Newcastle, Australia: Where the People Make You Want to Stay Forever Past Review

By (Education, Marshall University) for

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Newcastle - Semester in Newcastle

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I now feel like if I was dropped into any country I could survive. I learned to budget my money and plan my own trips. The feeling of going abroad alone and then coming back with so many stories, experiences, and friendships is a once in a lifetime experience that I will cherish forever.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I only took three courses which was considered full time at my home university in the states. I thought this would give me a smaller work load than I was used to, but it was about the same because the course were slightly more difficult. Everything you turned in was work a large percentage of your grade because you didn't turn very many things in. It was hard, but I learned a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

When I arrived at a hotel before arriving to my host university I felt lost and there wasn't anyone from CIS to answer my questions. I liked the independent feeling, but wish someone would have been there to tell me how to get to the university from the hotel. I tried to call the emergency number CIS provided, but couldn't contact anyone. Also I missed orientation for international students because of the mix up.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I needed to buy sheets and a fan when I arrived. I would definitely suggest paying a little more for a bigger fan because it is worth it when you have no AC. If you wanted to go out to eat or out for nightlife you had to take a bus or train which was a 10 minute walk to get to and then a 20 minute ride into town. Also since I was a study abroad student it cost $3.30 one way to get into town, so this got a bit pricey after a while. However, living among local and international students was a great experience and I made lasting friendships I don't think I would have found off campus.

* Food:

The dining hall (meal plan) was horrible. It was only open certain hours of the day and if you had class then you missed dinner for the night. I wish CIS (my program) would have informed me in advance that lunch was not included in the meal plan. Groceries became quite expensive after a while. The choices were also very limited. I would suggest to future students that Monkey Monkey Monkey cafe on Darby street is a must if you are living in Newcastle. They have the best milkshakes in the world. If I could do it again I would have chose on-campus self catered.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The winery tour in the hunter valley was fun. I wish I would had time to go to the sand dunes.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety was good. The campus had a security shuttle that was free for students that took you around campus. I would suggest using this all the time so you don't have to walk alone in the dark. Also be careful if you go to Jesmond shopping center after dark, it can get sort of sketchy.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any student would benefit from this program. However, I would suggest not to use the phone that the program provides. When you arrive in Australia, you can get a way better deal by putting credit on a phone and using it for your time there. My American friends did this and paid about $30 a month, and I paid $140 a month. Other advice is to explore the city of Newcastle, it was rated #9 on the top ten cities in the WORLD to visit. It's a great experience. There is so much to do and see in the country, but it's the people that make you want to stay forever. I made so amazing friendships with Australians, Americans and even great people from London and New Zealand.