Course dates: 2009 - 2013
I chose Newcastle University mainly due to the reputation that the university itself and the city have. The university is part of the Russell Group which proved to me that the most current issues in the world today are being researched and I knew this would have a good impact on the course I was studying. As the university is a city campus university, this meant excellent access into the city centre which has endless activities and things to keep you busy.
Studying at Newcastle
I think my course is very enjoyable, although demanding at times. The content of the course covers many different engineering aspects and provides an all-round knowledge which is essential for employment. The course progresses greatly from learning basic engineering skills to detailed design and I have really started to feel like an engineer as I would in the real world industry.
The first field trip I went on was to Grinton Lodge in North Yorkshire which was an activity based trip at the start of first year to make new friends. This was enjoyable as it was filled with team bonding exercises and quizzes at night with a few drinks. I have also been on several site visits including the new Tyne Tunnel before we had to design a new alternative crossing to this and new student accommodation/academic buildings for Newcastle University. These were all relevant and very useful for the current work.
Facilities at Newcastle
The facilities are very good and have much more than what I have or will use. The money that the school has, is put to excellent use, upgrading the necessary equipment and purchasing new equipment for other activities. There are a large range of sophisticated labs including environmental, structural and geotechnical as well as high spec computer labs.
Living in Newcastle
Newcastle is a city full of culture with a different part of history down each street. There is something to accommodate everyone with a variety of shops and restaurants and the quayside always provides a scenic alternative. Northumbria University adds a bit of friendly rivalry whilst making the student life more exciting with twice the number of people to meet.
I currently live in a house in Jesmond with course mates, 15 minutes walk from the University. Now I am in my third year, the house we decided on had a slightly more residential feel so we can focus on work, but at the same time has a local pub over the road and 15 minutes walk from Osborne Road (the nightlife of Jesmond). It is a very friendly community and as many of the neighbours are students, we have made some good friends.
Accommodation tip - The most important tip I would say is just enjoy it and get involved in everything you possibly can with a wide range of people as possible, even if this is a trip to the shops. Make yourself known to students on other flats or floors which will happen eventually but the earlier the better. This can come in very useful when it comes to deciding who to live with after first year.
Socialising at Newcastle
I am part of the kickboxing society where I train 3 times a week and go on the very eventful social nights out which are always a good laugh and relief from work. I am a keen cyclist and completed the coast-to-coast bike ride from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. The ride from Newcastle to the beach can be a fun alternative to public transport or driving. The new student union is a brilliant place for cheap drinks or just to relax and have a game of pool between lectures. The new facilities are just what is needed and were completed based on student feedback which is great.
Best thing about Newcastle
The best thing about Newcastle University is the sense of community that exists. Having lectures in buildings across campus allows you to move around and always find yourself bumping into friends. During summer, the union is busy with music and activities outside which attracts a lot of people. It is the perfect environment to really enjoy the surroundings and let your hair down.