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Aaron Gugkang

Where are you from?

Malaysia.

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

There was a partnership programme between Northumbria and the college I was studying in back in Malaysia. I have always wanted to study abroad - so it was perfect!

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is amazing. It's not too small because there's always something to do or somewhere to go, and it's not too big because everything is so accessible.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

I expected there to be a divide between the home students and the International Students but there has generally been nothing of the sort. Everyone gets along really well, especially after a few pints! The locals are friendly and accommodating, and are always willing to help.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

Having done my LLB, LLM and now the BPTC in Northumbria, it feels just like a second home to me. It was never a problem to fit in, everyone was probably going through the same thing, so I guess that made it easier.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Honestly, it is definitely the people. It is such a mixing pot of different cultures from all corners of the earth and the way everyone gets along it nothing short of amazing. Nights out in the 'Toon' are always an experience - I learn something new every time I have a night out with my friends!

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

It has to be said, the staff at the Law School reception have to be commended on their excellent effort. When I was first arrived, I was alone and frankly, more than a little lost. They showed me around, suggested activities and places to visit. Then there are the friends I met since coming here. The friendships I've built since I've been here are going to be friendships I will treasure for the rest of my life.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Definitely the City Campus East - it has everything I need!

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

I have been a member of the Northumbria University Malaysian Society since 2010 and together we have organised a number of events involving Malaysians, to foster the spirit of unity despite being so far away from home. The yearly Malaysian Ball is always a highlight!

What is the best thing about your course?

Doing the BPTC, I finally see how my LLB works. It is fascinating to see law in practice!

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

If it's worth having, it's worth fighting for.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

The BPTC, as cliched at it may sound, is just what I need in order to kickstart a career as a lawyer.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Just do it. It may seem daunting at first, especially if you are an International Student studying abroad for the first time. It is a massive change, I know, but it is definitely worth it. It is an experience money can not buy and it will truly enrich you in so many ways.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Being in a University that is so accepting in its diversity has made me learn that people are perfect in their imperfections and that should be celebrated. Being different is being beautiful!

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Awesome. Life-changing. Beautiful.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Definitely, without a doubt.


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