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Matthew Stephenson

BSc (Hons) Geography

Bsc Geography Student Matthew StephensonWhy did you choose Northumbria University?

I looked at what many different universities had to offer in terms of their BSc Geography programmes and the Northumbria programme was exactly what I was looking for. I also know the city very well as I am from the area so I knew what a great place Newcastle is to study.

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

I love the area as it offers something of interest for everyone. Obviously the nightlife is up there with my favourite things to do but I also live right next to the town moor so spend a lot of time around exhibition park when the weathers good. The great variety of shops gives me a good excuse to splash out a bit of the student loan too.

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

I wasn't expecting anything to surprise me coming to uni in my home city, however after actually living in the city centre it has seemed like a new city to me. There are so many more places I like to go to (particularly down the quayside) that I didn't know existed before I moved into the city.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming?

Northumbria was very welcoming and that was one of the things I enjoyed most about the Open Day. The University is really easy to find as the campus is visible from Northumberland Street.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

I have most enjoyed meeting the people on my course and the lecturers who all share a love for geography like I do.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

All the lecturers that have taught me have been very helpful, offering their own time to help with any issues I face with my course. My tutor Antony Mellor has also been great help with any non-academic problems I have faced as well.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

I find some of my lecturers quite inspiring as we learn from the research they have done themselves in the field. I particularly enjoyed learning from Nick Rutter's research in Svalbard.

What is your favourite place on campus?

I very much enjoy spending time in Habita at the Students' Union, whether it be on a break between lectures or for a few pints when they show the football.

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course is my coursemates and the way that everyone works together and offers their own knowledge to help should anyone be stuck on a piece of work. Our BSc group as a whole are a very close group of friends that all spend a lot of time with each other outside of the lecture rooms.

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

Academically, the most valuable lessons I have learnt are self-motivation to excel in my studies and organisational skills to balance a good social life with my course.

What do you want to do in the future? 

I am still not entirely sure the exact career path I want to follow yet. I do know that I wish to work outside of the UK and I would love to work with endangered species. I will be completing my dissertation research in the summer studying endangered mouse lemurs in Madagascar and I believe the skills and experience I will obtain in the field will give me a much better idea of what I wish to do after university.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement?

I have not worked on any projects with business or been on a placement as of yet, but I have signed up for a placement module next year, in which I hope to gain some valuable experience.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course or undertake field trips?

I have been on several fieldtrips with my course including a week-long trip to the Cairngorms in Scotland, a week in Tenerife studying the geography of the island, and several single day fieldtrips to collect data to be used in coursework assessments.

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

If you get the opportunity to study at Northumbria do not let it slip! Newcastle offers everything a student could need and is a great, friendly place to live. Northumbria is a very welcoming university full of staff that wish to see you excel in a subject that you both are passionate about.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University?

I have become a much more independent person since coming to Northumbria, which gives me an extra boost in confidence in everyday life. I thought I was rather outgoing and a bit loud before I came to uni, but now I feel I could make friends with anyone I meet and I feel much better about myself for it.

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

Sociable, exciting, and inspiring.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Definitely!


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