During my road trip in Australia, (from Gold Coast to Melbourne) my second stop is at Newcastle city. Simply because Newcastle was my home for three years. Now you may get it, yes, I did my bachelor degree at Newcastle University. I would rather call it “Bushland University”. Why called it Bushland University because the university is surrounded by lots of trees. When I said “lots of” meaning there are approximately 2,000,000 trees on the beautiful bushland campus.
There are several campuses, the Hunter and Shortland sides.
Where is Newcastle University?
Newcastle University is located in New South Wales Australia, about 2 hours by car and about 3 hours by train from Sydeney. Don’t get confused with the Newcastle University in the UK, I have visited the Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England 2 years ago during my UK road trip. I love visiting University whenever I travel, I always make a point to include one or two universities in the itinerary, some of the very famous universities that I have visited are Stamford, UCLA in America and Cambridge and Oxford in UK and Salamanca University in Spain. University tour is always fun and interesting. If you have children, you can let them get a feel for the everyday life of the schools by walking them around and get inspired.
The Newcastle University logo with a horse and fishtail, seahorse and “Look Ahead” is the motto.
Jack Ma connection with Newcastle
Jack Ma from Alibaba has funded a scholarship program for the University of Newcastle and the origins story start from Jack Ma and Morley’s friendship back in the 80s. Morley’s family was from Newcastle Australia and they went to China for holiday when China was just opened up. During Morley visit in West Lake in Hangzhou, a 12-year-old boy went to them and say “hi” and speaks some English. The little boy is Jack Ma as he wanted to practice his English and after Morley returned to Newcastle, they still stay connected via letters for many years. Morley also invited Jack to visit Australia when Jack was 21 years old and stay with them for 29 days and because of this first overseas trip that Jack Ma experienced, his whole perception of the world changed and led him to where he is now. He felt grateful for Morley’s family so he wanted to give back to the community in Australia and funded the scholarship.
Moral of the story is, always “Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.”
The Great Hall
Jack Ma was here for his speech for the Ma & Morley Scholarship and I was here for my convocation. This place sure brings back lots of memory.
(It was winter break during my visit, so there were not many students in the campus).
During my third year at the University, I lived on-campus and the good thing was you get to meet many friends around the world. There are Edwards Hall, Blue Gum House, and International House. I stayed in the International house and so glad there is a common kitchen for you to share and cook your own dish, you also get to peep at what other friends from other parts of world cooked.
For my first few years in the university, I was sharing a house with friends, I have stayed in Jesmond, Birmingham Garden, and Mayfield. Since I have a car so it ok to stay anywhere.
When I was a student here, I had an old Honda Accord and I drove to the University. Parking was a big challenge, especially you were trying to meet the morning lecture as that is the peak timing. Glad to learn that there is multi-story car park now.
One good thing about the University of Newcastle is, it is 2-3 hours away from Sydney, away from the hustle of big city life and temptation so you will spend less money, close to nature and get in touch with the locals more.