Social and academic programs

At the University of Newcastle, 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 programs 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.

Clubs and societies

The University also has more than 100 clubs, societies and social groups, including:

  • Academic and degree-based clubs
  • Charity and philanthropy clubs
  • Cultural clubs – 20 clubs from countries and regions around the world that are open for all to join and learn from
  • Fun, social and special interest clubs
  • Political and social justice clubs
  • Spiritual, philosophical and faith clubs
  • Sporting and exercise clubs – more than 25 sports to get involved with at The Forum.

There is plenty to do on and off campus, whether you want to challenge yourself or just have fun, so get involved!

iLEAD Plus

iLEAD Plus is a global facing leadership program that is tailored to develop your unique capabilities and goals.

It is an experiential three stage program designed to connect you with local, national and international networks to accelerate professional development and future career readiness.

Learn more

Clubs and societies

There are over 100 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.


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 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! Feel free to turn up at any of the sessions below.


Basketball - Wednesday 3pm - 5pm  at The Forum

Soccer (Football) - Thursdays 3pm - 5pm at Oval 4

Cheap Chewsday

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 West Tower accommodation at 6pm. This bus will return people to the university after the event.


NuMates is a program run by UON Global to engage international and domestic students through a range of fun activities. You will be connected with a small group of fellow students from globally diverse backgrounds

Join us as we explore Newcastle and surrounds, creating lasting memories and great mates!

Lunch and Learn

Have you recently arrived in Australia? Do you want to make the most out of your time here as an international student?

Moving away from home and settling into a new culture can feel like an emotional roller coaster. We're here to help you settle in and make Newcastle feel like your second home.

At this workshop you will find out how things work in Aus. You will also learn some strategies to settle in and succeed.

Sessions are 12.00 - 1.00 pm at the Clubhouse. We even treat you to a free lunch!


iLEAD Plus is a global facing leadership program that is tailored to develop your unique capabilities and goals.

It is an experiential three stage program designed to connect you with local, national and international networks to accelerate professional development and future career readiness.

Learn more

Community Connections

Community Connections offers friendship and practical support to international students, and assists members to adjust to life in Australia through language, cultural and social experiences. Meet local students, as well as your fellow international students, and share food, language and laughter. Members meet fortnightly and also take part in special social excursions. For more information e-mail

Conversation Club

Conversation Club meets weekly and allows students to practice their speaking and pronunciation skills in an informal environment. This is particularly helpful for international students with a language background other than English, as well as students doing clinical placements, or anyone who is interested in meeting new people and practicing their professional and conversational communication. Light refreshments are provided. For more information e-mail

Clubs and societies

There is much more to campus life than lectures and study. Clubs are a great way to meet others, share similar interests and perhaps make a few mates along the way. There are social clubs, sporting clubs and those of an academic nature.

For more information visit

iLEAD Plus

The iLEAD Plus program is a global-facing leadership program that is tailored to develop a student’s unique capabilities and goals.

It is an experiential three-stage program designed to connect students with local, national and international networks to accelerate professional development and future career readiness.

Open to all UON students, it combines practical workshops, interactive online learning, personal mentorship, professional placement, and a range of global experience opportunities. Each stage has been designed to equip, test and demonstrate the skills and experiences that students will need to be effective and globally aware leaders of tomorrow.

Professional development

Expand upon your academic experience

GLOBAL SCOPE - Global Scope is a three or six week business consulting project delivered by student teams for NSW government agencies, non-government organisations, or private enterprise. Student teams are supported by professional mentors who provide project management and subject matter advice. Global Scope runs at different times during the year.

INTERCHANGE - It is an inter-university entrepreneurial competition. Interchange is held annually in August.

AIRPORT WELCOME DESK - Volunteer with Study NSW to make international students feel welcome upon arrival in Australia. This is an unpaid work experience opportunity run in collaboration with the government agency Study NSW.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS - A range of skills workshops are held on campus to help students build skills in areas of leadership, presentation and employability.

CAREER ADVICE - Career Advisors are available for phone appointments and online consultations. They will also host workshops on specific career aspects.

Networking events

UONG Global Sydney, in collaboration with the Professional Development Forum (PDF) Team, offers students the opportunity to access free networking events and talks on topics relevant to their personal and professional development. Students are invited to participate to events/talks at the HQ Haymarket venue. Australia’s first start-up hub supporting entrepreneurs to connect to Asia.

Engagement initiatives

UON Sydney in collaboration with project partners such as StudyNSW, City of Sydney Council and local community centres can engage students in social and professional events promoted through our monthly Engagement Calendar. For more information on programs and events, please refer to the Sydney Monthly Engagement Calendar (available at reception and via our Facebook group and UON WeChat or email at

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

Welcome dinner project

In collaboration with Joining the Dots, students have the opportunity to attend a dinner in an Australian home. See Sydney monthly calendar for the upcoming dinners.

Sports activities

Students attend a nearby recreation centre for regular games of basketball, ping-pong and badminton. Community or inter-campus sports days are also held for students.

A sports loan desk is also available for students to play during lunch time or breaks between lectures. For more information and booking equipment email or ask at reception.

Clubs and societies Join or start a club

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.