West, a population base of 6,000,000+, so jobs are unlikely to be few and far between.

    The weather would most probably be better in Bristol, certainly warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and with the amount of green space near the centre, less likely to rain due to polluting particles being more sporadic.
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    Manchester would be easier to get job, has better schools and is probably a more complete city. But if London is too big for you, Manchester will be too.
    Bristol's weather may be marginally better, great city and is more reputable for economics so that is a pro of Bristol. You may enjoy living there more but it will be different to Sydney.
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    Manchester is 'northern' - main city growth was Industrial Revolution/19th Century era. Weather is colder/wetter than down south. Bigger than Bristol so you could spend alot of time travelling in/out to the suburbs. Handy for vacation travel to Scotland/Lake District/North Wales. Not handy for London.

    Bristol - South West but on excellent train/road to London. Georgian history (maritime) then usual 19th century expansion. Lots of new building going on/renovation of Docks area. Big 'arts' scene - theatre, music, cinema etc. IT is good - plus easy freeway link to Swindon/Reading/'M4 corridor' for other work ops.

    Neither city would have a big 'No' for me - I am an ex-Aussie who once lived in MCR and now studies (PhD) in BRIS but if having to make a choice - go for Bristol. Good areas to look for housing are Cotham, Clifton, Redland - handy for Uni of Bristol and easy to get to centre for shopping etc - good government schools in these areas too.

    Good Luck!
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    PS. One way of getting an idea of what each City looks like is to check out the Real Estate - see www.nestoria.co.uk as one example
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    I am sorry for my late "Thank-you" to you all - have been trying to meet a deadline of the scholarship.

    Returnmigrant - thank you for the suburb lists and the website for housing hunting.
    Leathercouch - yes, I think I tend to favor Bris a bit more although I can imagine it will be quite different from sydney...

    I will continue working on my application and suppose will wait and see who accept me. Maybe if only one, it will not be a too much difficult decision for me then.

    Thanks heaps!
 
 
 
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