In March last year I visited Newcastle University for a Post-application Visit Day to meet my potential lecturers, current students and take another tour of the University (I’d already attended an Open Day back in November).
Before I attending, I already knew I wanted to go to Newcastle University as I had already fallen in love with the city on my first Open Day visit, so my Post-application Visit Day was a confirmation before making the decision to make it my first choice on my UCAS application.
I received my invitation just after I had been accepted on a Conditional Offer to study Media, Communication and Cultural Studies. I was so thrilled as it was another excuse to go and visit Newcastle, which had quickly become my new favourite city. I knew I liked the University and what it offered so getting the opportunity to visit again was so exciting!
The Media, Culture, Heritage school sent me both an email and physical letter to notify me of the different Post-application Days I could attend. So I made my decision which day would be best to travel to Newcastle and made travel arrangements.
When it came to travelling, my Dad decided to come with me as he always came to Open Days with me and didn’t mind driving. We had to leave quite early as my hometown is three hours away from Newcastle and we had to be at the University for 11am at the latest.
When we arrived in Newcastle it was very busy, but luckily because we had looked at parking prior to the journey and we knew where the best car parks were, Claremont Road Car Park which is right near the University and Exhibition Park, so it would be a short walk on to campus.
On arrival I was both nervous and excited. I knew I loved the city and the course I’d applied to, but I was also nervous because after this visit I had to make the decision whether this University was the one for me or not.
There were a few stations set up around the campus where I was able to sign in. All I had to do was give them my confirmation email and then they were able to direct me to where the first location on the itinerary was. Additionally, with all the signs and the campus map I was able to find the Armstrong Building very easily (one of the best buildings on campus in my opinion!).
On the agenda there was a welcome lecture, a taster lecture and a chance to speak to lecturers, faculty staff and current students.
First off, a Media and Cultural Theory lecturer broke down the day’s agenda and shared contact details for particular staff members in case we had questions afterwards. We learned about the University, where the Media, Culture and Heritage department were ranked and what the course could lead to, whether that was employment or a Masters degree.
After the welcome talk we went through a few modules, elaborating on methods of teaching, what themes would be covered, such as Celebrity Culture themes like Politics and Power and Celebrity Death. Followed by a break down of what we should expect from the course and what they would expect from us, such as work load and independent work hours. Staff went into great detail and eased my mind, as it was all very new to me. I was apprehensive at first but the Welcome Lecture took that fear away.
On the second floor of the Armstrong Building the Media, Culture, Heritage department had set up tables with Newcastle canvas bags full of goodies, beverages, cakes and biscuits.
A lot of lecturers and students were talking to parents and potential students, so I used this opportunity to ask questions to some of the third and second year students about some of the compulsory modules, what the assignments were like and if the jump from A-Level to University was very different or quite similar.
After speaking to lecturers and some students I was given a bag full of goodies including pens, a notebook, USB stick and some booklets with lots of information on my potential course and modules. Getting to speak to lecturers and faculty staff was really helpful for me as I was able to ask lots of questions. Additionally, my parents didn’t go to university, so my Dad had some worries and questions which all the current students and teaching staff were able to answer, they were all great!
We weren’t going to leave to go home until 4pm, when the day was due to end, so we went to Eat@Newcastle (near the Students’ Union) to grab some lunch. This was a great decision as I was able to see the food prices, the types of food on offer and experience a part of the student lifestyle.
Once we’d finished the introductions we were free to tour the University, whether that was a guided tour or on our own. I’d already downloaded and printed the campus map, so my Dad and I were able to navigate quite easily around the University, and if we weren’t sure there were plenty of students and staff around to get directions from and ask questions.
I liked getting to see the Students’ Union and the Old Library Building, tempting me with all the wonderful facilities on offer for me if I was to become a Newcastle University Student. I was also very interested in learning a language on the side, so discovering I could do so for free in the Language Resource Centre was great!
If we wanted to visit accommodation we would have had to book a tour, but I’d already viewed the accommodation on a previous Open Day so I gave that a miss.
I was worried that I’d find a fault when attending the Post-application Visit Day and wouldn’t want to go to the University anymore, but thankfully I found no fault with my course, the University or the city and I was so excited to accept my Conditional Offer. I wanted to start my degree that day!
After the day came to an end and my Dad and I headed back home we discussed what we thought about the visit. It was very important for me that my parents liked where I was planning to study and the city I was going to move to, so thankfully my Dad approved of Newcastle and got a great vibe from the University! So, I knew as soon as we left that I really wanted to go to Newcastle University and as soon as I got home I was going to make it my first choice on my UCAS Tracker.
It was a really useful day where I was able to ask so many questions and get the reassurance I needed. I would highly recommend Post-application Visit Days to those of you who are choosing between universities and not sure which one to put first and which one should be your insurance. It will give you an idea of what it would be like to be a student here at Newcastle University.