On Saturday 25th June NUBS organised the first recreational trip for PhD students since pre-pandemic.
The last two tough years saw our PhD students enduring harsh lockdown conditions that affected their research and social interactions, saw them stranded in Newcastle in isolation and away from family and friends for protracted periods, or isolating in hotel rooms for weeks while travelling between the UK and their home country, in addition to suffering financial and mental challenges. So finally this trip provided the perfect opportunity for some in-person interaction, beautiful sight-seeing, delightful banter and deserved relaxation after they submitted their annual progression review.
Despite some last-minute dropouts due to Covid, 24 students plus one post-doctoral fellow joined the PGR director and two guides from Lundgren Tours to visit the Lake District, a national treasure dotted by 16 lakes (or meres as they are actually called) and a major tourist destination in the UK. We stopped first in Windermere for a short hike to Orrest Head Hill overlooking the lake. We had lunch in the village and then headed to Keswick, where we took a 50-minute boat trip on the Derwentwater lake, the so-called Queen of the Lakes. We finished off the day with a fantastic afternoon tea treat at Bryson’s of Keswick where the students tried the quintessential British experience. Notable the choice of music on the coach, which everyone could select directly from their mobile phone and Rob, the guide, on the way back played the iconic song by Ronnie Lambert (The Geordie Busker) Coming Home Newcastle, an old song of Geordie pride that made us realise how nice it is to based in this part of the world.
I leave it to students to tell it in their own words.
Sara Maioli – Director of Post-Graduate Research
While studying in the UK, I got the chance to travel to some fantastic places, including the Lake District. Even though it was my third visit to the Lake District, there were still a lot of activities and places to explore and, without a doubt, my recent trip to the Lake District with colleagues from NUBS surpassed my expectations. I believe that the trip is one of the best trips that I have ever experienced.
I found this trip so appealing and so memorable. I am incredibly grateful to Newcastle University Business School for organising this trip; after spending time studying and conducting research, I was eager to have a break with friends.
The university was generous enough to provide us with a variety of places to explore, and one of the primary factors that made this trip so memorable for me was the fact that we were provided with guides to accompany us around the Lake District; they were friendly and respectful toward my colleagues and me. Moreover, the Lake District is one of the most stunning and picturesque places that I have ever witnessed in the UK. The scenery is enough to take your breath away which was something that I am grateful for.
I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to visit this area together and it brought a sense of belonging to a larger family. I also want to express my gratitude to the Director of Post-Graduate Research Dr. Sara Maioli for doing her utmost to make me feel welcome, she has also treated me with such warmth and care, which has contributed to my sense of belonging at the school.
In addition to the boat tour in Keswick, the school hosted a delicious afternoon tea for us that had a variety of cakes and other sweet treats. It gave us the opportunity to enjoy the afternoon tea with peers. It really drew us closer together and was a fantastic way to end the day.
Above all, I want to express my gratitude to NUBS as this trip must have involved a lot of planning and effort on their part, but the school made the right choice by selecting the Lake District due to its favourable position, picturesque views, and distinctively beautiful surroundings. I also want to extend a sincere appreciation to my peers for being courteous and friendly during the trip, I am so glad I got to share this amazing experience with them, and I hope we can go on many more excursions like this in the near future.