Start and course choice
Visiting the University of Newcastle is recommended on the one hand during the bachelor’s degree and on the other hand for the winter semester from the end of July to around the end of November. There are 2 reasons for this: You can choose your courses across disciplines (you should clarify on site whether you will receive these credits at your university 1) and therefore also get a taste of areas that are not available to you at your home university due to the course regulations. In some cases you also have to do this if you cannot find a course that you want to be credited according to your degree program. And if you are already studying for your master’s degree (and maybe even in the 2nd / 3rd semester), the offer is pretty manageable, which would be credited. The selection will also be narrower in the UoN summer semester. At least in the social area. Subject-specific regulations also limit you here, even at the UoN certain courses are required in some courses that do not correspond to the PO of your degree program. Being able to study interdisciplinary does not always mean being allowed to do so. However, under certain conditions you can also find access to courses
So my tip to you here is: complete your semester abroad during your bachelor’s degree. Whether in the winter or summer semester is a matter of taste. If you are planning a semester abroad at the beginning of your bachelor’s degree, you have the advantage that you can still complete basic elements of your degree program abroad, which usually does not require any special prior knowledge or attendance of previous courses, without expecting restrictions due to the level.
Note: the lower the number in the course catalog (e. g. EDUC1000, ENGL1201 or PSYCH2600), the higher the chance of being able to attend it. From level 3000 in social work or level 4000 in psychology, however, it becomes more difficult.
On site you have the option of living on-campus or off-campus, although I would recommend on-campus! You have the choice between Edwards Hall (Teds), Evatt House (Evatts), International House, Barahineban (difficult to pronounce in the opinion of many) and the New Residences (NewRes). I lived in the West Tower of the 4 “New Residences” and never regretted it! There you will have numerous opportunities to integrate into everyday social life and you can also be elected as representatives of your floor or as president / member of the committee (announced during my time there on the evening of the commencement dinner, the introductory event of the individual towers). You either live in a single apartment or in a shared apartment of 2 to a total of 6 people. In the beginning I had a 2-person apartment (3 rooms plus kitchen and bathroom!) 2tried and finally, due to the positive experiences I had when I got to know other types of flat shares, I dared to switch directly to a 6-person flat share – and have not regretted it until today! There were never any problems with learning, if that should be a predominant concern, as the Australians never extend their parties for long (officially usually only until midnight, after that every party is moved to “croom” 3) and very considerate with theirs Dealing with other people and, on the other hand, having “study rooms” available for day and night shifts during the learning phase (s). Living in a shared apartment is also much more exciting with 5, but also with only 2 or 3 other people than just as a couple or alone. And I have to say that all of my “roomies” were in a cool mood and they never had any problems dealing with them. But if you have your own idea of order and cleanliness (no matter which direction it goes – accurate or alternative), I recommend a flat share size with less conflict potential. In a 6-person shared apartment, there is unfortunately now and then very different levels of cleanliness. Apart from that, the administration there actually hires a cleaning team that cleans the toilets, kitchens, living rooms and vacuums / mops the floors. However, you have to keep your own room yourself. Apart from the social life within the shared apartments (and their corridors with common rooms), the study rooms and crooms of the tower, there is also a cinema in the “East Tower” and a games evening there every Wednesday. You also have the opportunity to use the pool of “Teds” (no matter which dormitory you belong to) and to pick up the living office to pick up incoming mail and parcels as well as to get your keys there or just to have a little chat with the super-loving employees there. It is worth it! Anyone who builds up an extensive social network there, not just with fellow students, will quickly notice that things are very different in the bureaucratic and organizational area of the university than in this country!
You will also quickly gain this experience around the campus and in the lectures / seminars themselves. I suffered a real culture shock when I first experienced that people at the university, regardless of whether they are administrative employees, students, professors, lecturers or whatever, address each other by their first name. In addition, the people from the International Office and the Student Hub (corresponds to the German student secretariat) are very different from what I know from Germany and my own university, incredibly helpful and friendly! Be sure to stop by during the orientation week, especially in the International Office you will receive a lot of useful information and a UoN bag with all kinds of useful things in it (like the Campus / Unicum bag). During the O-Week it is definitely stress-free, you still have enough time to create / change your schedule if you haven’t finished it yet. Until the end of the O-Week I had no plan which courses I would finally attend, especially since I was still waiting for a very important course to be accepted, but here too you will experience that it also means in this regard: no worries!
With this motto you can enjoy the entire O-Week, whereby in the semester in which I was there, Monday formed the beginning with a campus tour, on which you get to know the entire campus, all the important buildings and the paths. At first glance, the campus looks predestined to get lost, it is very complex and at first you have the feeling that you cannot find your way there. Therefore, this campus tour is an urgent recommendation from me! Also helpful at this point: an app called lost on campus that can help you navigate on campus and make seemingly non-existent buildings still visible. And something like that is worth gold in this bushland!
The second day in particular should be fateful for my further stay and future leisure activities, as the Campus Quest took place on this day, which gave all international students the opportunity to get to know the campus more closely in a team and with various challenges. Before that, there were various food and drink offers on the square behind the Bar on the Hill (BotH) (including free bottles of water due to the heat), including free ice cream, where I queued and suddenly heard snippets of German conversation, whereupon I the girl just spoke in front of me and finally made the acquaintance of a group of other Germans after a while. This group, a few other internationals and I finally formed a team to win the Campus Quest. In the further course of the O-Week we (that was a total of 6 Germans) spent a lot of time at the other events and got to know many international students from all corners of the world. On the program were the completion of the Campus Quest in the BotH with a free drink and to try yourself as a DJ at the desk, the Monday movie night, a pool party, exploring Newcastle, bowling in a beach club with subsequent observation of the famous Newcastle SURFEST Contest, a comedy evening in the Shortland Building with comedians from a popular radio station, barbies (no, no gifts in the form of pink plastic dolls, but free barbecues) and the very successful 90s party in the BotH as the culmination of an orientation week after which you don’t feel like it feels more lost or finally at home,
During this week I recommend organizing the student ID card in the Student Hub, which will still be issued on site, as you are not yet busy running from A to B this week. The bike in the Bike Hub (which is available on Campus 2, but I used the one near the Hunter Building from the start, this is closest to my chosen accommodation) should be selected or ordered early and during O-Week (if necessary). But beware! Here those responsible try to hand over a bike to you through a ‘deal’. My tip: do not get involved and, if in doubt, visit the International Office, which will help you with this, as the cooperation agreement with all clauses is available to them. You can find more on this topic in my detailed report, which you should definitely read in this case. In any case, you will get such a bike and if you do everything correctly, your 50AUD deposit will be returned when you return it.
Since we’re already running from A to B, I recommend that you just walk around the campus 1-2 days before the official start of the courses (should be a Saturday and Sunday), look at the signs and read through and to find out where your building is at all. Take the map from campus with you and mark the most important places. But sitting in the room at home and just looking at the menu doesn’t help! The campus is really very confusing due to the bushland and buildings are sometimes difficult to find here, so you don’t want to walk from campus A to campus B like a tourist on Monday mornings and be late for the seminar due to geographical difficulties. Although I have not yet had any negative experience with the reactions of the professors / lecturers. At allHere, too, a lot happens more loosely than initially assumed: Lecturers chewing gum in a casual look with their hands in their pockets and always a casual saying on their lips, those who sit on the tables and discussions between students and teachers, with the former sometimes sitting or lying on the floor . . . and nobody cares. Here, too, I experienced one or the other culture shock, but it was overcome after a short time. What you rarely find there (although I haven’t seen it at all and haven’t heard from others either) is a teacher who stands behind a desk in a suit and tie and literally gives a lecture. And I’ve seen that many times in Germany. If you have then attended courses in Australia and observed academic activity there, you will come to the conclusion that Germany is already pretty uptight! The content and the way of teaching are also a complete counterpart to Germany. Lectures there are less frontal and more anticipatory, as we know it from seminars. I was very fascinated by the way my lecturers design the lectures and not simply invite the students to actively participate, but rather to stimulate and motivate them through provocative theses / topics and questions. Everything was much livelier and more enthusiastic, the teaching on a completely different level and, despite all the theoretical content, much more practical. I was particularly enthusiastic about the method in the social work subject, which also corresponds to my main focus of study, letting the students simulate a counseling situation between a social worker and his client and recording it in order to finally analyze the students’ ‘social skills’ in order to get here To highlight strengths and to be able to expand on possible weaknesses. I remember a seminar that I had with the same course content, but even then I had the feeling that, for example, the skills of social workers in the social-psychological area and on a communicative level are being completely disregarded. At least when it comes to teaching in the university sector. Of course, certain social skills and abilities can be assumed In reality, however, far too few people deal with this topic and, above all, with such important aspects as their own body language, the way our counterparts appear, how we deal with conflict situations and, above all, our impact on others. The latter plays a decisive role in dealing with our fellow human beings and especially in counseling and therapy sessions.
The consideration of my own ‘social skills’ within this ‘Social work’ course at the UoN ultimately convinced me completely that I had decided on a university that was tailored to my needs. And in the further course I also noticed that the UoN tries very hard to make it as pleasant and stress-free as possible for its students. Stressless week, Harmony week, Monday movie nights, the NUSA 4, Excursions and events organized by the university, the serenity and helpfulness within the walls and heads of the teachers, employees and fellow students, the social life in the dormitories with all its facets, the wallet-friendly bike rental, the unique campus and the proximity to the fascinating and breathtaking metropolis of Sydney make Newcastle University a university that has left deep marks on me both on an educational level and on a social level and would make this university my first choice again, as I planned from the beginning. Thanks to the UoN which stands for University of Newcastle according to toppharmacyschools, the varied leisure activities and all the open people there, I have spent a very nice time in Newcastle, which has always positively shaped and changed me and although it was a financial and organizational challenge for me as a child of a working-class family with very limited financial possibilities, I would scrape together my last cents again at any time for this valuable experience to be able to do a semester abroad.
The most important and most valuable thing I can give you at this point is: no worries, mate!