Overseas university spotlight: Northumbria University (UK)

Set in the 'capital of the northeast' in Newcastle, England--where one-sixth of the population during term time are students--Northumbria University is a modern, comprehensive university in a great location.


Here are some of the highlights from my visit in May 2022!

Explore England group (I'm on the right in red!)
Explore England group (I'm on the right in red!)

Newcastle

One of the first things you'll notice about Newcastle is that it's super easy to get around; you can pretty much walk anywhere--the main train station, the river, student housing, etc.--within 20 minutes.


Speaking of the river, the quayside was my favorite part of the city--maybe because it reminded me of the riverfront in Cincinnati where I grew up.


Like Cincinnati, Newcastle is also a city of bridges, and travel enthusiasts may note that the Tyne Bridge in particular (below) looks strikingly similar to one Sydney Harbour Bridge (they were actually designed by the same London firm!).


It's also here that you'll find an outdoor market on Sundays, an art museum, loads of options for food and drink and a huge redevelopment that will bring a new look to the area in the shape of a £260 million waterfront conference and events venue in 2023.

On sunny days, this area around the Tyne Bridge is packed with people!
On sunny days, this area around the Tyne Bridge is packed with people!
View from the top of the Baltic Cenre for Contemporary Art
View from the top of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Kittiwakes
Kittiwakes! Clearly not afraid of heights.

And though they're not super original with their naming of places, there's even a beautiful beach town called Tynemouth that's easily accesible for students, just 15 minutes from the city by metro (it's literally located at the mouth of river Tyne; get it? Ha!).

I just love the contrast of these castle ruins and the ice cream truck!
I just love the contrast of these castle ruins with an ice cream truck!
Tynemouth
Tynemouth

One place that's just a bit farther out is the famous Angel of the North statue right off the A1 highway, which, like most new things, was controversial when it first went up in 1998.


Locals later grew to appreciate it, even somehow adding a massive Alan Shearer jersey at one point!

I liked what the sculptor of the statue, Antony Gormley, said of it though:


"The angel has three functions - firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site, coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years; secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age; and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears - a sculpture is an evolving thing."

Insightful and inspiring!