The family of Anuj Bidve heard Kiaran Stapleton admit to killing their son at Manchester Crown Court this morning.
They said they made the journey from India to the UK because it was important for them to hear the plea in person at the plea and case management hearing.
In a statement released this morning, the family said: “This is the first time we have returned to the UK since Anuj was taken away from us on Boxing Day of last year, and the first time we have come face-to-face with the man charged with his murder, so clearly this is a very emotional and difficult time for us.
“We know there is tremendous amount of interest from the media both at home in India and here in the United Kingdom. As there will be a trial later this month, we cannot say anything further at this time and we would ask that the media respect both our privacy and the integrity of the court process.
"At the conclusion of the case, we will be happy to speak to the media. Thank you."
Kiaran Mark Stapleton, 21, of Ordsall, appeared before Manchester Crown Court charged with murder.
Stapleton pleaded not guilty for murder but entered a guilty plea to manslaughter for killing the Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23.
The prosecution has said it doesn't accept Stapleton's manslaughter plea and he will be tried for murder on June 25. The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.
Mr Bidve who was studying micro-electronics at Lancaster University was shot in the head at point-blank range in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.