Summer Support Program
We understand that 2020 has been a challenging year, particularly for you, our international students here in Australia, away from some of your support networks of family and friends. With the Summer Support Program we hope to bridge this gap in support, connection and friendship.
There are a number of support services available to you across the summer recess – you’ll find those contact details below. The University has also introduced NUmates (a new buddy program) and identified a range of Free & Fun events and activities for you to be part of across the break
University Enquiry Centre
(chat, email and phone)
(02) 4921 5000
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday
After-Hours Crisis Support
1300 653 007
SMS 0488 884 165
University Health & Wellbeing Advisors
(02) 4921 6622
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday
|International Student Legal Service NSW|
Make a query online
Call using a free interpreter
NUmates buddy program
What is NUmates?
NUmates helps international students connect to the University’s staff, their families and members of our communities for support and friendship. You’ll also be able to contact other University of Newcastle international students who are staying in Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney across the summer break.
The amount of contact or support may be as simple as an email or text a couple of times a week, a catch up for a lunch or dinner, a simple trip to the beach, park, museum or gallery, the movies, or even Christmas lunch. It’s completely up to you and your NUmates buddy.
How do I register?
It’s easy to register for the program through the app (Vygo). You get to choose the buddy who's right for you based on their bios and availability. Once you match with a buddy you can connect via instant chat and organise face-to-face or in-app catch-ups – it’s simple and easy to stay in touch.
FoodBank NSW provides free food hampers for international students.
Grainery Care Centre
58 Maitland Road, Mayfield
Tuesday - 10am to 2pm
Wednesday - 10am to 4pm
Thursday and Friday - 10am to 3.30pm
Saturday + Sunday + Monday - closed
Multicultural Seventh Day Adventist Church
63-65 Newcastle Road, Wallsend
1.00pm every Saturday.
Free community lunch and fresh fruit and veggie boxes from Oz Harvest are also distributed.
The distribution points listed above are both churches however international students of any faith are welcome and encouraged to access these hampers.
Contact FoodBank NSW on (02) 9756 3099 to find out about other locations in NSW.
FoodBank can’t advise if these other locations are open (or closed for the holidays) – you will need to contact each location separately.
Summer support group activities
As part of the Summer Support Program there will be a range of subsidised COVID-safe activities happening across the break. These will be organised by student buddies so to be part of these you’ll need to be registered in the NUmates app to get the invitations and reserve your place.
Free and fun
Across the summer break there are so many events and activities you can be part of, and we’ve highlighted just a few for you try. You can have free fun by yourself, with your NUmates buddy, or get a group of other students together through the NUmates app.
See how many you can tick off before your classes start back in 2021!
Free and fun in Newcastle
- Swim at the Bogey Hole and then walk up the hill for picnic in King Edward Park (check the walled garden on your way past)
- Walk the Bathers Way - this is a 6km walk from Nobby’s Beach to Merewether Beach and has stunning views of the coastline from viewing platforms along the way
- Visit Fort Scratchley (information on opening hours and gun firing demonstrations)
- Visit Blackbutt Reserve – get a car full of students together, take a picnic, enjoy a walk and see some native animals (information on opening hours and feeding times for animals)
- Check the local markets - Newcastle, Central Coast and Hunter Market Guide
Free and fun in Sydney
- Explore the many walking trails along the coastlines or in the bush
- Have a picnic in the Royal Botanical Gardens
- Visit art galleries, most exhibitions are free! Check out Art Gallery of NSW
- Visit the Rocks Markets on weekends, George Street, Playfair Street and Jack Mundey Place
- Take a Newtown Street Art Walk and check out the centre of Sydney’s street art scene. The walk starts on the corner of King Street and Church Street
Free and fun on the Central Coast
There are a huge range of things to do across summer, all across the beautiful Central Coast, famous for its beautiful beaches, scenic walks, State Forests and the Marine Discovery Centre.
There are numerous art galleries, including the Gosford Regional Gallery where you’ll also find the Edogawa Japanese Garden where you can feed the koi. The Central Coast Council and Visit Central Coast pages are both is updated regularly so check regularly for your choice of activities and events.
Across the summer break there are so many events and activities you can be part of, and we’ve highlighted just a few for you try. You can have free fun by yourself, with your NUmates buddy, or get a group of other students together.
No matter where you are in New South Wales, we hope you have a great time during your break and remind you to check the University of Newcastle COVID-19 page for updates.