Newcastle. Exchange. 2017-2018

Understandably, I was quite nervous the day of my flight to Newcastle. My only knowledge on Newcastle was from Geordie Shore, and I wasn’t particularly sure whether that would be my cup of tea. However, as soon as I arrived in Newcastle all my worries disappeared. The city and its people are just absolutely wonderful. I do most of my groceries at Grainer market and every time someone calls me ‘love’ a warm feeling fills my heart. Grainer Market is a great place to buy cheap fruit and vegetables and the big Tesco is right next to it so that makes buying your food so much easier.

The university offers a lot of activities from the international welcome week onwards and I would advise everyone to join as many of those activities as possible. Especially during the international week, everyone seems to be lost and just wants to make friends. The NUSU (Students Union) have an activities programme called Give it a Go which allows you to do new things at a heavily discounted price. I, for example, went to a few Newcastle United matches, had a tea tasting at the best tea house in the city (Quilliam Brothers) and saw Alice in Wonderland at the Northern Stage. The Students Union also has over 170 societies you could join if you want to. A few examples are Amnesty International, the Baking society, the Bee society, the Cheese and Wine society, and the Vegetarian and Vegan society.

As I am in Newcastle with Harting, I have to teach some Dutch as well. In my case this consist of two hours of oral classes for Beginners’ Dutch. Carol, the module’s professor, gave me a course book that guides me with regard to the topics that need to be discussed, but besides this, I am free to do whatever I want. Luckily, the teaching-assistants from previous years uploaded their work on Blackboard which is quite useful for inspiration.

Newcastle University offers a wide variety of modules. I’m taking Child and Adult Language Acquisition, the History of Linguistic Ideas, Language Origins and Evolution, and Syntactic puzzles and how to solve them. Most of these modules are very different from anything that the RUG offers and are quite challenging but also fun. It is really rewarding to see that your hard work has paid off. Although they might be a bit slow with grading your assignment (their deadline is only 20 working days which they proudly told was quite short), the feedback tends to be useful and the professors genuinely want to help you write a decent essay.

Overall, Newcastle is such a wonderful city but be aware of the wind (although people here don’t seem to care about the weather as they still wear skirts and heels during snowfall). If anyone wants to know more about Newcastle itself or has any questions about stuff such as accommodation, please send me an email and I would be more than willing to help.

Iris van Alphen



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