International students battle health problems amid struggles to cope with Manchester winter

International Students in Manchester have expressed their struggles in coping with the significant drop in temperature during the winter as they continue their transition to life in the UK.

A good number of international students of African descent are used to the warm temperatures that characterise the warm December and January months. These international students who are used to hot weather and dry climate especially Nigerians, are not finding it easy to cope with the weather in Manchester.

 “I do not like UK weather” Benjamin Nonso, (32), said;  “The cold is too much and it is affecting me, I am not finding it easy to cope with the weather as someone who has pneumonia”. When asked about how he has coping with the weather he said: “The coping method I adopted was not to expose my body to cold through wearing clothes and socks that will keep me warm all the time”.

The average temperature in Manchester is around 4.7°C in December while it averages around 4.5°C in January with a minimum of 1.8 in these months. Nigeria on the other hand would see temperatures of around 30°C in this same time period.

Some international students especially Nigerians studying in the United Kingdom have documented their struggles via their social media handles. This indicates that coping with UK weather is not easy.

Chimeze Success, (30) said: “I like UK weather but I do not like winter I prefer summer to winter the reasons why I do not like winter is because during winter season in I realized I kept having the flu as a result of the weather.”

The temperature changes have had an adverse effect on the health of students especially those with pre-existing conditions. For students like Chimezie who have had arthritis the weather conditions have only made things worse. He has had to rely on ointments to massage his foot in order to cope with the pain.

They also said they realised they spend more money on buying clothes and shoes that will keep them warm throughout this period, even though they did not plan to spend much on winter jackets and shoes.

Weather conditions are set to improve in the coming weeks and for students like Chimeze, it will be seen as good news as they continue to transition to life in the United Kingdom.

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