Course dates: 2011-12
I like it a lot. I am learning a lot of new things. The lecturers are very approachable and are willing to explain things that I don't understand. They are very knowledgeable and I always receive email responses back from them within 24 hours. I find the course relevant to life in general. I have made friends in the group from all sorts of nationalities. Many of the students whose first language is not English will ask me and my classmate for help with translation and other language tasks.
I applied to several institutions in Europe but what attracted me in particular to Newcastle was that the programme fitted perfectly with exactly what I want to do when I graduate, which is work in international education. The course sounded interesting. Being from Southern California, I wanted to study somewhere completely different - and in Newcastle I definitely have that!
I find the Language Resource Centre very helpful. I have used their Tandem Learning project to meet partners to practise both my Spanish and Italian. It's a great way of making friends and improving my languages. I regularly use some of the software they have there too.
The Robinson Library is also great. I go all the time. The private study rooms are really nice and they have most of the materials I need for my course. If they don't, you can order them in and they generally arrive within a few days.
I live in Leazes Terrace. I love it - I feel really safe and the staff are really accommodating. I have my own room with an en-suite bathroom and there is a large shared kitchen next door. The kitchen is really sociable and I meet with friends there every Wednesday to cook a 'family dinner'. The location of Leazes Terrace is incredible and it is definitely worth paying a little extra more to stay there.
There is a lot to do in the city. I've never lived in a city where you can walk everywhere as I am used to driving everywhere back home. The first time I went food shopping I forgot this and bought loads of things and then realised I had no way of transporting it back home! The people here are very friendly and there is a great night life with some really nice pubs and some great shopping facilities too. Everywhere here is so close too. I have been to Edinburgh, Durham and York and have just booked to go to Dublin for St. Patrick's Day in March.
Advice for international students
I am really glad I chose Newcastle. For me, it is my programme that makes it. If students were thinking of coming to study here, I would advise them to be flexible and to have an open mind. Don't compare things to back home and take advantage of every opportunity you have. I've met so many amazing people here and everyone is so different but in a funny way that is what makes us all the same.