“The semester abroad at Griffith University on the Gold Coast Campus was a great experience in every respect and one of the best months of my life! You can expect a super structured, top modern university on a large campus, a wide range of travel options, and a wonderfully beautiful environment on the Gold Coast and the easy-going lifestyle of the Australians. ”
Hello my dears,
“G’day, how are you going?” My name is Melanie and as part of my dual bachelor’s degree at the EUFH I had the great opportunity to study a semester abroad. Since I had dreamed of the travel continent Australia for a long time, my choice fell on the Australian east coast, more precisely on Griffith University on the Gold Coast. Many positive testimonials, the proximity to the beach and the lower tuition fees convinced me to study a semester at Griffith Uni and I haven’t regretted a second!
The organization of the semester abroad was due MicroEDU really easy. During the entire application process you will be actively supported and you will always have an open ear for all questions. The friendly staff from MicroEDU organized all correspondence, including forwarding the pre-prepared application documents to be filled out to Griffith University. I was early on with my application in April 2015 for semester 1 from February 2016. So it is completely sufficient if you apply about 6 months in advance via MicroEDU. After receiving the acceptance, the student visa can easily be applied for online (costs approx. $ 575; duration: 3 hours) and the flight is booked and all other travel preparations (check vaccinations, book foreign health insurance, possibly buy backpack) are made. There are not require any special vaccinations for Australia. The earlier you book the flights, the cheaper they are (costs around € 1,200-1,300). The trip to Byron Bay during Orientation Week offered by extreme adventures is highly recommended, as the first contacts and friendships are made here, some of which last the entire semester and beyond. During the three days you will spend a fun time with many internationals, learn to surf and stroke kangaroos and koalas.
Griffith Uni charges tuition fees of just under $ 9,000 for a semester with four registered courses, including international insurance. The university has 5 campuses, the Gold Coast campus being very popular with international students due to its proximity to the ocean. 😉 The campus is like a small town – there are lots of green spaces for studying and relaxing outdoors, numerous buildings, huge lecture halls, cafes, restaurants, a university bar and a university store, a bookstore, hairdresser and a super cool library large relaxing armchairs and study area, in which it is great to study. The university is very easy to reach by tram and buses.
- Visit rrrjewelry to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
3. Course content
You can enroll in the desired courses online about 6 weeks before the start of your studies. The course description will give you an insight into the courses. They are all numbered, with the first number representing the academic year and thus the level of difficulty (1 for semesters 1 +2, 2 for semesters 3 + 4, 3 for semesters 5 +6). Tip: Choose your courses very carefully, taking into account the lecture times and especially the types of exams, as they have a significant impact on your free time to travel. In contrast to exams, for example, housework costs a lot of time… 😉 The number of courses (at least 3) must be clarified with your home university. Since I am studying industrial management here, I chose the following four business administration courses abroad:
- Accounting for Decision Making (First year)
- Employment Relations (First year)
- Firm Behaviors & Business Strategy (Second Year)
- Purchasing & Supply Management (Third Year)
Briefly a few information about the courses: I can particularly recommend the first and last-mentioned course. Accounting covers business administration basics and is really easy and recommendable. I would not choose Employment Relations again because, contrary to expectations, only a few personnel management processes were taught. The focus was rather on the correct positioning of young university students on the job market. My third course dealt with microeconomic topics and was okay in terms of both the time required and the level of difficulty – recommended if you are interested in economics. The fourth course dealt with processes in purchasing and logistics and, despite the demands, was my favorite course.
4. Costs / Financing
Since I did not receive a scholarship or foreign student loan, I financed myself through my parents’ savings and grants, although I have to say, in fairness, that my parents paid the lion’s share of the costs. 😉 Australia is unfortunately an expensive country. Not only are the tuition fees very high, but also the cost of living. Basically, the food is expensive compared to Germany, especially dairy products and fruit. It is advisable to shop for the offers in the supermarket.You can save a lot of money by paying attention to the prices. There are two major supermarket chains in Australia – Coles and Woolworth. The following short breakdown of costs shows that you will need around € 13,000 – € 14,000 (excluding travel):
- Flight: € 1,200
- Tuition fees, depending on the exchange rate for 4 courses: € 5,800
- Monthly expenses (apartment, food, tram & bus, other): € 1,200
- Visa: 400 €
- + Travel.
I recommend that you open an account at the DKB before you start your journey. With this you can withdraw money worldwide for free. In my opinion, an Australian bank account is not necessary if you are abroad for six months, as rent and other expenses are usually paid in cash. If you do need an Australian bank account, I’ve heard that it is easy to open.
5. Finding accommodation
In finding accommodation I rely on the numerous opinions and on site for a hotel searched. The insecure / uncomfortable feeling in advance was worth it, because I was able to look at the apartments and roommates directly on site. The dormitory on the Griffith University campus was not very popular as it was relatively expensive at $ 300 / week and further away from the other students. It is advisable to move into a shared flat in Surfers Paradise, because this is where non-university life takes place. Since a lot of international students start at Griffith Uni every semester, I recommend you arrive at least 10 days before Orientation Week to get used to the new environment and the language and to have enough time to look for an apartment.
6. Leisure and travel
The travel and the enterprises were the highlights of the semester abroad. It is worth making day trips to the beautiful national parks (Springbrook National Park, Mount Tamborine) and driving the coastal roads along the Gold Coast in the sunshine. A must-see are of course the cities of Sydney and Melbourne in connection with the fascinating Great Ocean Road, past the famous Twelve Apostles. A multi-day trip to the paradisiacal Great Barrier Reef is also highly recommended. We did a 3-day catamaran tour on the Whitsunday Islands (boat “Wings” is really great !!). If you want to explore the impressive underwater world, you should definitely go snorkeling and diving there. By the way, snorkeling in old shipwrecks is also worthwhile on Moreton Island – one of the largest sand islands on the Australian east coast. The complete opposite of the wet and happy activities can be found at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the outback – miles of walks in dry red sand areas, sleeping under millions of stars and cooking over the campfire included. Outback tours are relatively expensive due to the flights, but totally worth it! In addition to the city of Brisbane, there are also numerous places on the Gold Coast – Noosa, Byron Bay, Burleigh Heads.
Before I left, I read a lot of testimonials and at the end of each report I got the urge to travel. It’s just true: the semester abroad on the Australian east coast was the best time of my life!
I met lovely people (mostly surprisingly from Germany), we traveled to beautiful places together and had fun, eventful, exhausting, learning and work-intensive and simply great days that I would not want to miss anymore. I more than enjoyed the time! The “easy-going, no-worries” attitude towards life of the Australians, kilometers of beaches, fantastic natural and animal worlds and the sunny, warm weather have a positive effect on the basic mood and joie de vivre. Of course there are days that were stressful and intensive to learn and when I was homesick at times, but overall I would strongly recommend a semester abroad on the Gold Coast in Australia because you experience so much and it shapes your personality.
If you have any questions or need more detailed information, feel free to write to me. Otherwise good luck with the organization and your trip to Australia.