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Study abroad: A dream come true for Gusaimas

Study abroad: A dream come true for Gusaimas

by Judith Charlton

As a global university our Study Abroad at Newcastle University programme allows students from around the world to learn with us for a semester or full academic year, enjoying an experience they’ll remember forever.

Last year, through the Indonesian International Student Mobility Award (IISMA), 10 students joined our community for a semester. They explored the North East, studied subjects across eight different Schools and acted as young ambassadors for their country.

Here, engineering student Gusaimas, explains why his time at Newcastle has been a dream come true.

Why did you want to take part in the IISMA?

Studying and travelling are two things I adore, so a Study Abroad programme was a match made in heaven for me.

In my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to participate in a three-month AFS PEACE (Peace through Exchange and Active Citizenship Education) student exchange programme in the Czech Republic. That experience left a mark on me, and I was hooked on learning and exploring new things.

Why did you choose Newcastle University?

I have never been to the United Kingdom and have always wanted to visit, so I chose Newcastle as I felt it was just right – not too small, yet not too big. It had everything that I wanted and needed.

Newcastle University is a part of the prestigious Russell Group, making it among the top research-intensive universities in the UK. This was intriguing for me as I am president of Green Polymer Technology (GPTech-SCUI) a student-initiated research group at my university and research intern with Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).

What did you study at Newcastle?

I chose four modules: Properties and Behaviour of Engineering Materials; Big History – From the Big Bang to Climate Change; Ecology and Conservation; Introductory Astrophysics.

I wanted to compare how lecturers at Newcastle University approach and teach their subjects to their students. By obtaining a different perspective, I hope to further develop myself as a student engineer.

Taking the Introductory Astrophysics module was like a dream-turned-reality for me. I have always been curious about the physics of space and the universe since I was a young child. However, studying this subject is not particularly popular and does not offer good job opportunities in Indonesia.

The IISMA programme was a way for me to fulfil one of my childhood dreams.

What was your best experience at Newcastle?

My trip to Tynemouth with the rest of the Study Abroad students must be among my top favourites. Visiting the priory was exciting as there were historical monuments to observe. On top of this, the weather was perfect and the activities we did at Long Sands beach were a blast!

On a more personal note, another memorable experience I had was organising an Indonesian Cultural Exhibition in the Students' Union building together with the IISMA students.

I am incredibly proud of myself and all the other IISMA students that we were able to successfully hold this event.

What have you gained from your experience at Newcastle?

I have gained new knowledge, ranging from ideas and concepts in ecological science to astrophysics. I have also honed many skills ranging from communication to teamwork and problem-solving.

It’s been a great experience studying here as the modules I took challenged me to approach questions and problems from a multi-disciplinary point of view.

Would you recommend Study Abroad at Newcastle University?

Absolutely! Everyone went above and beyond to make us feel at home and have a wonderful time in the 'Toon'!

The students here were incredibly friendly, exemplified by many of the great societies the University has to offer. The lecturers were kind and supportive; they were eager to help you with your studies, making it suitable for those who are academically ambitious.

There were also countless things to see and do in the North East of England, making it perfect for students seeking fun adventures.

Find out more about Study Abroad at Newcastle University, including how you could apply to us HERE, or contact us for more information. You can also read more in our blogs Study abroad: A life-changing opportunity in Newcastle and Study abroad: Making memories to last a lifetime.