Meet the international student dreaming big in Manchester

Madi is an international student studying Theatre & Film at The University of Manchester. She has always dreamt of coming to the UK to study, and now she has been able to find her place in Manchester’s thriving arts and cultural scene.

Madi is a part of Universities UK International’s #WeAreInternational: Transforming Lives campaign, dedicated to highlighting the contributions international students are making to the UK and their communities during their studies here.

"I’ve always had a deep love for drama and film. It was just a case of where to study it" she said. The opportunities to engage with arts and culture on and off-campus in Manchester appealed to Madi, who has gone on to launch her own theatre company with a focus on bringing communities together, donating ticket proceeds to help local communities. Madi has been recognised for her achievements, being nominated for Best Director at the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

"Madi is an inspiration - she is a great example of someone knowing they wanted to do things differently, then taking the brave decision to study in a different country," said Paul Govey, Head of Student Marketing at The University of Manchester. "Manchester has been the perfect choice for her as she has also found a community that has embraced her and given her the freedom to explore her passions. She is a tour de force!"

I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity during my time here. Moving across the world isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it teaches you more about yourself than anything else could.

As well as making a big difference in their local communities and beyond, international students bring a £41 billion annual contribution to the UK, meaning on average, each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies in the UK is £58 million better off - equivalent to approximately £560 per citizen. In the North West alone, international students contribute £3.04bn to the regional economy.

Jamie Arrowsmith, Director of UUKi said: "It’s never felt more important to acknowledge the important contributions that international students make to their university and local communities, and to the UK more broadly. It’s not just about the economic side of it - international students give back through cultural exchange, volunteering, and so much more. We’re proud to be sharing their stories through the latest phase of the #WeAreInternational campaign."