While at the University of Newcastle you can participate in a range of fun, interactive programs.

Social and academic programs

At UON, we understand that your student experience is more than just what happens in the classroom.  We’ve developed a great range of social and academic programmes that cater to any need – whether it’s meeting new friends, taking a break from studies, or giving your future the extra edge with our unique iLead Plus program.  Get involved…

iLEAD PLUS (Workshops, Seminars and Leadership Opportunities)

Students can attend exclusive professional development seminars and workshops held in Newcastle, as well as participate in programs and events as student leaders. It connects domestic and international students with each other and a range of industries. Give your future the iLEAD edge today. Learn more

Speed Conversations

Would you like to develop friendships with people from around the world? Speed Conversations has been designed to improve conversational English skills of international students and to help make friendships with local students.

Participants are divided into pairs and then given a topic of conversation to discuss for around 10 minutes. Pairs are then swapped and begin again with the next topic. Morning tea is provided and a social atmosphere makes Speed Conversations not just educational but lots of fun!

WHEN: Fridays during semester 1
WHERE: University of Newcastle Gallery, Callaghan Campus
TIME: 10.00am - 11.30am (including morning tea)

Register your interest here


Need a break from the classroom? Then get on the field!

GOALSS (Games for Overseas & Local Students & Staff) is a social sports program based at Callaghan campus featuring a range of global and Australian sports. It's open to all international and domestic students, as well as university staff, and is a terrific way to make new friends from all walks of life – and all while helping you stay fit and healthy.

The environment is relaxed and social, so don't worry if you're not a champion player - this is all about having FUN!

Weekly participation is not compulsory - you can join in as many, or as few, sessions as you like!



Squash - Tuesdays 2pm-4pm - Register here

Football – Thursdays 4pm-5:30pm - Register here

Cricket – Fridays 4pm-5:30pm - Register here


To register for GOALSS, simply, click on the above links and complete the online form. Once enrolled in the program, you will receive regular emails with program details.


There are over 150 clubs on campus with something for everyone, including sporting, social, cultural and religious groups. Student clubs are a great way to make friends, participate in social activities and experience Australian culture. Remember that extra-curricular activities can give you the edge when you apply for jobs – employers value volunteering both for the skills it gives you and what it says about you as a person - so you can benefit both personally and professionally by being a member of a club or society on campus.


Cheap Chewsday is a monthly dinner held at the Jesmond Park Uniting Church (JPUC), who are our gracious hosts on the first Tuesday of every month. JPUC and the UON Global Office participate in this as a way of extending a warm welcome to International students, as well as providing opportunities for friendships between students and the wider community. Both International and domestic students are welcome as are all faiths and nationalities.

The dinner runs from 6:30pm to 8:30pm with many of the dinners having an international theme. This is a great way to meet other students, catch up with friends, meet people from outside the University as well as eat delicious food.

The meal is held at the Jesmond Park Uniting Church Hall and they can be found at 15 Robert Street Jesmond, just across the road from Jesmond Park.

If you need transport when the event is on, a shuttle bus will depart from outside the UON Global office at 6:15pm. This bus will return people to the university after the event.

Register your interest for Cheap Chewsday here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9758N3Q

Register your interest for using the bus here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/98VT3LK


NUMates Cultural Mentoring Program

Designed for both domestic and international students, joining NUMates is a great way to get to know Newcastle and meet new people from all around the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first semester here, or if you have been here for a while. You’re welcome to join!

Here’s what you’ll get from joining NUMates:

  • An authentic introduction to the lifestyle and culture of Newcastle
  • A way to connect with fellow students from globally diverse backgrounds
  • An opportunity to develop skills in cross-cultural understanding and communication

How does NUMates work?

We connect you with a small group of fellow students from Australia and around the world. With the support of a trained group leader – a student just like you – your group will explore a range of locations and activities around Newcastle as you get to know each other. You will also be kept up to date on the range of events and festivals happening around Newcastle and UON.

How do I get involved?

It’s simple. Click here to register and provide us with some details. You can also tell us if you’d like to find out more about becoming a Group Leader – we’ll provide you with some extra training, and it looks great on a resume!


The Space is a social, cultural and recreational group for all postgraduate students and their families.

The Space is just that – a room where you can meet, chat, take a break, make new friends and learn more about... well, a lot of things! Every Thursday we’ll have a different special guest, game or activity. The Space operates on a monthly rotating schedule with regular themes being Guest week, Zen week, Speak week and Games week. Topics covered will include where's good to eat in Newcastle, what services are available to you around campus and how to access them, how the Police and other emergency services can help you in Australia, how to play mah-jong/chess/Wii u – the list of things that we will do and topics we will discuss will be many and varied, with the content being very student led.

For international students, it’s an opportunity to learn more about life at UON, Newcastle and Australia, brush up on your English and meet the locals. It’s a great way to meet people, learn about the University and de-stress. You can attend as often or as little as you like and get the opportunity to learn more about other students, student associations and lots of other things that will help you with life in Newcastle.

Unfortunately currently we do not have child minding facilities.

To put yourself on the email list to receive information about The Space and express an interest in attending register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/79TDNYR

iLEAD PLUS (Workshops, Seminars and Leadership Opportunities)

Students can attend exclusive professional development seminars and workshops held in Newcastle, as well as participate in programs and events as student leaders. It connects domestic and international students with each other and a range of industries. Give your future the iLEAD edge today. Learn more

iLEAD PLUS (Workshops, Seminars and Leadership Opportunities)

Students can attend professional development seminars and workshops held at UON, as well as participate in programs and events as student leaders. Students who attend or participate will gain points toward their ILEAD certificate. Learn more.

Upcoming events will be posted in Blackboard and listed on the Monthly Activities Calendar.

The Buddy Program

New students are paired with more experienced students to help them get to know their peers, the campus and the local area.

Speed Conversations

Provides a forum for students to speak in English and to get to know their peers. The events are held fortnightly.

English Corner

English Corner is held fortnightly. Each workshop explores a different topic related to Health & Wellbeing. A lunch is provided after the session.

Vocational English

The Vocational English course is a new series of lessons designed to familiarise students with the Australian workplace.

Skype Conversation

Students are connected with local students from the Callaghan Campus to allow them to practice English and get to know their peers.

For more information on these programs and other events, please refer to the Monthly Activities Calendar (available at reception) or email international-sydney@newcastle.edu.au.

The Calendar is updated regularly and also includes information on free activities the city has to offer.