Northumbria University is located in Newcastle upon Tyne in Northern England. The business-focused school offers students top-ranked academic programs along with a robust and vibrant social environment. With 31,500 students, Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the UK and it has been voted one of the best places for students to study in the country.  

SchoolApply interviewed Rowan Noor, an international student from Bahrain, about her academic and social experiences at Northumbria University.

Northumbria University

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Student Name: Rowan Noor

Age: 20

From: Bahrain

Graduation: 2019

Northumbria student Roman Noor

Quick-Fire Questions

Favorite class: I have really enjoyed Criminal Law during my first year. It was very interesting listening to crime-related cases and understanding what goes through a criminal’s mind.

Favorite school event: Fresher’s Week is my favorite university event. It takes place every September, a week before university officially commences, and the entire purpose is to encourage new students to take part in school activities. It is a great opportunity to put yourself out there and meet new people.

Five words to describe Northumbria University: Astonishing, International, Exciting, Diverse, Fun

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 20-year-old third-year law student at Northumbria University. I was born in the United States of America but I was raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain my entire life. I completed school and achieved an International Baccalaureate certificate in Bahrain prior to coming to Northumbria University.

What were your school experiences like before university?

Northumbria University students

Before university, I wasn’t given the choice to take subjects which were related to law, therefore I mainly focused on the English subject as I have always wanted to study in the UK, which requires you to have basic English skills in writing, speaking, and even listening.

How did you hear about Northumbria University and what made you decide to study in the UK?

I decided to pursue my higher education in the UK because two of my siblings studied here before me and they had wonderful experiences. As I am currently studying law in the UK, my course is just three years compared to other countries where I would have to study for at least seven years to complete the degree. This was a big reason why I decided to pursue my higher education in the UK.

Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university?

When I moved to Newcastle, I came with two of my closest friends from back home which made the transition a bit easier for me. Despite this, during my first two weeks in the city, I was constantly thinking about home and how much I missed my family. This was my first time away from my family for this long, let alone 4,000 miles away. I did not have a feeling of regret, but I realized that I was growing up and that I had to leave my comfort zone, or else I would never experience new things. Being away from my family was my only problem adjusting to life in a new city, but over time I learned to adapt and accept my new beginnings.

What were your first few days in Northumbria like?

Northumbria University students socializing

I was absolutely astonished to see how beautiful our campus was. Its buildings and classrooms are very modern. The architecture of the buildings is breathtaking as well, which is why I would say that looking at pictures on Google prior to arriving on campus does not do it any justice.

I was nervous about going to my first class, but prior to commencing university, I made two really good friends during my Induction Week and that made the process much easier. When I first walked in, I was surprised to see how friendly my classmates were. We sat down at a long table and introduced ourselves. I was the only international student in the class, which might seem very terrifying, but it really was not.

What degree are you pursuing and why?

I am currently pursuing a Law (LLB) degree with the hopes of becoming a commercial lawyer. I have chosen to pursue law as a career because my family is full of lawyers and my father was a judge for 20 years in Sudan and is currently a Legal Advisor in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I was not pressured to follow in their footsteps – it was my choice because I noticed that I was very quick to react in situations that involve human rights, bullying, or fighting for justice. I enjoy defending people when I feel they have been mistreated and wrongly accused of being guilty; even when I have no relation to them.

Have you had a job while studying?  

My only job at the moment is as an International Student Ambassador for Northumbria University.

Do you take part in any extracurricular activities?

Northumbria University campus


The university’s facilities are absolutely amazing! The Sports Central at Northumbria University is ranked within the top 10 of all universities in the UK. I enjoy playing sports so I joined the NORTH Women’s Football Team in my second year. Taking part in the team did not interfere with my studies as the university makes sure to provide students with plenty of time for studies and also for extracurricular activities.

What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at Northumbria?

Honestly, my experience as an international student in Northumbria University has been amazing. The local people of Newcastle are very interested in meeting new students from every part of the world. They love listening to stories from international students about where they live, their cultures, and their traditions.

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What do you love most about the city of Newcastle?

The city is very student-friendly in terms of costs. Once I finally learned how to manage my money wisely, I learned that it is much easier to save money in Newcastle than anywhere else in the UK. The city has many shops and restaurants that provide you with a student discount, as well as the possibility of employing you as a part-time employee.

I also love that even when you are bored in Newcastle, just going for a walk feels like a grand activity. My favorite place in the city is the Quayside where the Tyne River passes. I also enjoy going for a walk in Grainger’s Market which offers fresh local foods that you cannot find anywhere else. One thing is for sure: there is never a dull moment in the city.

Newcastle is located very close to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Northern Ireland. As a person who enjoys nature and green surroundings, I prefer northern England to the south, because I can wander in nature rather than crowded cities. Having said this, it is very easy to get from one city to another by train and Newcastle has an airport just 20 minutes away.

How has Northumbria prepared you for life after college?

Northumbria group of students

Throughout my entire Northumbria Experience, I have learned how to manage my time wisely, how to work really hard to achieve good grades, and also how to find time for fun and socializing. Thanks to the international students in Northumbria, I have met so many people from all corners of the world and this has taught me how to respect people from different backgrounds as well as cultures and traditions. Hopefully, I will be able to take these skills and apply them in my future workplace.

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Northumbria University?

I would deeply encourage international students to study at Northumbria University. Not only is the university’s ranking very good, but living in Newcastle is absolutely amazing. The city is extremely student-friendly and it is very vibrant and active. Many events are held each month by the Students’ Union and there are also many societies and groups that students can join.

If you are interested in applying to Northumbria University, click on its SchoolApply profile page and start your application now!   

About the Author: Muneeza Kizilbash grew up in the United States and Pakistan and was active in her university’s International Student Council. Now settled in Dubai, she loves to inform, educate, and entertain her readers through her writing.