New Chinese students are coming to Newcastle every year, and this is the time when they commit to their study abroad in the city of their choice. Moving overseas for university is a huge decision to make. After all, you’ll need to choose how and where you’ll spend the next 3+ years of your life, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly!
North East property specialist, Walton Robinson, has asked Wei Feng to write about his experiences of living and studying in Newcastle.
It features some of the considerations you’ll need to make before and throughout your studies, as well as good advice on living in the city, handy tips and things things to do around the city.
By Tom Peng
I first arrived in Newcastle two years ago to undertake my BA. Originally I am from Beijing, but having been attracted to Newcastle’s prominent Chinese scene, I decided on moving there.
Newcastle – also known as Newcastle upon Tyne, which is not to be confused with the remote village of Newcastle – has a sizable Chinese community. To be precise, there is an estimated 7000 Chinese living here, many of whom are university students. Evidently, the Chinese population is thriving. I have not once felt lonely.
I am currently studying at Newcastle University. The vicinity is home to two of Britain’s prestigious universities, which also includes Northumbria University.
Newcastle University was founded in 1834 and is a member of both Russell Group and Red Brick Universities (institutions that are renown for academic excellence). It is consistently ranked in the UK’s top 20 universities. The university is best known for chemistry, media and engineering.
Newcastle’s university has a buzzing nightlife. But whether you’re a night clubbing type, or would prefer to have a quiet few drinks in China village, or engage in non-drinking activities, Newcastle University has plenty to offer. The university is bursting with multiple (a variety of) activities– such as the painting, history, photography groups. You’ll struggle to find something not to do. It is home to countless societies; I have joined the Chinese society, and recommend anyone to do so.
Not too far away is Northumbria University. The institution gained university status in 1992. Similarly, Northumbria is ranked in the UK’s top 60 universities and is home to world-leading subjects, such as life sciences and business. The university proudly boasts an option to study at its overseas offices, most notably Hong Kong.
Like in any city, it is paramount to find good quality accommodation. I live in a nice place near the centre and absolutely love it. It’s what I call home. Not only do I have free internet access (which I use to an unhealthy level!) but I also have a private bathroom. Of course, the other benefit with staying in the centre is that everyone becomes familiar with one another– and you learn of differing cultures. It’s a fantastic and simple way of making new friends.
When the weekend arrives, it’s time for great amounts of exploring. I can imagine what you’re thinking, with a sizable Chinese community, surely there’s lots of Chinese attractions? The problem is not what’s available, but where to begin!
Chinese restaurants are dotted all over the city, but heavily concentrated on Stowell Street. I’d strongly recommend Orchid, with its mouth-watering Beijing duck as the highlight, or even Hei Hei. The perks with dining out as a student is being able to use a student discount and save incredible amounts of money.
Newcastle quite rightly boasts of its attractive China Village. Incredibly, the town is 1 of only 5 Chinatowns in the whole of Britain. It is difficult to miss with its large and colourful arch. Everything imaginable is present: from Chinese medicine to famous Chinese restaurant brands.
This month I visited Newcastle Castle (an old motte and bailey castle which was constructed in 1080); Jesmond dene (a park which holds truly majestic views- a good way of de-stressing); and, as am a football fan, I love to watch matches at St James’ Park. Other key attractions are Opera House, Hatton gallery and Newcastle Cathedral.
But should you wish to explore farther afield, Newcastle is in easy reach of Sunderland (which is less than 30 minutes away on the A19); Durham (another major UK city); and the Angel of the North (in Gateshead).
Register for Doctors
Now the weather is getting colder, especially in the chilly North East, it’s easier to catch a cold, and one of the most crucial things many students forget to do is to register at a doctors’ surgery. When registering make sure to have the following: proof of address, photo identification and proof of university status.
Some possible GP practises to register at include:
Newcastle Medical Centre
within Boots the Chemist,
Hotspur Way, Eldon Square
Newcastle upon Tyne
Saville Medical Group
7 Saville Place
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Dilston Medical Centre, 23 Dilston Road
Tyne and Wear
Newcastle Upon Tyne
This city is like home to me. I strongly urge you to seriously consider studying in Newcastle.