I met a couple of people through a Facebook group that had been set up (it was for North Americans that were headed to Newcastle). I also met another person (who just so happened to be in my program) through a student discussion board on another website.
The city is very walkable and easy to get around. Don’t worry about getting lost! My bike was my main method of transport from my flat to city center (I could have walked but biking is just faster). Once I was there, I would park my bike and walk the rest of the way (depending on where I was going).
…and I can literally name every filming location whenever the cast go around town. [Tynemouth, Quayside, Tiger Tiger, etc]
Missing Newcastle at the moment. Just a little.
Newcastle upon Tyne? lol
It’s not the biggest airport in the UK but it definitely has flights to London (among other places). If you’re traveling on regular airlines like British Airways, etc you will not have any issue getting anywhere.
HOWEVER, with Ryanair/Easyjet/Jet2 you will find that you may have to travel out of other airports. When I went to Berlin, I flew out of Leeds-Bradford. When I went to Italy, I took a coach to Manchester Airport and flew from there. My trips to Ireland and Spain I was able to fly out of Newcastle with Ryanair. When I went to France, I didn’t even fly. I went from Newcastle to London, and then London to France with National Express.
The train is a great method as well. Newcastle is the major hub in the Northeast so you won’t have issues finding tickets.
Traveling is easy, you just have to find the right method that works for you (and your budget).
[For some reason this question got lost in the jumble that is my inbox. I’m sorry for that!]
This is an interesting question because Newcastle and my hometown in southern Virginia (Hampton Roads) are…different.
Size - Hampton Roads has a higher population than Newcastle and is more spread out. I wouldn’t say Newcastle is tiny - just more compact. At home, people use cars more because of how spread out everything can be.
Demographic - My hometown has a larger minority population than Newcastle (myself being an African-American).
Public Transport - Hampton Rds has crap public transport. I hate it. The buses come twice an hour (3-4 if you’re lucky). We just opened a light rail a couple of years ago, so that’s nice. However, it is light. Meaning, it does not go to many places or very far. Newcastle, on the other hand, has a light rail but it is more of a mini metro system and extends MUCH farther.
I have heard horror stories about some of the buses though, so that hadn’t changed when I arrived the U.K. haha. I think the system is a little better in comparison to home. Also, there is the option of riding my bike in Newcastle. Home is not very bike friendly, so you do not see many people using it as a method of transport.
I’ll be honest, I preferred Newcastle, mainly due to it’s compact size and ease of getting around (for the most part). There are other places in the US that can provide me with the same comfort but my original hometown does not cut it.
Hope that answered your question. :)
Thank you! :)
It’s ok to be nervous. I was nervous up until the day I left, while I was on the plane (it was my first time flying), and even after I arrived.
Hmm, I suppose I wish I had known about Icelandair. I discovered them when I made the trip back to the UK for my graduation. Not only do they tend to be the cheapest route from US-UK they have a larger luggage allowance: two 50lb suitcases. Seeing as how I spent a significance amount on luggage fees, having two free suitcases would have been great.
If you are living in university accommodation, the first thing you should do is get a student ID. You will not be able to access the internet without it (among other things). I literally arrived in England, was taken to my housing, dropped my luggage off, and then walked to campus to get my ID. While you are at it, get the uni documentation so that you can get a bank account opened. These are two very important things.
Also, I couldn’t find eggnog in Newcastle. That hurt.
1) I suggest getting a UK phone number. I brought my unlocked Blackberry with me and all I had to do was switch the SIM card. Simple. You can get prepaid at first but in order to get on a monthly plan you need a UK bank account (and that takes about two weeks so set up). I went with T-Mobile
2) I got a part time job through the university (JOBSOC) so it was relatively easy. I do not have experience with getting a job outside of that though. It IS a bit more complex with international students but not impossible. I highly recommend the Careers Service in helping you get set up with a side job.
3) Must-dos - get a bike! Ok, that is a bit biased on my part, haha. A large population of students have bikes and it’s easier to get around (depending on where you live). That is truly one of the things I miss about Newcastle.
Must-sees: Durham (Durhan Cathedral & Durham Castle), Alnwick (Alnwick Castle), Angel of the North, Metrocentre, Hadrian’s Wall, Tynemouth (there is a fish and chips shop that is reealllyyyyy good). There are more places to explore but those are the popular ones to start you off. :)