Newcastle Center Coordinator
Office of International Programs
Thank you for your interest in our study abroad programs! The goal of this page is to help you better understand the Newcastle study abroad program and highlight distinguishing features and components that will interest you as a parent. More detailed and updated information are given to your son or daughter in information sessions, academic reviews, workshops, and predeparture orientations. Once you read this information, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your son/daughter first. Please know all information is given to the students, and we ask students to share all of this with you.
Sending students abroad is a partnership that includes students, parents, university personnel, and our overseas partners. We realize that you will have questions, and if our website or your son/daughter cannot answer those questions, we will be happy to discuss the study abroad process and program information with you. Please keep in mind that due to the FERPA federal regulation (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), we will not be able to discuss specific information regarding your son/daughter; however, if your son/daughter is willing to sign a waiver form indicating the specific information to be shared with you, we will be more than happy to discuss specific matters regarding your son/daughter.
We hope you find this information helpful in assisting your son/daughter to accomplish his or her goal of learning, living, and serving abroad. We look forward to working with you and your son/daughter.
Loyola students can study abroad at Newcastle University in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. The program is available for a single semester or for the full academic year. The fall semester runs from late September through mid-January and the Spring semester runs from late January through early June.
Criteria for Acceptance and Application Requirements
For the Loyola study abroad program in Newcastle, students must have a minimum 2.750 CQPA. They should apply to Loyola’s Office of International Programs by December 4 (Wednesdsay after Thanksgiving break) of their sophomore year in order to be considered for year-long, fall, or spring semester spots in their junior year. Applications for the full year in Newcastle are considered first before the single-semester applications. Disciplinary records from the school’s Office of Student Life are taken into consideration when reviewing applications. Students should mark down second and third choices in the event that we cannot offer them a spot in the Newcastle program. There are 45 available spots each semester.
Travel to Newcastle
One round-trip airline ticket per semester is included with the program. Students fly to Newcastle together and return on the same group-flight. While we encourage students to stay for the duration of the program, if necessary, students are able to change their travel date on either end, but it will be at their own cost. Loyola does not pay for any flight deviations or tickets changes at all. If a student wishes to change their ticket, they must contact our travel agent at Frosch Travel, 410-433-9300.
The airline tickets for the group are electronic. The students will receive an email confirmation from our travel agent once ticketing is complete. They should print it out and bring it to the airport just to be safe, but their passport is technically all they need to check in. The group will meet at the Newark Liberty International Airport. It is important that everyone is there on time. Once they arrive at the airport, they do not need to wait for the rest of the group to check in. Please make sure your student checks in as soon as they arrive and then proceeds through to security. They should check their bags through to Newcastle. They will receive a boarding pass for the flight from London to Newcastle as well.
The group flies on British Airways
and all their policies and baggage regulations are subject to change.
"Liquids, gels and/or aerosols are permitted through security checkpoints. Items must fit in one clear, re-sealable quart or liter-sized plastic bag, in containers of 3.4oz/100ml or less. Plastic bags must be completely sealed and will be x-rayed at the security checkpoint separately."
The following items are allowed, but must be presented to officials at security checkpoints if they are not contained in clear plastic bags or are of greater volume than 3.4oz/100ml in the United States or 100ml/3.3oz in the EU:
- Baby formula/milk, including breast milk, and baby food in containers if a baby or small child is traveling.
- Medications (liquid, gel or aerosol) Liquids, juices or gels for diabetic passengers who indicate a need for such items to address their medical condition. (A letter from your physician is not necessary).
Passengers are permitted to take liquids, gels, and/or aerosols purchased in the boarding area on board the aircraft. This includes all duty free items.
We have an on-site coordinator to assist the students with any questions, concerns, illnesses, or other issues while they are in Newcastle. Liz Sherman is the coordinator, and thus the main point of contact for the students throughout the semester. She is there for support 24/7 in case of emergency. Students will meet her on their first day when they arrive at the airport.
The Newcastle International Office at the university is the office on the ground that assists study abroad students. Students can seek help from anyone in their office for questions, advice, or any issues/problems that arise during the semester.
Our students are expected to attend an international student orientation during the first week before classes. They will also have access to the wellness center, tutoring, and support services during their time at Newcastle University.
The group will arrive in Newcastle the day after departure from Newark. After getting their bags, a bus will be there to take them to their dorms. The students are divided among three dorm/apartment buildings. They will check into their rooms and then their coordinator will take them on a walking tour of the city and the campus. The students will have just about 24 hours to catch their breath before they take off on their first Loyola-sponsored group trip.
Please remember that England is currently 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. It may be difficult for your students to contact you immediately upon arrival. I know that you will be nervous and apprehensive, but please give them time to get their bearings, find a phone card or the Internet, and contact home. The phone system works differently than ours and the Internet will not be set up for them to use on campus right away. Remember that no news is good news! The students are generally very excited and busy adjusting to a new life in their first couple of weeks so contact may be less frequent at first. It would be smart to determine a good time to talk with your student once they know their schedule so that you don’t lose contact.
Loyola established a relationship with Newcastle University in the late 1990s. We have historically sent 15-30 students each September for the full academic year. More recently, we have opened a fall semester and a spring semester option to accommodate students whose major does not allow them to go abroad for a year. Newcastle University is a large research university (18,000+ students) located in northeast England in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The city is located 1.5 hours from Edinburgh, Scotland and 5 hours from London. The Scandinavian countries, Germany and Ireland are accessible by ferry. Continental Europe can be reached by air or rail.
Students at Newcastle take anywhere from three to six classes, depending on the credit weight of each class. These transfer back to Loyola as either 2.5 credit courses or 5 credits courses. The goal is for each student to take a combination of credits that adds up to 15. Students should have a free elective available back at Loyola as it is frequently used up in the credit transfer. Classes and timetables are not released online until after the students arrive on-site in September. Therefore, classes are registered for on-site after the students arrive. Classes are much larger than at Loyola and are taught in the style of lectures as opposed to seminars. There is more focus on independent learning and students will often take classes that only have a final exam, or sometimes also a mid-term exam for their final grade. The academic style is very different than that of the United States.
Length of Stay
This program has a fall semester and a spring semester. The fall program runs from late September through late January. Single semester students come home just before Christmas and take their finals on Loyola’s campus in early January or they take their finals at Newcastle before departing. Full-year students return to Newcastle in early January and take their final exams on Newcastle’s campus. The spring program runs from late January through early June. Students are not allowed to leave the spring program early to return home for summer internships and jobs. Instead, they should prepare to take all exams on-site in Newcastle in early June.
Insurance and Health
Students studying in the UK are eligible for the UK National Health Service, since they are student residents of Newcastle. Students studying for less than six months will need to pay out of pocket and be reimbursed by their U.S. healthcare provider. However, this is at the discretion of the doctor. Students can visit doctors or emergency rooms when traveling around the UK, but not outside of the UK.
Loyola requires that each student submits to us a copy of the front and back of their U.S. health insurance card. We also ask for proof of international coverage from the U.S. policy (either a letter from the insurance company or you can print the international policy description from your policy manual online). We are only asking for proof of overseas coverage for Loyola’s liability purposes. Since the UK National Health Service is not worldwide, and students are technically allowed to travel outside of the area of coverage, we need to know that your policy will provide a back-up if your student goes outside of the area of coverage. However, if your policy does not have any type of overseas coverage (not even the basic emergency basis), then it will be essential to purchase supplemental insurance.
American students studying abroad for the year or spring semester in the UK are required to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. The visa is an additional cost to the students, and they should budget for that. The current cost as of June 2013 is $489 USD. The students will pay for this approximately 60 days before departure. American students studying abroad for the fall semester in the UK are required to apply for a Student Visitor Visa.
Students fill out all necessary paperwork at a workshop held on campus the semester prior to departure. The application is then mailed to the British Consulate General of either New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, depending on where a student permanently lives.
The visa process is complicated and the steps are very time-sensitive. Therefore, it is imperative that students follow all instructions on applying for the student visa very carefully. If any step in the process is missed or followed incorrectly, it could result in being denied a visa to enter the country.
More information on the student visa process can be found online.
Students live on campus in three dormitories: Windsor, Marris, and St. Mary's College. All dorms on Newcastle’s campus are primarily for freshmen students and international students, so our Loyola students need to keep in mind that they will typically live with flat-mates and dorm-mates that are much younger than them. Loyola students can request one of the three, but the entire group will ultimately be divided and placed among the three dorms, so preferences cannot always be honored. The dorms are usually six person suites with a shared kitchen and living area. Students will buy and cook their own food as there are no meal plans. Basic bedding is paid for by Loyola and provided. All three dorm buildings are spread out over the campus.
Loyola students can request one other Loyola student to live in their flat with them, or in their hallway with them. However, students are given individual bedrooms and so there are no roommates. Also, dorm rooms can be either single-sex or co-ed. Students will live with other British freshmen and other international students and they will meet them about a week after they move in. (Our students move in early to get settled before the other students arrive.)
The dorms at Newcastle do not have wireless Internet. Instead, they have wired Internet. Your student will be provided with an Ethernet cord upon arrival. The campus and buildings do have wireless Internet, just not the dorms.
We recommend that students do not use iPhones or Blackberrys overseas, even with an international plan. Instead, former students have highly recommended Skype in order to keep in touch with friends or family back home. Additionally, many students will buy very cheap British cell phones that have a "pay-as-you-go" plan and they can top up for free texting each month. This local phone is the best way to keep in touch with British flat-mates, other Loyola students, our coordinator overseas, and local people in the Newcastle community. The coordinator will help everyone figure out how to buy a cell phone within their first 24 hours in the country.
This is a full packaged program. Each semester of Loyola tuition and housing pays for:
- Tuition and room at Newcastle University;
- One round-trip airline ticket per semester from Newark, NJ to Newcastle, UK;
- Orientation on-site with the coordinator;
- Occasional group meals; and
- Planned trips and activities throughout the UK with the Loyola coordinator.
Students are responsible for their own meals. Students do have access to a large mini-fridge. Each floor has its own kitchen equipped with microwave, toaster, stovetops, oven and freezer. Students can purchase kitchen items and food quite easily from stores in downtown Newcastle, which is walking distance from all of the dorms.
It might be a good idea to open a Bank of America checking/debit account for your student if they don’t already have one. Bank of America is partnered with Barclays in the UK. If your student has a Bank of America account, they can use Barclays ATMs and branches without incurring any fees.
Students going for the full year, or who wish to hold a part-time job also have the option to open up a UK bank account.
Other ATM and debit cards should work in all ATM machines. It is wise to keep your student’s money in their debit account and have them pay with that whenever possible to avoid ATM fees and to get the best exchange rate of the day. This also makes it easy for you to transfer or deposit money into their account for them if necessary. Students should be aware that our American credit cards and ATM cards do not have a "chip & pin," which is used for most UK transactions. Therefore, it is recommended that students keep some cash on hand at all times while in the UK.
We have advised students to contact their banks and credit card companies to inform them that they will be out of the country so that their accounts aren’t frozen once international activity occurs. While doing so, they should also check to see what international fees are incurred when using each of their cards i.e. ATM withdrawal fees, currency conversion fees, etc. Also, you should check to see if your student’s bank is partnered with any banks overseas. The current exchange rate is 1 USD = .64 GBP.
Students’ expenses in the United Kingdom will vary greatly depending on how much they travel, shop and go out at night. Newcastle is a very affordable city and the cost of living is considered low. However, most students will schedule trips over to the European continent as often as they can afford. The range for how much students spent overall last semester was $3,000–$6,000 USD. That is all inclusive of entertainment, traveling, food, shopping, and textbooks. It is a large range, but again, will depend on how much your student travels, drinks and eats in restaurants.