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Jessica Ashley Burnett

English Literature

Where are you from?

United States of America

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I was drawn most to the location. I liked that the school is near city centre. I also like the array of different student organizations available. 

What happened during your first week in Northumbria?

During my first week I got lost a lot. Having a building named Squires and one named Squires Annex is quite confusing. I became friends with my flatmates in my student accommodation and we did a bit of exploring together. I managed to find all my classes and was impressed with the knowledge of the faculty. I went to some taster sessions for drama society, dance society, and improv society. I discovered those delicious little lemon cake bites sold in the basement of the library, which had to be the best part of my first week. 

What was it about the course / subject area that particularly appealed?

I thought it would be interesting to learn about American literature outside of America and study British literature in Britain. 

What is your favourite thing about the course?

I really enjoy the readings. We read more novels than I did back home and feel like I am learning more and getting to fully experience a wider range of texts. 

How do you get on with your tutors? / How have they helped you?

My tutors are very friendly. They’ve helped me get a chance to see more of England. In one of my modules we visit different castles of historical significance that are located in the North East. They are helpful with setting aside office hours to discuss assignments.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

I am a member of the drama society, dance society, and improv society. I have been cast in a play in drama society and am planning to audition for the hip hop competition team in dance society. I have visited the American golf driving range in Sunderland and am learning how to play golf. 

What is your favourite thing about Newcastle?

I love how friendly the residents here are. Everything is really accessible whether by bus, metro, bicycle, or walking. And the taxis are affordable. I like that I can travel to a variety of nearby places without having a car. 

What 3 words would you use to summairse your time here?

Scholarly, Lively, Adventurous

Do you have any advice for anyone applying for your course, or is there anything else you’d like to mention that you haven’t had a chance to write about already?

I wish I had known about the Fullbright scholarship which is specifically for American students studying in the Uk and vice versa.  I also didn’t know that University in the UK is only 3 years. I would advise students to not rush into buying things for their flat or too many school supplies and to wait for the sales at the end of September. 

Do you have any advice and handy tips for anyone applying from your country?

I would tell students from my country to apply for the Fullbright scholarship. I would advise them to bring twice as much money as they think they will need and at least two electrical adapters. I packed a bit too light coming to England so I would tell prospective students to bring enough clothes.


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