Natalie Kruse

Natalie Kruse, 2004 Scholar, University of Newcastle


For a small country, the United Kingdom doesn't lack variety in educational options. From the other side of the Atlantic, the choices are overwhelming and deciding where to study seems a Herculean task. Often, when lost in a sea of university names, the lesser known universities don't get considered. I was looking for a new experience, not just an American community out side of the United States--I have found that community in Newcastle Upon Tyne in Northeast England. On my first day in Newcastle, I nervously wandered the streets in the city centre and found lovely pedestrian shopping streets and plenty of restaurants and pubs for nights out. I soon began to expand my explorations of this new city to the Quayside--what a beautiful sight in the middle of a bustling city of industrial origins. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the first Saturday that I lived in city centre when the streets filled with people in black and white shirts to attend a football match. Since I had never been to a proper match, my friends soon took me to my first Newcastle United match--what a blast!

Soon after I got to Newcastle, I joined several clubs and societies. I had played Ultimate Frisbee for three years in the United States, so I joined the Newcastle Ultimate Frisbee Team, Too Many Pies. The 'Pies' immediately included me and the other new team members in both sporting and social activities. We train several times a week and adjourn to the pub after most training sessions. Besides making loads of friends through the Ultimate team, I've been able to travel to tournaments all over the United Kingdom--from Bristol to Aberdeen. I now compete for five teams-- Too Many Pies (Newcastle), the Brown (Newcastle), Angels of the North (Newcastle Women's Team), Leeds Leeds Leeds Ladies (Leeds Women's Team) and Mushiono (Nottingham Women's Team).