Student Life

Creating together

Students chat at an outside table at a restaurant or bar

How is University different from school?

School and university are astronomically different.

For starters, you have a lot more responsibility and- you will need to learn how to do a lot more on your own – from living alone and cooking yourself to doing your own laundry and managing your time.

A person carries freshly folded laundry

I did the majority of my schooling in Nigeria under the Indian CBSE curriculum. When I was in high school, I would leave the house before sunrise every day and return after classes late in the evening for six days of the week. I barely had any time for myself. Now, in university, I have a much quieter and more manageable timetable. I do not have classes for more than four days during the week. Also, even on the days when I have classes, I still have time to socialise and take time for myself.

Balancing your student and social life

Every student needs to have a good balance between their studies and their social life.

I make sure I plan my week in a way where I priorities studying and reward myself with breaks. That means you can get your work done and enjoy your free time without stressing out. On the days when I don’t have classes, I make sure I sign up for some fun extra-curricular activities and meet new people.

Students talking in the city centre

I take out time from my weekend to stay in touch with my friends from back home as well. Make new friends but don’t forget your old ones. Sometimes, as an international student, the sudden shift to living alone becomes overwhelming. The key to staying on track is managing your time. Keep some time aside to talk to people from back home and also take a nice walk outside – there’s a lot to see in Newcastle. Also, taking a walk helps me get some fresh air and clears my mind after sitting in the same place for a while.

Is there free time for fun?

Procrastination is probably every student’s weak point. Try to complete all your work as a priority, so you are satisfied, and you have free time to have fun and relax without the constant stress of pending work.

Studying should be your main focus but trying new things and making friends is just as important. I have been involved in a few ‘Give It A Go’ activities to meet new people. For example, something as simple as a virtual film club can be very enjoyable. I also try my hand at learning new recipes or sometimes I just snuggle up with Netflix and some popcorn.

A person takes a photo of a view of Newcastle with their mobile phone

When the skies are clear, the inner photographer in me walks around the city capturing moments. It all depends on what you enjoy – there are several activities you can have a go at in Newcastle.

Managing your schedule according to your modules

Personally, I make a weekly schedule of the topics that need to be covered during the week and I work towards it accordingly.

A planning calendar

For my course, weekly lecture videos, reading material and quizzes are uploaded for each of my six modules on Canvas – a ‘Virtual Learning Environment’. Each student is required to watch all the uploaded videos, understand the essential reading material, and complete the quizzes by the end of the week. In this way, our learning is very flexible. In addition to this, we have live seminar sessions in smaller groups and live q/a sessions to clear any doubts.

The Flying Start degree is very challenging but if you plan ahead of time, you can easily stay on top of your work and still have more time to spare. However, there are a few modules that need extra practice and work like taxation, management accounting and financial accounting. I try to spend more time on these subjects because most topics in these modules can be understood better with just some more practice.

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Natasha is an undergraduate student studying Business Accounting and Finance (with Placement) at Newcastle University Business School.

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