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MSP Students Go Global!

14 September 2023

MSP Students Go Global!

MSP Students Go Global!

The last two academic years have seen an unprecedented number of students in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics engage with global opportunities.  Since September 2021, staff in the School have worked hard to provide new opportunities for MSP students to “go global” – including studying abroad for a year at new partner institutions, setting up a brand new teaching field trip in Cyprus, and establishing a new virtual exchange with the University of Florida.  These MSP student mobility initiatives have run alongside many other mobility opportunities organised by the University’s Global Opportunities team in the International Office, including a Summer School hosted by Utrecht University.   

Students in our school have spent a full academic year studying in Barcelona, Munich, Montreal, Vermont, Hong Kong, Singapore and Melbourne.  For the coming academic year, MSP students have won places to study at the University of San Jose, in California, USA; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain; the Technical University of Munich in Germany; and the University of Hong Kong. 

Holly Simpson – BSc(Hons) Mathematics (With International Study Year) – recently spent a year studying at the prestigious Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  Holly said:

“Being able to study in a new environment has given me a new perspective on Maths and more motivation to finish my undergraduate degree.  The opportunity to live in a new country was amazing, and the support Newcastle gave me made this really accessible.  One of the best things was making new friends from all over the world, and being able to travel to beautiful countries and experience new cultures.”


Grace Richards – BSc(Hons) Mathematics (With International Study Year) – recently spent a year at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.  Grace said:

 “I communicated mostly with Lee Fawcett, the SAgE Faculty’s Global Dean.  He was really helpful, really passiobate about global opportunities.  My favourite thing was the people I met.  Barcelona is a really international city and I made lots of latin friends which really helped to improve my Spanish, now I’m basically fluent.  I also made lots on non-Spanish speaking friends and so now it’s really nice that I have lots of friends in cities all around Europe!”


Alex Cheng – also BSc(Hons) Mathematics (With International Study Year) – spent a year studying at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.  Alex said:

 “The Maths department at Newcastle were extremely helpful.  Once I was over there, we had weekly Zoom meetings to discuss how I was doing.  I believe every Mathematics student should do a study year abroad, it allows students to make international relationships and explore a new side of themselves.”


17 students over the last two academic years have joined our Teaching Field Trip in Cyprus.  Aimed primarily at MSP students who are interested in becoming teachers, this field trip gives student the opportunity to work in five high schools in Nicosia, Limassol and Paralimni.  Students are responsible for developing their own teaching materials, and lesson plans, and are then given the opportunity to deliver their sessions in schools in Cyprus every day for a week in April.  Alongside the teaching experience this trip brings, students have the opportunity to experience traditional Cypriot culture, including Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations. 

Nicole Simpson-Burns – BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Statistics – recently took part in the MSP Teaching Field Trip in Cyprus.  Nicole said:

“I did some teaching in some schools in Cyprus.  I worked mainly in a school in Paralimni with year 8 and year 9 kids.  I’ve got a place on a teacher training course next year and after speaking to my interviewers, not many people who applied had any international experience in teaching.  The whole trip was amazing – not just experiencing life in a Cypriot school, but experiencing unique Cypriot cultures and traditions.”

30 students in MSP took part in a virtual exchange project with students at the University of Florida in 2022/23.  As part of this project, students were tasked with preparing a video presentation on the ethical use freely available personal data from a dating website, and – working with students at the University of Florida – had to see if there were any cultural differences in how we view the use/misuse of such data.

Ben Moore – BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Accounting – recently took part in the virtual exchange programme with the University of Florida.  Ben said:

“I took part in a Virtual Exchange Programme with the University of Florida.  We were given a project focussing on 3 case studies.  From these case studies we had to prepare a presentation on data ethics. It was really interesting to see how attitudes towards freely available, personal data were different between Newcastle and Florida students.  I’ve definitely developed as a person – working on presentations skills, working as part of an international team, having a name like University of Florida on your CV is really rewarding.”

In 2023/24 the School of MSP is looking to extend its list of study abroad exchange partners, to include the University of Nicosia, Cyprus and LUT University, Finland.  We hope to continue the Teaching Field Trip to Cyprus and the Virtual Exchange Project with Florida, although this year the Virtual Exchange will also include students from Universidad del Norte in Columbia and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.  There will also be a research internship project with the University of Florida in Summer 2024 where MSP students at Newcastle will have the opportunity to study at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, for 8 weeks, and the opportunity for MSP students to take join research projects in Physics or Data Science at the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus.  An exciting year of global opportunities lies ahead!

To find out more about these amazing opportunities, MSP student should contact the school’s Global Director, Lee Fawcett; click here to learn more about our students’ experiences!   

Virtual Exchange with University of Florida, February 2023