University of Newcastle Review (2)

University of Newcastle Review (2)


Hello everybody!

I would like to report here from my semester abroad in Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

First of all I would like to say: if you are even thinking about doing a semester abroad – what you do well when you are on this page – DO IT! It is the best experience you can have in life and even if it is expensive, it is definitely worth it I don’t want to miss a single experience that I have had in Australia. J

But now one after the other.

Newcastle as a place is nice. Three beautiful beaches right in front of the door, the sea is suitable for surfing (even for beginners). There is a shopping street right in town, cheaper shopping centers can be reached by bus without any problems. There are three clubs and several bars. Sydney is about a 3 hour train ride away. Visit to get information about Brock University study abroad program.

Many have asked me why Newcastle and not Sydney? Sydney’s great value without question and every visit, but Newcastle is just a small town, which has the great advantage that one again sees itself. Since most like me, travel alone, it is a huge advantage to make friends if the place is manageable. Life is much more relaxed than in Germany, people don’t live in a constant hectic pace. To be able to go to the sea every day is a dream.

To the place of residence or university. The university is not in Newcastle, but 12 km away. Means 15 minutes by train, which runs quite frequently, or half an hour to an hour by bus. I looked for an apartment on site, which I would recommend to everyone. It was important to me to live right on the beach, which is a luxury that is not known in Germany. However, I only had three university days, so I didn’t have to drive too often.

There are also dormitories on campus, most of which I got to know loved it. However, if you like to have a little privacy and quiet now and then, I wouldn’t recommend the International House. Edwards Hall is better here, or as I said, off-campus.

However, you have to apply for the dormitories quite early, and please bear in mind that there is often something going on on campus, but the clubs and bars and the beaches are in the city – no buses / trains go back to campus at night, what often means taxi, but of course you can usually share it with others.

If you want a room near the beach, please contact me, I was very satisfied with my flat share and the landlords were very nice. Costs around 400 euros a month per room ($ 660), 11 rooms, two floors, three bathrooms. Then please give you the address.

The university is beautifully laid out in the countryside, there are almost always live concerts at lunchtime and you can really relax in the free hours, also due to the weather. The food is good, if not cheap, there are cafeterias, subway, sushi and everything else.

As in Germany, the level of the university depends on the respective course and professor. Overall, in Australia you usually have a lot more to do during the semester than you are used to at home, but the final exams don’t count that much.

If you ‘re studying history, I can only recommend Philip Dwyer as a professor, his course was really fun and very interesting. It is also nice that the tutorials (compulsory attendance, at least mostly) at Newcastle University are led by the professors themselves, which makes the whole thing a lot more interesting.

If you become a teacher like me and leave in semester 1: The system for teacher training in Newcastle is very different from ours, in the first semester pedagogical things are done, in semester 2 subject-specific. In semester 1 there is a subject called Physical Education, which encompasses a lot more than sports, I talked to some about it and it sounded really interesting. Includes topics that are not considered at all in our teacher training.

I find it relatively difficult to assess the benefits and costs, a study abroad is of course always good on the résumé, how far it really gives you advantages, but it always depends on what you want to do. The costs for the university are of course high, compared to Germany, but also not higher than at the other Australian universities. And in all honesty, whether it’s worth it on your résumé or not, it’s worth it for yourself. The whole experience of finding your way around in a foreign country, making new friends, getting to know so many people internationally, mastering the language better, simply everything. The experience of being on your own is not only exhausting, but also very liberating because you also have the advantage of being able to be completely selfish, because you are alone anyway. Since most of them come alone and everyone who goes abroad is looking for contacts, it is no problem at all to find acquaintances and friends.

Getting there

If you can, travel to Newcastle a week or two before university starts. Book a room in the hostel in advance, the YHA is highly recommended. The Backpackers by the Beach has better beds (I stayed in both), but it is much louder and dirtier. The two hostels are on the same street, both two minutes’ walk from the beach. I got to know a lot of other international students there, which was a big advantage. Here you can sometimes quickly see who you would like to move into a shared apartment with and you can search together.


I was there in semester 2, which means arriving in July, the Australian winter. Despite winter, we almost always had 18 degrees during the day, but it got cooler in the evening. Also take warm sleeping clothes with you, there is no heating in the hostels and neither in many residential buildings, at least not as we are used to. JDuring the day we were in the sea at the beginning of August – even if it was very cold


The most pleasant travel time for me was September and October, as it is not quite as hot as January, but still pleasantly warm. Especially inland, i. e. Ayers Rock etc. or up the east coast you can go swimming everywhere in September. Australia is beautiful and extremely worth seeing. I traveled up the east coast, which I can only recommend, Melbourne is a dream city, Ayers Rock and the Olgas are very impressive.

Otherwise I can only say, take as much money with you as you can to travel. Once you are there you want to see as much as possible and New Zealand, Fiji and Tasmania are also worth a trip. Domestic flights are relatively cheap, and prices are reasonable to New Zealand too. Best if you are there at Jetstar. com. au and look at Tigerairways.

MicroEDU : they helped to fill out all the formalities, everything went smoothly, very recommendable.


Even if it sounds cheesy: Absolutely time of my life! Worth every money in the world, made friends for life and experiences, impressions and memories that I will never forget. Best decision of my life.

University of Newcastle Review (2)