After I decided to go to Newcastle University, everything went relatively quickly and without any problems. The application takes place online and the most time-consuming task is actually to organize two letters of recommendation and write a letter of motivation. But that actually applies to all applications.
The only thing that really annoyed me was that my IELTS test had expired by a month and despite all attempts (certificate from a semester abroad etc.) it was no longer recognized and I had to take the test again.
I chose Newcastle University because of its good reputation and I really don’t regret the decision. It is well organized, everything runs like clockwork and the lecturers are really skilled and consistently good. On the introductory days, all open issues or inconsistencies are clarified and otherwise there are umpteen contact persons for all possible topics. There are tons of offers for students, from clubs (sports) and societies to excursions and other activities.
I was surprised by the high proportion of international students in all Master’s programs. My course ranges from Bulgaria, Nigeria, Russia, Spain to America, Canada, Japan, India and of course China. In fact, the majority of the students are Asians, on the first day I had a conversation with a British woman who, very confused, said that she thought she was in another country and felt a little strange here…
My course consists of around 90 students, which I found a little irritating at first. Considering the high tuition fees, I somehow assumed smaller classes … However, the majority of the lecturers try to learn all the names relatively quickly and (with a few exceptions of course) the lectures are still designed to be interactive.
The proportion of personal work is incredibly high and the actual number of lectures is very low, but I noticed that it actually varies from course to course. Overall, it can be said that expectations are generally quite high. Even though I have consistently been a very good student so far, I have hardly managed to get a grade in the top area.
Since I didn’t have time to fly to Newcastle beforehand to look for a room, I looked for a room through the university to be on the safe side. The problem with the search is that a one-year contract usually has to be concluded. You can of course move out at any time, but it is usually the case that the rent has to be paid until a new tenant has been determined.
In addition to the dormitories, the university also rents some houses / apartments to students. The advantage is that you have the university as your contact person and you can be sure from a distance that this is serious. The prices are pretty fair.
I was pretty lucky and got a room in a house in Jesmond, which I think is one of the nicest neighborhoods. Jesmond has many students, is, depending on where exactly you live, within walking distance of the university and has many popular pubs and bars. City-Center, Heaton, Sandyford and Gosforth should also be recommended.
It takes a bit of getting used to that the apartments / houses are only partially furnished. Of course there is a bed, wardrobe, table etc. but you have to bring everything else with you. This ranges from desk lamps and duvets / pillows to cutlery, plates, pots, kettles and whatever else you need. If you are unlucky there is no longer even a vacuum cleaner. Especially when you arrive late in the evening and no longer have the opportunity to go straight to Ikea or the like, the first night has to be spent more than provisionally. Primark or Argos or Claas Ohlsen are ideal for shopping, all right in the City Center.
I think Newcastle is actually the perfect student city. Not too big and anonymous, but also not too small and offers everything you need or want. From museums, cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, clubs to St. James Park (stadium), swimming pools and theaters. Everything is within walking distance and the airport can be reached by metro in around twenty minutes. It takes about the same time to take the metro to the beach (Tynemouth). Newcastle is also only a stone’s throw from Edinburgh, in my opinion one of the most beautiful cities of all and definitely worth one or more trips. There are plenty of excursion destinations in the area, and I think Durham is particularly beautiful.
According to educationvv, Newcastle is famous for its active nightlife. You hear or read a lot about it, but I was still surprised that everything really is true. The streets and of course clubs and bars are packed to the limit and a taxi for the return trip is hard to come by without a reservation. It takes getting used to the fact that there are no night buses etc. and the last metro leaves at half past twelve. It also takes getting used to that most of the pubs actually close early and the lights in the clubs go on around three o’clock.
The people here are always nice and friendly and it is very easy to settle in and feel good here. However, sometimes it is actually a little difficult to understand people in the shops, as they sometimes speak with a very strong Geordie accent. Sometimes I had to ask several times. I still find it funny that most people pronounce the “u” as an “u” and not like an “a”, especially noticeable for “up” or “pub”. But as I said, that is usually only when you are in the city center, the lecturers can all be understood wonderfully:)