After traveling the continent of America for some time after graduating from high school, I got the wanderlust and it was clear to me that I would like to spend a semester abroad somewhere in the world during my studies.
Since semesters abroad are compulsory at my German university, we were offered many lectures by organizations such as MicroEDU and after I had filled out a short information sheet about me and my interests, more information was soon emailed which universities can be reached via MicroEDU are and where they are.
After the mentality of the Australians had already inspired me during my first trip, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to go to Australia and also that it should be the east coast, as more cities can be visited from there than there are on the west coast of Case is. The information that I received from MicroEDU from this point on then all related to this part of Australia and also contained more detailed information about which universities were more and which were less suitable because of their courses.
A friendly and helpful contact was quickly established with MicroEDU and annoying questions were answered patiently. The universities that would have come into question for me all sounded very similar and the experience reports were generally very positive, so that the trigger for my decision to go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast was the weather in this area should be beautiful all year round.
- Visit picktrue to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
MicroEDU was always at my side when choosing a course or looking for suitable courses, as well as with all other questions about application requirements and payment conditions and after my application had been looked through, corrected and sent, I only had to wait for the acceptance then soon arrived.
I had already made the experience in America that you can get to know people very well in hostels and that apartments are easier to find on site than on the Internet, which is why I decided not to look for accommodation in advance. My further preparation therefore only included booking flights (maybe not necessarily cheaper with STA Travel than elsewhere, but in the same price range and nice and simple), applying for a visa (very easy and quick for Australia) and choosing courses (that was all To be honest is the greatest stress in the whole preparation, but it could have been easier, since you usually change your decision on site).
I finally flew from Düsseldorf on July 13th, 2010 with Emirates and was very happy to have spent the 10 € more on a great airline, because I (as one of the fewest) was allowed to take 30 instead of 20 kilos with me I even got a piece of cake for my birthday (which was somewhere between Dubai and Brisbane), which I could enjoy in my comfortable seat in front of my screen with a large selection of films.
When I arrived in Brisbane, the Griffith University shuttle service picked me up and took me to my hostel on the Gold Coast. The hostel was in Southport, in the place where the university is and many other future Griffith University students also lived there, so that we could go looking for a place to live and go to the university’s introductory week together. I can highly recommend the hostel (Aquarius), there are shops nearby, lots of party and shuttle bus offers and nice staff.
After we had talked to some people we had met on the first day of the university, it quickly became clear that the university village is too far away from everything (except of course the university) and we went to Surfers Paradise (party Mile No. 1, lots of shopping opportunities, the beach and in the middle of the two large shopping centers in the area) looked for apartments. There are many agencies there that can help you and all of them are used to short-term lets, so the whole thing was not a problem and I and three other international students quickly found a house on the beach.
The good thing about living in Surfers Paradise is that the bus runs very often during the day, so that you can get to and from university quickly and in the evening, if you like to go out, you can go to one of the numerous bars for a drink or to dance in one of the many clubs, you can also walk everywhere and do not have to rely on the few night buses (which no longer go to the university).
If you want to live in Surfers, you either have the option to find a free room (I found that rather difficult), to get together with others and move into a furnished house or apartment or to go to one of the residential complexes that all have pool facilities, spa areas and BBQ areas, but are often so expensive that most of the people I knew there shared a room.
As already indicated above, you can then “test” different courses within the first few weeks and, if necessary, change your mind about what I did. You can determine when the course will take place and who would attend the course with you or, of course, how you liked the first lecture.
Depending on what your university has for requirements, you can then take three or four courses and I was busy with my four courses, but still had enough time to enjoy the good life on the Gold Coast.
Most of the courses are divided into so-called tutorials (in small groups) and lectures (all students of the course) and at least all of my lecturers, as well as the employees of the university as a whole, were very helpful and approachable at all times.
During the semester, there are always smaller group or individual tasks, such as presentations or reports, which are usually connected with fun and shared learning and nonsense lessons. Shortly before the semester break (around the middle of the semester) I had a few mid-semester exams before I went up the east coast with two cars or campers. Since all students have approximately the same period of time off, these “small” trips can turn into a mass outing, which has made the whole thing no less great and great offers and specials await you everywhere.
After the spring break, the semester continued its regular course and in the courses in which you had final exams, these were also mastered.
I had planned a little time for after the semester so that I could then travel to New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne and I don’t regret a minute of it! Australia is really a great country with insanely beautiful areas (although nothing comes close to the views you get in New Zealand) and great cities, each with their own charm.
If you have any questions about my semester abroad, I am available at any time and can say from here that I would not even spend half a second differently if I had the chance to start again. From MicroEDU to my flights, accommodation, university and courses, to my travels, everything was perfect and the only sad thing was that at some point you had to say goodbye.
I wish you just as much fun in your semester abroad, be it at Griffith or elsewhere.