Coming to a new country has its challenges. If studying alone isn’t enough to handle (!), you also have to know information like where to find things around campus, public transport, finding somewhere to live, building new friendships, perhaps learning a new language, and managing your finances (just to name a few), all the while looking after your physical and mental health.
Having studied in another country myself, I know that although the journey is so new, exciting, refreshing – exhilarating even – it can also be confusing. But be assured that UON has thought this all through for you! There are several support services available to help you navigate your new endeavour, and I’ve summarised them all below. Welcome to your support-services checklist. ✓
1. Starting Out
Our ‘Mapping Your Journey’ and ‘Setting Up Your Life’ articles have everything you need to know, to hit the ground running! Additionally, the following services are here to help.
Got questions? Not sure about your course? Need to find something on campus? Having problems with your student card? You can visit Student Central at Shortland and Hunter (both at the Callaghan campus), and also at NeW Space (the City Precinct). Student Central also have locations at Ourimbah (opposite the main cafeteria) and at Port Macquarie (upper level of the B Block library).
While there is plenty of information online, sometimes it’s much more helpful having a face-to-face interaction with someone. Your Student Advisors can be found in all Student Central locations and can answer any questions you have about studying at the University of Newcastle. For example, they can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an international student at UON, and all the complexities of student visas. If you do find yourself struggling, Student Advisors can put you in contact with other support services. They can also help develop an individualised plan to help you succeed at uni, and may check in from time-to-time to see how you’re doing.
Be sure to attend the International Student Welcome Day as explained in your welcome pack, for everything you need to know on getting started on your new adventure. The Welcome Day is a great chance to come onto campus and find out about living and studying here, as well as participate in a range of social activities to help you get to know the area and make new friends.
2. Getting to know people + events
Sometimes spending time with someone else who has gone through a similar journey to you is the best way to get to know a place. UON Peer Mentors are current students that are eager to help you adjust to uni life, get to know your campus, find the right support services for you and share their own experiences. Request a mentor here.
Clubs and societies
From the Anime Club to the Indian Students Association, to the Basketball Club to the Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association (NUPSA), you are sure to find something of interest; something that feels a little like home, or just something new that you’d like to try out! Find out more here.
The Newcastle University Students Association is the student union, and the NUSA building has a great student lounge with kitchenette (perfect place to get some tea or heat up your lunch)! They also run great events like free weekly barbeques.
3. Physical and mental health
Health and welfare advisers
Talking to the right people makes all the difference. Our Health and Welfare Advisers are on hand to assist and connect you to the right people (such as counsellors and other support services) for a range of issues while you are at university including disability support and student loans. Reach out to an adviser here.
Visit a doctor on campus! You can do this at Level 1 of the Student Services Centre, Callaghan. Simply call 4921 6000 or visit the clinic to make an appointment. Find out more here.
The University offers a range of scholarships and also has a Student Loans Scheme to help you. Find out more here.
Free legal advice
Need some legal help? The University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC) is both a community legal service and a teaching facility for law students. Find out more here.
UON Careers Counsellors have connections with thousands of potential employers, and are a great way to access free information and advices about finding a job, study and employment. Find out more here. Be sure to also visit CareerHub for all advertised jobs.
5. Finding faith and spiritual support
There are chaplains from a range of faiths at the Chaplaincy, located in the Hunter Building at Callaghan campus. Here, you can find a Justice of the Peace (JP), somewhere to have some quiet time, or someone to talk to about personal, academic, or other issues. Currently, there are Christian, Muslim and Sikh chaplains, among others. Find out more here.
6. Academic essentials
Bridging and refresher courses, peer-assisted study programs, essay and exam help, and programs to build English and Math skills, are some of the services offered. Speak to Student Central to find out more. Learning Development are also a service you will definitely want to make use of. They offer a range of programs for international students, including workshops in English grammar and pronunciation, speaking and listening, and reading and writing if you want to improve your language skills!
The University of Newcastle has seven state-of-the-art libraries across its six campuses. At Callaghan, you will find Auchmuty Library located on the Shortland side of campus, near great eateries and cafes. On the Hunter side of campus, you will find Huxley Library, located in the Hunter Building – again, very close to stationary supplies, food outlets and more. Find out more here.
For more information on any of the above, visit newcastle.edu.au/study/undergraduate/campus-and-services/support-and-services