Why You Should Study Abroad in Newcastle, Australia

By Jeffrey Sendejar, Site Specialist

Newcastle, Australia is the second oldest city in the country, but you’d never guess it from all the colorful street art, trendy neighborhood cafes, live music venues, and, of course, the world-class University of Newcastle (UON). As the second largest city in the Australian State of New South Wales, Newcastle is the perfect study abroad destination for anyone interested in getting a glimpse of the Australian lifestyle and taking advantage of all that the Australian coast has to offer.

Beach signpost in Newcastle, Australia

This bustling coastal city is located in the Australian state of New South Wales and is just two hours north by train from iconic Sydney. Newcastle is the place to be for anyone interested in experiencing the Australian lifestyle that comes with living in a more traditional Aussie city. It has amazing access to the beach for those looking to adopt (or continue) the surfer lifestyle, but it also has all the boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and live music that you could ever want.

Newcastle’s location offers endless opportunities to get outside the city and experience the natural beauty of Australia. You’ll definitely want to visit the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s most prominent wine regions, and sample some of the country’s best vino. A day trip to the Hunter Valley is included on our ISA Fall and Spring programs in Newcastle and comes complete with wine tastings and a comprehensive overview of the winemaking process. If you’re a fan of hiking or the great outdoors, you’ll also want to check out Barrington Tops National Park – one of 50 parks that make up the Gondwana Rainforests of the Australia World Heritage Area. Barrington Tops is home to diverse populations of plants and animals, many of which existed before dinosaurs ruled the earth. Take a nature break and travel back in time to tour the signature trails and guided hikes through this fantastic national park.

Australian kangaroos in Newcastle
(Photo by Shona Williams)

But don’t think that the natural beauty of Australia stops there! When you’re on campus at the University of Newcastle, you can feast your eyes on the acres of Australian bushland that surround the campus. Tons of native wild grasses, eucalyptus trees, and ferns are all interwoven through the main Callaghan campus at the university, and there are plenty of native animals who call the campus home, from sulfur-crested cockatoos to kookaburras and occasionally a few kangaroos! Plus, there’s no better way to truly experience the local university lifestyle than to check out some of the dozens of clubs and societies that UON has to offer. The best way to expand your friend group and meet Australian students while you’re abroad is to get involved on campus, whether it’s a club, society, or even a sports team.

With so much to do and see in and around Newcastle, it’s hard to believe that the city is still flying under the radar. Year after year, students “in the know” find themselves taking every opportunity to get to know the appeal and charm of this historic coastal city. Whether you’re there to brush up on your surfing skills or to get a taste of the Aussie lifestyle, Newcastle, Australia has unlimited opportunities for amazing experiences abroad.

For more information about our ISA Newcastle programs, be sure to reach out to our Newcastle Site Specialist or Program Manager.

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