My Top 4 for Newcastle Uni
- The architecture studios at Newcastle: they are superb, rolling across three floors, and everybody got a big A1 drawing board, a computer and plenty of desk space.
- The campus and the activities: they were brilliant, they’ve got this superb student union that is well-kitted out, and has been refurbished since I was there (I’ve been back since to check it out), so it’s even better than it was before. There are tons of clubs and societies. I barely scratched the surface, but if you wanted it, there was a skydiving club, a skiing club – everything you could want to do.
- The course itself: because you are thrown together and given group projects, you’re all in the studio together, working hard. So, you meet lots of fellow students and you get to make friends quickly. I think that’s a really important one, and relates directly to that subject: working on projects and solving problems with friendly, like-minded people is ultimately good fun.
- Developing presentation and self-analysis skills: when you produce a project you then have to deliver a critical presentation where you stand up and present it to three tutors and 20 or so of your peers, sometimes more. You get grilled in front of everyone about every aspect of your project! It’s absolutely nerve-racking for the first couple of months, but by the end of the third year you’re pretty good at it. You finish the degree with great communication skills and public speaking experience, and the ability to think on your feet and argue your case.
Top 4 for Newcastle City
- The social side of it: Newcastle has good places to drink and it’s an extremely social and convivial place. It’s also an affordable city, which helps when you’re a student with a small student loan! There is one place that sticks in my memory and is still going strong: World Headquarters. It’s an independent club, very small, with an awesome line-up of fantastic DJs playing there. We held one of the COCO charity fundraising nights there, which was a great success.
- Sports and activities: easy to access. There was a climbing wall in Eldon Square which I loved. It’s on the top floor of the shopping Centre, which also has a gym and squash courts. That’s where I first got into climbing. We went quite regularly and absolutely loved it.
- The countryside outside the city: lovely! You’ve got Northumberland National Park and some absolutely stunning coastline to explore. My flatmate used to go surfing there and we often went to the beach at the weekend. In Tynemouth there are beautiful long sandy beaches. In the city there’s an amazing park called Jesmond Dene with a river, waterfall, ruins and woods.
- Music venues: there are fantastic choices on either side of the River Tyne with plenty of awesome gigs on offer. Newcastle’s on the music tour circuit, so you get loads of top bands and musicians playing at the Sage Gateshead (we saw Jose Gonzalez there) and at the O2 Academy. There’s also the Baltic Centre down on the river which is a fantastic art gallery.
For students, Newcastle is a great place to live. It’s very safe and has good, affordable public transport. There’s an underground which goes right out into all the residential areas and runs pretty late. There is a multitude of venues, bars, cafes and restaurants which cater to all tastes and budgets. There are also excellent accommodation options to choose from too. I can’t recommend it enough!
For students, Newcastle is a great place to live. I can’t recommend it enough!