Course dates: 2010-11
The course is split into a three month short taught course at the start followed by a nine month project. I really enjoyed the project side and the lab work. The lab technicians taught us different techniques on research where as the course at the start told us why we were doing this research in the first place so it linked together well. It changed my view on research. I used to think it was boring but now I clearly like it as I am a research assistant at the University! I liked the fact that the lectures were given from both the scientific and medical point of view. The support from the lecturers was very good. They replied quickly to emails and provided clear reading lists as well as explaining things clearly which we were not sure about.
I chose Newcastle University as it has a link with my home university, Universitas Indonesia and I had the chance to do an intercalating year here. Even though I had the choice to go to other universities, Newcastle appealed to me due to its research expertise.
I often used to use the computer clusters in the graduate schools to do my work. The Walton Library had a good choice of books and there were a lot of copies so there was always the book you needed. It's good that the University IT facilities allow you to access journals from your home computer.
I also used to use the gym a lot. It's very conveniently located near the medical labs so it's good if you are putting something in incubation - you can just hit the gym for 2 hours!
I lived in Leazes Terrace. It is the best place. It's in the middle of everything and you can walk everywhere. From a Medical School student point of view, it is close to the labs and easy to get home - it's a safe walk. I also like that you can meet with a lot of different people from different countries and those studying on different courses. The computer clusters are useful and I enjoyed the short trips that the hall used to organise for us.
I love Newcastle. It's not too crowded but not in the middle of nowhere, so it is the perfect compromise. The University is close to the city centre and the people are friendly. I spend my spare time here going rock climbing at an indoor centre and I like travelling around the UK using the good transport links that Newcastle has.
Advice and Recommendation
Newcastle is the whole package - the experience, the education. Everything. I would definitely recommend it to future students. Sometimes students coming from overseas can be shy because they think people will judge us for asking silly questions. In Newcastle, there is no such thing as a silly question and you can always just ask if you don't have something - people are always willing to help.