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Student Profiles

Wongani : Architecture Student

Wongani

Why did you choose Newcastle?

I loved the campus, the buildings here are great and there’s always a positive atmosphere around. The architecture school is conveniently located in the centre of campus. I also found this city so fascinating and there are so many quirky little places that I really wanted to explore after initially visiting the city before deciding on it as one of my choices.

What do you like most about your course?

The studio atmosphere and how you can encourage each other with the work you’re doing, see how others work, improve and also have a good chat and a laugh while you’re working. The studios are 24 hours so it allows for you to pop in whenever you need to get something or do a bit of work later in the evening.

If you had to recommend Newcastle or your course to a student trying to choose a university what would you say to them?

I would say that the course is great because you’re free to work in whatever style suits you. You get to experiment with lots of different ways of working and using different materials in first year and build up from that. Newcastle’s particularly great because the studios are always well maintained and the tutors are always so helpful. Plus, there’s surprisingly more sunshine than you would think in this city, which just makes your day that little bit better.

How would you describe Newcastle?

The city is cold, but the people are warm. It’s such an inviting city. Walking around there’s rarely times you don’t see a smiling face or get a little hello, especially around the city centre and the markets. It’s also a surprisingly green city and doesn’t take long to find nice places to go for walks such as Jesmond Dene or Town Moore.

What do you think about the clubs and societies that you can join? If you have been a member of one, what sort of activities has it involved?

I think there’s a great range of societies and clubs here and they’re well run. I’ve been involved with the Athletics & Cross Country Club as well as singing in the Newcastle Student Orchestra & Choir, the Architecture Society and I’m a member of the Christian Union.
The Christian Union is the one I’ve been most active in. Within the Christian Union we have held plenty of events. Besides our main meetings, throughout the year we’ve done things such as handing out free teas and coffees outside the Robinson library during exam times or teas and coffees on a Friday night in Castle Leazes. We’ve also had trips to the beach, acoustic nights and pub quizzes.

Where do you live? Was it easy to find somewhere?

I live in Sandyford with 5 other friends. It’s a great area. I’d say it was very easy to find a house in Newcastle. The estate agents and the support you get from the university on how to find housing is all so helpful. It’s all enough to make you not worry about the process of signing for a house and all that comes afterwards.

What are your future plans?

I’m open to what my options are for the future as I feel I don’t want to be narrow minded and constantly focus on architecture. So my plan is to finish my degree and see whether I should go straight into an architectural practice or try something else out for a year. Eventually I would like to become a fully qualified architect and use my skills from there so that’s the long-term plan right now.

Do you have any tips about budgeting or student finance?

The sooner you get student finance sorted the better, because you don’t want to rush things at the end. Also, don’t worry too much about budgeting, Newcastle has a low cost of living, and if you spend your money wisely you should be fine without monitoring your expenditures, especially if you don’t go out as much.

 

Daisy : Urban Planning Student

Daisy Urban Planning

Why did you choose Newcastle?

Newcastle is such a vibrant city, designed for students. Coming from London it was a refreshing change that the city was small and accessible. The University campus is less than a five minute walk to the main high street, so the location is definitely a bonus!

What do you like most about your course?

I love that my course is quite small; it has meant that we have got to know each other really well. The first two years of the course isn’t 100% planning, it pulls in modules that cover things like economics, human geography and sociology as well as the UK planning system. This has definitely given me the ability to choose a broader dissertation topic in stage three.

If you had to recommend Newcastle or your course to a student trying to choose a university what would you say to them?

Come to Newcastle! Newcastle is such a fantastic city, which is truly run on students from both Newcastle and Northumbria. The nightlife is hard to compete with and if that isn’t your thing there are plenty of tearooms, bowling alleys and restaurants to keep you entertained.
I would recommend my course for those interested in the human aspect of geography, it ticks the boxes for that and introduces you to the UK planning system giving you a definite career choice.

How would you describe Newcastle?

Newcastle is like a cocktail; it is full of everything and something for everyone. From amazing nightlife, good quality shopping, top restaurants and cultural activities like the Baltic Flour Mill, which is now an art gallery with amazing views.

What do you think about the clubs and societies that you can join? If you have been a member of one, what sort of activities has it involved?

Newcastle has such a wide variety of clubs and societies; there truly is something for everyone. In my first year I was a member of the Baking Society. It was great fun to meet up for socials but also get the chance to bake once a week, taking my mind off university assignments. I also write for The Courier, the student newspaper. Although this isn’t a club or society, it feels like it, as everyone is a team and you make great friends.

Where do you live? Was it easy to find somewhere?

In my first year, like most students, I lived in halls. I chose Castle Court for the location; it’s less than a fifteen-minute walk onto campus. Now I’m living in West Jesmond, it was really easy to find private accommodation as there are lots of student estate agents to choose from, and if I needed any extra help the University also has a selection of privately-rented houses and flats.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to graduate next year and I am currently considering whether I want to do a law conversion degree to go into planning law, or take a year out and move back home to London to pursue a career in journalism.

So, do you have any tips about budgeting or student finance?

In Fresher’s Week all budgeting goes out of the window, so definitely bring a little bit extra for that. But during the year just remember try not to spend more than you actually have – I know how alluring student discounts and sales can be. And always remember to fill your student finance application out in time!

 

 

Bryony : Architecture Student

Bryony Architecture student

Why did you choose Newcastle?

I love that Newcastle is a bustling city that’s a manageable size - it is full of things to do and see but you can walk around it in a day. Set in the heart of this fantastic city is our historic university campus, plus the Geordies are incredibly friendly and living costs up North are really cheap!

What do you like most about your course?

Architecture is a really sociable course, and you are encouraged to get to know as many other students as possible here. There is a great team spirit and students of all years talk and help one another around the studios, which you don’t get in many other departments.

If you had to recommend Newcastle or your course to a student trying to choose a university what would you say to them?

Definitely make sure that the city is right - it’s great that Newcastle is one of the top-rated universities but you’ll be spending some of the best years of your life in a new place so make sure it’s the one for you. Both the course and the city are pretty much perfect so there was no need for me to have worried before getting here but it was definitely worth coming to a few opens days; just getting a feel for the place and the way that they teach Architecture here was what finalised my decision and gave me some security.

How would you describe Newcastle?

Newcastle is a huge cultural melting pot with beautiful scenery, wonderful people and an incredible university.

What do you think about the clubs and societies that you can join? If you have been a member of one, what sort of activities has it involved?

The Students’ Union here is really active and that means we have a really wide range of societies. I have done lots of sport taster sessions, including Surfing and Skiing - these were a nice way to try out something new without an obligation to join a society of feel like the odd one out because you're not a pro! I am also heavily part of NUAS (‘Newcastle University Architecture Society’) because I’m Vice-President on the committee this year. I get to organise social events like nights out, day visits, two balls and a trip abroad (this year we’re going to Krakow!). It’s great to see new first years joining our society and meeting other Architects through it, because that’s exactly why I enjoyed being part of the society last year.

Where do you live? Was it easy to find somewhere?

I live in a rented house in the suburb of Jesmond (20 minutes walk from Uni) with five other people. There are plenty of Letting Agents in the area so that meant lots of good places on offer but it was definitely worthwhile finding who I was going to live with and viewing some properties early on. This way, by Christmas I had the relief of knowing that second year accommodation was sorted. In first year I lived in the halls of residence, Castle Leazes, which was a brilliant experience for me - I built some of my best friendships there with the girls from my flat!

What are your future plans?

I want to work my hardest through the degree and aim high! I also don’t want to forget to just live once in a while though, so it’s key that I keep up hobbies and socialising with friends. Fourth year is a placement and that’s when I’ll get to see if working in an Architecture Practice is really for me. If that’s what I want to do (I hope it is!) then I can return to Newcastle to study a Masters and complete the process of becoming a fully qualified Architect.

Do you have any tips about budgeting or student finance?

Make a budget early on and stick to it - work out how much you’ll spend weekly and then put it on a larger scale to see where you’ll be by the end of the year. It’s no use just having enough money to last you until the end of the term, because you’ll want to enjoy your summer and there are also lots of costs in starting to rent for second year. Also make sure you’re organised with finance documents - keep them filed somewhere safe and always know where you can find your paperwork from Student Finance UK so you can see what grants or loans you are expecting to come through.

 

Hannah : Urban Planning Student

Hannah Urban Planning

Why did you choose Newcastle?

There are three reasons why I chose Newcastle:
1) I wanted to study in a city and Newcastle was big enough to have something for everyone yet famous for its northern friendliness.
2) The planning course at Newcastle is highly ranked and the opportunity to do a placement year a rare opportunity.
3) I have a long history with water sports and the university had a team which enabled me to continue my hobby at a high level.

What do you like most about your course?

The quality of teaching is excellent and the degree is accredited which gives you a highly competitive position when applying for jobs. Additionally, being on a first-name basis with the staff creates a comfortable study environment. I have met a lot of likeminded friends through the course and I’m sure I will keep in touch with them even after we all leave the university.

If you had to recommend Newcastle or your course to a student trying to choose a university what would you say to them?

The past three years at Newcastle University have been the best time of my life! People are incredibly friendly and making friends is easy. The support that the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and the University give to students is amazing, and I have never had to feel like there wasn’t anyone out there when I needed help.

How would you describe Newcastle?

Newcastle is a big and lively city providing something for everyone, yet small and green enough to feel cosy. Its nightlife is well known even abroad and there are museums, beautiful parks and cheap music venues. If you are being proactive, there will be no boring days during your stay.

What do you think about the clubs and societies that you can join? If you have been a member of one, what sort of activities has it involved?

Newcastle University has a wide variety of clubs and societies that provide something for everyone whether they are interested in high level performance sports or informal societies. During my time at Newcastle, I have been part of the Planning Society and Ultimate Frisbee. Most of my time, however, I have spent with the water polo team (NUSWP). Being part of NUSWP has allowed me to continue my hobby and get new friends outside of the course with whom I spent the majority of my free time.

Where do you live? Was it easy to find somewhere?

In first year I lived in halls and after that I decided to find somewhere to live through NUStudentHomes. Currently, I live in Heaton with my course mates in a University-managed property. It was easy to find a place (available properties can be viewed online) and the staff were always very efficient and happy to help you. You know you can trust the service and that the quality of properties will be very good.

What are your future plans?

Newcastle has been a great stepping stone for figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I was interested in planning and during my studies I have established where my interests lie in. After graduating with a BA, I will continue to do a Master’s in Transport Planning.

So, do you have any tips about budgeting or student finance?

I have worked over the holidays in order to save money for the living expenses as during term time I’m too busy. Creating a weekly budget (and sticking to it) ensures that you will have money for the essentials even at the end of the year.