MESSAGE AN INCLUSIVITY AMBASSADOR

 

Brand new for 2019/2020! This term the project will be supporting BAME and students from a lower income background.

We look forward to supporting other underrepresented groups in the near future.  

Explore our 12 Inclusivity Ambassadors who are on call to answer any question you have about starting University in September. You can also find some of our most frequently asked questions which might help answer some of your questions.

Can't find an answer to a question you have? Then ask a question using the links & forms dotted around the page and on each ambassador profile. You are able to send your question to anyone at random, or pick an ambassador that you would feel more comfortable answering. 

 

 

Where can I find information about inclusive/ cultural/ ethnic societies?

Head to the NUSU website! You will be able to meet societies at the society fair when you arrive, you will be able to join then too

Where can I get ethnic food?

Newcastle has various places you can get Arab/ Asian/ Afro- Caribbean food but Westgate road is the best place to find the food you want.

Is it difficult to find friends at University?

Finding your friendship group can seem difficult. However, the university has facilities in place to make this as easy as possible. For example, societies, sports and fresher’s week are all there to help you interact with others and settle in. Furthermore, as you will be seeing your flat mates pretty much every day, they are usually student’s first friendship group.

Are there any African-Caribbean barbers in Newcastle?

You can find quite a few up Westgate Road, leading onto an area called Fenham. The African-Caribbean Society is very good at giving recommendations.

Where can I buy halal meat in Newcastle?

The closest halal butchers are found on Stanhope Street, just a bit further from Iceland. There is also a green grocer called Hutchinson’s which is good for price and sells some African-Caribbean and South Asian fruits and veg.

Where can I buy South Asian spices?

You may find some spices in the international section of supermarkets, but I highly recommend Najeb Continental Supermarket. They have an extensive selection and are a good price for the amount you get.

Is it worth the money to buy a Fresher's wristband?

The wristband is a significant investment but can be more than worth the price of entry if you take advantage of the activities and events laid on by the Union. This may mean that courses with higher workloads (e.g. Medicine) may have to get creative with their week's timetable to commit to some activities, but this year there is a really varied amount of daytime, evening and night-time activities and events which you can fit around your schedule. The amazing quality of experiences (including free food crawls, nights out, paintballing etc) and the opportunity to make new friends really is worth the price of the wristband.

How do you keep on top of university work?

For the first few weeks of university, the workload will not be huge so students can settle down and get used to the university life. As you gradually go towards the end of semester one, you should make sure you manage your time and workload properly – do not leave your assignments till the last minute as you will struggle to complete them all. It is also recommended to attend all classes and lectures as they will definitely help and prepare you for assignments and exams. The University and its staff provides a lot of help and support to students and lecturers reply to student emails in good time. There is definitely enough free time for students to socialise, relax and to enjoy their hobbies.

Make sure you give yourself enough space and time away from your work so you can destress and unwind. 

I’m moving to Newcastle from a different country. Should I buy everything I need over in Newcastle?

Lots of companies have the facility for you to send boxes of your stuff over to your new destination, for a reasonable price. I did this myself and had a really positive experience. It also helps to buy kitchen/bedroom essentials in Newcastle- there are lots of stores like Wilko /Primark that sell everything you will need from kitchen utensils to bedroom decorations for a great price!

Do I have to buy the Freshers wristband for Freshers?

You absolutely don’t have to buy the wristband but it’s great if you want to try lots of new things or get stuck right in, but there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet new people as the academic year begins. Come along to the Freshers' Fair where you can meet clubs and societies, get involved in our volunteering projects and come along to events we run through the Students' Union throughout the year.

Can I still make friends if I don’t drink?

Alcohol should never be a reason why you do or don’t make friends! Everyone at Newcastle is very accepting and it’s becoming increasingly popular to not drink so it’s really easy to have fun without it! There’s even a society devoted to sobriety with regular sober activities, and plenty of things to do in the city other than clubbing.

How do I join societies?

During freshers’ week there is a freshers’ fair on campus (23rd & 24th September in Veune), where clubs and societies will have a stand where you can sign up for anything that takes your fancy. Join as much as you can, you’re not committing to anything straight away and it’s a great way to make friends! A full list of societies is available on the NUSU (Newcastle University Students’ Union) website, and on the Newcastle University app.

How do I find my way around?

The Newcastle University app has a map, as well as building maps being available online. There are signposts all over campus which can also point you in the right direction if you’re a bit lost, and don’t hesitate to ask someone if you’re struggling. Most people will help to point you in the right direction!

What is the best way to make friends with my flatmates?

Communication! Speaking, and listening, to each other is key. Being able to have conversations and finding out all about them in the first few days of being around each other will be vital to ensuring you get on well with them. Unless you know other people at the university, your flatmates will be your first real friends in the city and that is a strong bond. Find out what they’re interested in, let them know what you’re interested in, and find some things in common! Playing games and going on trips together is a way of spending time with your flatmates and making friends. You could even ask them if they wanted to go to the fresher’s fair with you, and other fresher’s activities.

Are there any inclusive clubs or societies I can join?

I would definitely say have a look on the NUSU website to see what’s on offer, there’s such a range of inclusive clubs and societies to appeal to everyone. I found attending ACS (Afro-Caribbean Society) events a great way to meet and socialise with other BAME students, and a massive help when it came to things like finding black hair shops/hairdressers in the area.

Is the fresher’s Wristband worth it?

If you consider that the combined price of every activity on offer that week is a lot more that the price of the wristband, then yes on the outset it is a good discount. However, it is worth considering that a lot of these daytime activities have to be signed up for in the morning as they have limited spaces so if you’ve gone hard the night before,make sure you get there early (or sign up for an event the night before). Aside from the core Freshers' events that you need to purchase a wristband for, we have lots of free Early Arrivals events and activities which you can come along to. You can also come along to Freshers' Fair without a wristband to sign up for clubs and societies during the week.

Where can I buy Plantain?

The International Home Foods store on Westgate road of course! It also sells other home delights, so you can eat indomie to your heart’s content. Grainger market also has a few hidden spots for fresh fruit and veg as well, lots of plantain included!

Where can I buy hair attachments and extensions?

Hair City in the city centre near Eldon Square (the big Tesco side) is probably your best, most local bet.

How diverse is Newcastle really?

To be honest not very when you compare it with other cities such as Manchester, Leicester and need I say it London. However, all is not doom and gloom, the diversity in Newcastle within two years has grown. And even without this, community is an intrinsic part of this city, so despite the lack in diversity, you can find your people.

Will I be able to cope with being independent?

The rate at which you become independent is matched with your University progression, so you'll take on levels of independence that you can handle. If you embrace this freedom, it will be an experience that will ultimately help fulfil your potential and prepare you for graduate life.

Do I have to buy all the recommended textbooks?

Often, the fantastic University libraries and online publications, will have all the knowledge you require. You will also find multiple copies of most course books in the library. However, if you are adamant on buying, then loan the book first, judge its utility and then purchase.

 

KALDORA IBEKWE

“Hi, my name is Kaldora and I am in 3rd year studying Biomedical Science. Send me a message if you have any questions.”

As a 1st generation Nigerian immigrant from the south of England, I chose to be a mentor as I have a passion for making the transition from sixth form to Uni as smoothly as possible for people from minority background and my time mentoring 1st years has taught me how to support new students. Being involved in community outreach programs like the TuWeseshe Fellowship has been an amazing way to impact equality and diversity. I have loved being in the Afro-Caribbean society, running the career conference as an Employability Ambassador and performing in 'Hairspray’ as part of the Theatre Society. Fashion Society events and my church community have been definite highlights. I am also part of a summer research project furthering my interest in science and medicine

To ask Kaldora a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

JACK MCGINLEY

“Hi my name is Jack and I am a fourth year studying Medicine, send me a message if you have any questions.”

I remember how nerve-wracking it can feel to move out for the first time and come to university; I've been in Newcastle for three years so I know the city like the back of my hand, and I'm happy to address any questions or put to rest any worries you might be having! If you're worried about accommodation, making friends, managing your money, finding your way around; or even just looking for the best place for a night out or a quiet cup of tea, drop me a message!

To ask Jack a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

JAKE WATSON

“Hi my name is Jake and I am a second year studying English Literature! Send me a message if you have any questions!”

As the first person from my family to go to University, I understand how daunting it can is for such a huge part of your life to be just a couple of months away! If you have any questions about my course, freshers or how Newcastle uni works in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

One of my biggest questions before starting university was what kind of support was on offer. I wasn't expecting any major issues, but before I arrived I wanted to be aware of whatever services were available for academic or other problems I might run into.

I was excited to find that you are matched with your own personal tutor from the staff of your degree discipline, and that there are dedicated teams for other difficulties, whether that is student wellbeing or even accommodation. There are services available for every sector of life at university!

To ask Jake a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

KEMI ADEDIRAN

"Hi my name is Kemi and I am in Stage 3 studying Media, Communication and Cultural Studies send me a message if you have any questions.”

I am British Nigerian from Milton Keynes interested in the social justice aspect of media and communications. Coming for a multicultural town and being a person of colour I was unsure if I would be able to find people and places that related to me. Coming here, I found an amazing community in societies such as the Afro- Caribbean Society and I found places where I felt comfortable and felt at home. I joined this mentoring scheme to ensure people do not feel apprehensive and unsure before they come, by answering your questions I hope we can help you feel at ease and settled in at Newcastle before you even arrive!

 

To ask Kemi a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

 

FELIX BIJOY

“Hi, my name is Felix Bijoy, and I'm going into my final year of Pharmacology while applying for graduate medicine. Send me a message if you have any questions!”

I'm from a small town in Lincolnshire, and since starting University, I've experienced my fair share of academia; along with the incredible social life and opportunities in the legendary 'toon'. I remember the questions I had about the city, social life, 9 AM lectures, and managing money. That's why, as an inclusivity mentor; I hope to answer any queries and help you have the best start to an epic University experience!

I've been quite busy leading the award-winning TEDx society, researching knee replacement surgery and teaching students on widening access programmes — a few delightful additions to my degree.

So, I invite you to ask any questions spanning from mental wellbeing and study techniques to societies and personal finance. After all, I've probably had the same questions as a Fresher. It's over to you now; drop me a message and let's start the University journey together!

To ask Felix a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

KHALEEL SHAZADA

“Hi my name is Khaleel Shazada and I am in third year studying Dentistry. Send me a message if you have any questions.”

I came up from Derby to study and I’ve had a fantastic time! Being the first generation to go to university was a change for my family, especially for my Pakistani family who expected me to at least study a lot closer to home. It was difficult for us all to adjust but it became much easier with time. I wanted to become a mentor so I can advise students of how university life is very different to home and that you can get through it! I understand that when you come from a family with commitments and strong relationships, it can be very daunting to move away. However, I’ve realised I have grown so much while being away. Dentistry is an intensive course, requiring me to perfect my organisation to allow me to juggle my personal and academic life. Hopefully I can help with your concerns!

To ask Khaleel a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

DANIEL MILLERCHIP

“Hi my name is Daniel Millerchip and I am in 3rd year studying Biomedical Sciences. Please send me a message if you have any questions.”

I chose to be a mentor because I love to help people. Finding help can always seem daunting and you may feel like you don’t need it or it’s embarrassing to ask for help, but this isn’t the case. I am here exclusively for you to express any concerns or worries you have prior to arriving at Newcastle. I’m from Manchester, coming from a single parent, low-income family. I know how hard it is to move to a new city and fend for myself, and this is why I’m here to help you. I’ve been in your shoes and I’m now knowledgeable enough to be able to listen to your queries and help to give you the correct answers, as best as I can.

To ask Daniel a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

RIANNA CURRAN

“Hi! My name is Rianna and I am second year student studying Law. Send me a message if you have any questions.”

I am from rural Northern Ireland so moving over to Newcastle was a big deal for me- but I have loved it so much! My first year at Uni had been amazing fun and I have made so many new friends from all different backgrounds. I chose to be a mentor because I like helping people and I’m enthusiastic about answering any worries or queries, and reassuring new students that they will have a great time at Newcastle University. I feel I fitted in almost immediately to life as a university student in a new city away from home, but I know this may not be the case for all. Remember that it can take a while to make friends or adjust to living in halls with strangers, but so long as you are friendly and thoughtful of others, you should have a brilliant experience!

To ask Rianna a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

RUDO DUBE

“Hi my name is Rudo and I’m going into my final year studying Psychology and Biology after a year’s placement as an Assistant Psychologist, send me a message if you have any questions.”

Over the past few years I’ve learnt how to deal effectively with the demands of my degree, things can be stressful and overwhelming at times but I’ve realised how important it is to be able to take a step back and invest time into doing things that enrich your overall well-being. As much as I now love university, the transition was definitely challenging; I consider myself to be quite a confident person but I felt like a fish out of water, no one I knew was coming to Newcastle and living just outside of London I don’t think I actually realised how far North Newcastle is! I know I would have found something like this mentor scheme invaluable just to give me a better understanding of what to expect and feel a bit more prepared, so I’m really happy to be able to make this contribution for you guys.

To ask Rudo a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

TOHEED HUSSAIN

“Hi, my name is Toheed and I am a 2nd year student studying Accounting and finance (with placement). Please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.”

As a student originally from Newcastle, I settled well into life at University. Having finished my first year of university, I can say that it has been an amazing experience. From societies to sports, students find it quite easy to find friendship groups. Having previously been a mentor and a student rep, I feel I can totally relate to the position you are in and can assist you through your journey to University. A challenge that I had in first year was finding the balance between socialising and university work. It is common for this to happen, but by prioritising and organising my time effectively, I soon overcame it.

To ask Toheed a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

EMMA TUCK

“Hi, my name is Emma and I’m in second year, studying medicine. Please send me a message if you have any questions!”

I also have Asperger syndrome, which made my first few weeks at uni a bit challenging as I wasn’t as confident in social situations, but with help from friends and some perseverance I managed to overcome this and had a fantastic first year! I grew up very local to Newcastle so I know loads about the area and what you can do, and also what to expect! When I saw this mentoring opportunity, I was really excited to try it to help people who are in similar situations to me and teach them all the tips and tricks I learned in my first few months. I really hope to hear from you!

To ask Emma a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

JANE LEE

“Hi my name is Jane and I am a second year studying Computing Science. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.”

In September I will be going into my last year of Computing Science. After I graduate, I aim to work within the gaming industry as I enjoy games and designs. My favourite hobby is crafting! In my spare time I mainly craft cosplay props and outfits. I am also very interested in Japanese culture and I attend weekly language classes. Moving to university was a daunting experience. I managed to cope with this by stepping outside my comfort zone and joining all the societies that interested me. In the end I made some great friends that are still with me today! Prior to becoming a student, I struggled to find specific information about my course and answers to student type questions so I decided to become a mentor so that I can help any prospective students with the transition to University and to answer any queries that they have.

To ask Jane a question, please fill in the form to your left (on desktops), down below (on mobiles) or follow this link.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Where can I find information about inclusive/ cultural/ ethnic societies?

Head to the NUSU website! You will be able to meet societies at the society fair when you arrive, you will be able to join then too

Where can I get ethnic food?

Newcastle has various places you can get Arab/ Asian/ Afro- Caribbean food but Westgate road is the best place to find the food you want.

Is it difficult to find friends at University?

Finding your friendship group can seem difficult. However, the university has facilities in place to make this as easy as possible. For example, societies, sports and fresher’s week are all there to help you interact with others and settle in. Furthermore, as you will be seeing your flat mates pretty much every day, they are usually student’s first friendship group.

Are there any African-Caribbean barbers in Newcastle?

You can find quite a few up Westgate Road, leading onto an area called Fenham. The African-Caribbean Society is very good at giving recommendations.

Where can I buy halal meat in Newcastle?

The closest halal butchers are found on Stanhope Street, just a bit further from Iceland. There is also a green grocer called Hutchinson’s which is good for price and sells some African-Caribbean and South Asian fruits and veg.

Where can I buy South Asian spices?

You may find some spices in the international section of supermarkets, but I highly recommend Najeb Continental Supermarket. They have an extensive selection and are a good price for the amount you get.

Is it worth the money to buy a Fresher's wristband?

In short, it depends. The wristband is a significant investment but can be more than worth the price of entry if you take advantage of the activities and events laid on by the Union. This may mean that courses with higher workloads (e.g. Medicine) may have to get creative with their week's timetable to commit to some activities. However, the amazing quality of the 80+ experiences (including free food crawls, surfing, Go Ape); and opportunities to make new friends ensure that the wristbands are worth their price.

How do you keep on top of university work?

For the first few weeks of university, the workload will not be huge so students can settle down and get used to the university life. As you gradually go towards the end of semester one, you should make sure you manage your time and workload properly – do not leave your assignments till the last minute as you will struggle to complete them all. It is also recommended to attend all classes and lectures as they will definitely help and prepare you for assignments and exams. The University and its staff provides a lot of help and support to students and lecturers reply to student emails in good time. There is definitely enough free time for students to socialise, relax and to enjoy their hobbies.

Make sure you give yourself enough space and time away from your work so you can destress and unwind. 

I’m moving to Newcastle from a different country. Should I buy everything I need over in Newcastle?

Lots of companies have the facility for you to send boxes of your stuff over to your new destination, for a reasonable price. I did this myself and had a really positive experience. It also helps to buy kitchen/bedroom essentials in Newcastle- there are lots of stores like Wilko /Primark that sell everything you will need from kitchen utensils to bedroom decorations for a great price!

Do I have to buy the Freshers wristband for Freshers week?

You absolutely don’t have to buy the wristband, it’s great if you want to try lots of new things or get stuck right into Freshers.

Can I still make friends if I don’t drink?

Alcohol should never be a reason why you do or don’t make friends! Everyone at Newcastle is very accepting and it’s becoming increasingly popular to not drink so it’s really easy to have fun without it! There’s even a society devoted to sobriety with regular sober activities, and plenty of things to do in the city other than clubbing.

How do I join societies?

During freshers’ week there is a freshers’ fair on campus, where most of the societies will have a stand where you can sign up for anything that takes your fancy. Join as much as you can, you’re not committing to anything straight away and it’s a great way to make friends! A full list of societies is available on the NUSU (Newcastle University Students’ Union) website, and on the Newcastle University app.

How do I find my way around?

The Newcastle University app has a map, as well as building maps being available online. There are signposts all over campus which can also point you in the right direction if you’re a bit lost, and don’t hesitate to ask someone if you’re struggling. Most people will help to point you in the right direction!

What is the best way to make friends with my flatmates?

Communication! Speaking, and listening, to each other is key. Being able to have conversations and finding out all about them in the first few days of being around each other will be vital to ensuring you get on well with them. Unless you know other people at the university, your flatmates will be your first real friends in the city and that is a strong bond. Find out what they’re interested in, let them know what you’re interested in, and find some things in common! Playing games and going on trips together is a way of spending time with your flatmates and making friends. You could even ask them if they wanted to go to the fresher’s fair with you, and other fresher’s activities.

Are there any inclusive societies I can join?

I would definitely say have a look on the NUSU website to see what’s on offer, there’s such a range of inclusive societies to appeal to everyone. I found attending ACS (Afro-Caribbean Society) events a great way to meet and socialise with other BAME students, and a massive help when it came to things like finding black hair shops/hairdressers in the area.

Is the fresher’s Wristband worth it?

If you consider that the combined price of every activity on offer that week is a lot more that the price of the wristband, then yes it is a great discount.

Where can I buy Plantain?

The International Home Foods store on Westgate road of course! It also sells other home delights, so you can eat indomie to your heart’s content. Grainger market also has a few hidden spots for fresh fruit and veg as well, lots of plantain included!

Where can I buy hair attachments and extensions?

Hair City in the city centre near Eldon Square (the big Tesco side) is probably your best, most local bet.

How diverse is Newcastle really?

To be honest not very when you compare it with other cities such as Manchester, Leicester and need I say it London. However, all is not doom and gloom, the diversity in Newcastle within two years has grown. And even without this, community is an intrinsic part of this city, so despite the lack in diversity, you can find your people.

Will I be able to cope with being independent?

The rate at which you become independent is matched with your University progression, so you'll take on levels of independence that you can handle. If you embrace this freedom, it will be an experience that will ultimately help fulfil your potential and prepare you for graduate life.

Do I have to buy all the recommended textbooks?

Often, the fantastic University libraries and online publications, will have all the knowledge you require. You will also find multiple copies of most course books in the library. However, if you are adamant on buying, then loan the book first, judge its utility and then purchase.

"NUSU is proactively inclusive and no question will go unnoticed or unanswered. If you are a BAME student or a student from a lower income background, please ask our Ambassadors anything you are unsure about."