I can tell you about my experience.
I was absolutely terrified by the manual transmission, mostly because of the 1st gear, if you don't coordinate the movement of clutch and gas the car will stop, that's on a petrol engine, that's why driving schools here all use diesel engines, they're easier for the guy who's learning, after you put the car on 1st gear you just need to release the clutch and the car will start moving.
However here most people have manual petrol cars, so while taking lessons with your instructor you're also learning at home with a relative using a different car, most instructors will tell you this is not good, you might end up confused, but actually it's good because after you get your license you will have to drive your family's car.
What I used to do after I got my license was to give the car more gas, release the clutch slowly while giving the car more gas than it's needed, this way the car will start moving, albeit this can be dangerous if you're driving a powerful car because it will go to 40/50Kmh in no time and this can be scary if you're just starting driving, but we had, and still have, a Fiat Stilo 1.2l, so there was no danger involved with that.
Eventually you will develop this skill and you will be able to start and drive a manual car absolutely hassle-free, it will take some time though.
I took 10 1h lessons with the driving school but they were using a diesel car and they didn't actually care about you learning how to drive, they just wanted to teach you the skills you nedded to pass the exam, then when you're by yourself you realize you can't actually neither drive nor, above all, park your car.
Now (I got my license in 2007) I have no problems with the transmission, I still have problems parking my car, but because the Stilo is designed in a way that you really don't see anything while parking, but while driving in my town the manual transmission still is a pain.