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Why a Roman chose a Business Degree at Northumbria

Nicolo Felici Student Life

When it comes to choosing the right business school you want to take your time and decisions carefully. If any close friend of yours has experience in studying abroad, you should have his suggestion written down. If you’re applying for a postgraduate and you began to gather information when your bachelor was yet to be completed, you might have an email, somewhere, from your trusted professor, indicating you a few good names that he recommended you. And in the vast majority of the cases, you definitely have your parents’ preferences, conditions, or even limits, resounding in your head. But now it’s just you on your laptop, taking a decision that will divert your future accordingly.

What I realized during this phase, not without surprise, is that the two most popular choice parameters, quality of teaching and fees charged, are the ones that we have the least control on, despite they seem to be the ones that matter the most, at first.

Quality, history and reputation drive universities’ competitiveness exponentially. You will be asked to meet higher and higher requirements, many of them likely to be related with our past, to provide more and more test results, some of which take months of preparation, and in general to undertake more and more complex application procedures. Last but not least, you will be competing with the world’s best brains, as the most frustrating yet motivating truth is that there’s always someone, around the world, that’s doing it better than you.

The cost of studying, with the exception of a few particular cases, mostly depends on your (or your parents’) budget and it is hence sort of fixed. Also, you could say it is rather related to the continent you want to study in, so unless you are still on that level of indecision, a suitable fees range has been already sorted.

Moral is: forget rumours, rather choose the environment you want to live, study, improve and build your future in. Yes, winning the Times Higher Education Awards in 2015 as business school of the year (now also shortlisted in the same award as university of the year for 2017) surely contributed to make Northumbria my first choice, but I wouldn’t say that has been a major reason.

As soon as I landed on the webpage I recognised Northumbria to be a dynamic environment, and this is what boosted my interest the most.

I saw an organisation able to respond quickly to students’ needs, adapting approaches, methods and even infrastructure to their requirements (to give you an idea, I am actually writing these lines from the new state-of-the-art wing of the library, which has been completed just about two weeks ago). I saw an incredibly wide range of courses offered, many of them having several subcategories and being also available as two-year paths, which is not an easy option to find in UK. For instance, among the fifty business courses offered for postgraduate students (yes, fifty) I undertook Business with Management, two years, full time, with advanced practice in second year.

This means from semester three, I will have the chance to either undertake an internship related to my field of study or to take part into a consultancy project. Both opportunities, which are obviously not available for one-year courses, let you get in touch with real customer needs, experiencing working life problems and putting into practice what you have learned in year one. Everything will fit into your curriculum amazingly, but also open the road to new potential careers that you might have not considered otherwise.

Secondly, I looked at what Americans call the three most important factors: location, location, location. It is fair to say that, except for the weather, Newcastle is a university-town free of pretty much all the disadvantages that living in UK might involve. A constantly increasing number of students perfectly fit Newcastle’s welcoming atmosphere, benefit from its relatively cheap cost of living (house prices, for instance, are among the lowest in United Kingdom) and, when allowed by their schedule, enjoy some nights out.

Newcastle never sleeps and its nightlife is active and populated seven days per week: scenic restaurants and bars on the side of the Tyne, traditional English pubs and nightclubs for every taste make living this city a unique experience (according to a 2016 European Commission survey, it’s the happiest city in United Kingdom).

Among all the other reasons that pushed me to choose Northumbria, the University’s approach to sport definitely needs to be mentioned, as training represent a must in my daily routine.

Sport Central, a state of the art £30M sport facility located right in the hearth of the campus, is the home of one of the best and most innovative gym I have ever trained it. Along with that, this facility hosts a swimming pool, a 12m high climbing wall with 18 different climbing lines, three basketball pitches, a sprint track, saunas and much more. The university has got male and female teams in pretty much every existent sport, most of which will have to be practiced, for obvious reasons, in different locations. The passion with which Northumbria embraces sport collocates it within the UK’s top five for sport, and in first place in terms of improving (BUCS).

All of these things just make life in Northumbria purely exciting.

Business students are lucky enough to spend their morning of lectures in City Campus East, a state-of-the-art four floors high business school with an innovative and captivating design. This is located next to the main campus, so just a short walk from several university’s accommodation around there, which I would warmly recommend ‘freshers’ to live in.

Business postgraduate programs will involve you in many engaging extra-lecture activities, which are likely to take place in the afternoon or in any other gap of free time. These include teamwork, meetings, group assignments, business simulations and even weekends out of town.

Once the work has been done, I personally spend the rest of the afternoon in Sport Central, but campus activities do not end here, and as the evening comes the crowds move from all the cafes spread around the campus to the main bar, Habita. This is a restaurant and café open till late seven days per week, which is provided with a projector and a huge screen where all major sports event are displayed every week. Football Premier League games in particular turn Habita into a crowded and proper British sport pub with an amazing vibe, and the audience is entirely made by students.

When the will be over, you will know you have made the right choice, and will fit into your bed exhausted, but with a big smile on your face. Another thrilling day in Northumbria waiting just for you!

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