Northumbria University & Why You Should Consider Studying in the U.K.

Ever think of studying in the U.K.? Take a look below and then check out recaps of the universities I’m visiting on an Explore England college tour visiting five universities throughout Northern England starting with Northumbria University. Studying internationally may seem like a “foreign” idea (pun intended), but the truth is a lot of common myths you might have heard are…well just that…myths.


  • Myth #1: It is more expensive to study internationally for your entire degree. Not the case. On average a university abroad could cost anywhere from $20,000 – $35,000 per year. Mind you, most degrees are finished in three years. You can often include a study abroad or internship extending your degree in four years and pay even less during your year off-campus. All the while gaining experience and a global resume while earning your degree.
  • Myth #2: Your degree will not be transferrable. Again, not the case. Oftentimes employers will find candidates with an abroad degree more enticing. Think about it, candidates can be more independent, experienced culturally, able to work with various groups of people and have gained soft skills in things like critical thinking, problem solving and resilience just by living abroad.
    • For professional degrees such as Law, Dentistry and Medicine, you can navigate your credentials back to the state you’d like to work with advising and any extra work/classes and potentially be done and ready to work earlier.
  • Myth #3: It’s scary and different and I won’t like it. Okay this is a vague one, but the truth is every new experience will be scary and unknown to you. Oftentimes are biggest fears are unmet. And the biggest things that scare us, can become the most amazing.

There are some easy things you can do to explore and compare international universities. Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. What do I want to study? (U.K. universities don’t have the general education first year that allows for an undeclared option as most of America does, so having an idea of what you know you want to study is good. You don’t have to choose what type of Engineering specifically, but knowing you want to be in Engineering and won’t skip over to Art History is an important factor to note).
  2. What type of environment do you want to live in? Think urban (and HOW urban), community resources and accessible things to do, etc.)
  3. IMG-1825What specialized amenities, resources or support do I want? What’s amazing is most of the U.K. universities will give each student an academic tutor (really an advisor, someone to guide you throughout your degree and out into the world), but also think of anything else important to you (clubs, sports, academic support services, etc.)

I’ll have a separate blog post for the application process and resources. For now, let’s dive in to the first three universities of the Explore England college tour.

Northumbria University

Located in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Northumbria University is nestled in a bigger city bustling with activity. A large university with access to city life makes Northumbria a school for students wanting an urban environment without getting lost in the shuffle of a city like London. You’ve got accessible public transportation, farmer’s markets, restaurants, clubs and societies on campus, accessible and affordable living spaces and a city environment that I found easy to navigate and friendly!


Quick stats: 

  • Around 32,000 students
  • Strength in Engineering, Interior Design, Fashion and Design, Architecture, Computer Science, Business, Sports Management
  • Programs in Arts, Design and Social Sciences; Engineering and Environment; Business and Law; and Health and Life Sciences. Search and read about all courses HERE
  • Student union with a central space to hang out, grab a bite or a coffee, incredible sports facilities with gym amenities, state-of-the art spaces for labs, engineering and sciences
  • Library with plenty of spaces for students to study, lounge and connect (and there were a TON of students hanging out, studying, socializing, etc. Coffee shops, restaurants on campus, etc.
  • partnership university – earn scholarships while in high school towards Northumbria University, takes FAFSA federal loans
  • Strong Career development and student support services on campus

Note the website is ALWAYS the best source of information, please refer to the site for more! 

On my first evening I went out with colleagues to a few restaurants along Grainger Street. The city was moving with young people all over dressed up and ready to go. On Sunday morning I went for a run along the river, felt safe doing so, and ended at a Farmer’s market for a fresh coffee. It honestly felt like a typical weekend in Los Angeles which made me feel right at home.

If you’re looking for student housing it’s incredibly accessible with amenities to go with it. We visited Trinity Square Accommodations, dorms located across the bridge from campus. The dorms sat on top of a market with sports courts on the roof and a gym, lounging spaces and amazing views of Newcastle.

If you’re a student looking for a city environment, but still a community feel that’s easy to navigate with lots to do, check out Northumbria. I flew in from Los Angeles to Amsterdam and then hopped over to Newcastle Upon Tyne. A taxi or train ride is easy to figure out from the smaller airport.

We hopped on the metro and took a quick ride down to the beach, ate fish and chips on this incredible lookout with a castle…a castle right there on the beach!! A lot to do for students, really.

All in all, I felt safe in this new city, enjoyed the restaurants, liveliness and how easy it was to get around. If you want that campus feel, but access to a lot happening off campus as well, Northumbria is one to check out.


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