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First Weeks

Your first weeks at university are an exciting time. Moving to a new country is a fantastic opportunity but there can be a lot to take in too. Before you arrive you might want to familiarise yourself with things you’ll need to take care of to help you settle in and make the most of your time here. If you’ve arrived, moved in, enrolled and set up your Northumbria email account, it may be time to think about the below.


All students should register with a medical doctor (GP) so you are prepared in case you ever become ill. In the UK, there is some treatment that is free for everyone, however International Students are required to cover the costs of some aspects of their healthcare, please click here for more information.  

During your first week you will want to register with a local GP - there is no on Site General Practitioner (GP) at Northumbria University. Find out how to register for a GP, and where your nearest GP is, by visiting the welfare and health support website


Something that many students need to do is open a bank account.

You can find information about how to open a bank account in the UK here.

You will have a choice of banks, and it is important to consider which bank is right for you.  One bank, Santander, has a branch on the University’s main City Campus (inside the Students' Union building) and a wide range of different banks have branches near to our campuses. 

Each bank will offer students different types of account, set different charges for their services and offer different interest rates and facilities so it is recommended you spend time researching which bank best suits you and your circumstances.

Check your Timetable

Find your programme induction timetable which will include welcome sessions for your specific course. These will help introduce you to academic staff and your programme and its content, so it’s important to attend all sessions.

You will also want to familiarise yourself with your own timetable to see when your lectures and seminars are taking place so you can be prepared to start your studies at Northumbria once teaching commences. Your timetable is unique to you and you can access it through the student portal.

Explore University Life

Once you arrive you may want to explore the Northumbria campus and get to know your surroundings.

In particular facilities you may want to familiarise yourself with are the Library, Sports Central and the Students’ Union.

Freshers Week hosted by Northumbria Students’ Union also offers entertainment, activities and student-led society events to suit all students during the first week of term. This week provides a fantastic opportunity to make friends, learn more about the city, discover societies and have fun, helping you to settle in.

While studying at Northumbria you also have the opportunity to join one of our 100+ societies or countless volunteering projects so be sure to take a look at our clubs and societies. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn a skill, or try something new.


There are a huge range of shops where you will be able to pick up everyday items you may need across the city.

For food and groceries, there are Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores near the campus in the city centre, there are also a number of smaller independent grocery stores too. Larger supermarkets (including Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s) can be found throughout the city, easily accessed via public transport or on foot depending where in the city your accommodation is. Wilkos in the city centre is also cost-effective for picking up everyday essentials such as toiletries, stationery, homeware and kitchenware. Newcastle’s city centre has a huge range of shops a short walk from campus in Eldon Square mall and on Northumberland Street.  

You may also need to pick up electronic devices or cables which are compatible with UK electrical outlets and sockets. There are a number of convenient electrical shops in the city centre you may wish to visit in this instance such as Currys PC World or Maplin.

Using your mobile phone SIM or contract from home in the UK can prove costly due to international roaming charges. You may want to get a UK mobile phone SIM or contract. Again, there are a number of providers in the city centre; 02, EE, 3 and Vodafone – you will want to do some research to find out the best deals and decide on a device and plan to suit your requirements. You can choose between a contract that will provide you with a mobile phone and SIM, a SIM-only contract, or a pay-as-you-go (pre-paid) SIM. Getting a mobile phone contract may be simpler if you have already set up a UK bank account.

Talk to us

Have a question or want to talk to us?

Ask4Help is the first place to go if you need any personal support from the Student Support and Wellbeing service to help you on your student journey. We can show you where to find the information you might need; we can explain how you can refer yourself for guidance in considering any change to your study programme or for counselling help; and if you need to see an adviser, we can tell you if you need to make an appointment or use a drop in service.

You can find Ask4Help at service points across campus including Student Central, or you can phone, email, or access Ask4Help Online.


Phone: + 44 (0) 191 227 4646


Twitter: @NUAsk4Help

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