Welcome to Paradise
My preparations started 1 year in advance because my university is very planning-oriented. So I had a lot of time to create packing lists with yes and maybe things and to communicate with MicroEDU (thank you again, it was very helpful, always quick and easy). I hope my tips help you.
The dear money
The tuition fees at Griffith were the equivalent of around € 5,451. I have not yet calculated what I have spent on trips, living, shopping, etc., but because I did not want to save (because you are only there once) I will end up with a total of 18,000 €, I think.
I took out insurance through Hanse Merkur (approx. € 271 for 5 ½ months), which included basic health insurance and comfort insurance (travel accident insurance, luggage insurance, liability, etc.). You are still insured in the OSHC through the university. On the Great Barrier Reef I got water in my inner ear and got it incredibly quickly thanks to the OSHC on Easter Sunday evening. However, I would recommend the Hanse Merkur as an additive. Usually it’s better to have something because then nothing happens;).
I booked my flight with Emirates for around € 1360 at the end of September. If you don’t know when you want to arrive that early, you can still book later with Etihad. Others only booked there in November and paid about the same.
For free cash withdrawals in Australia, I can recommend the DKB credit card. This reimburses any fees incurred at the machine (simply photograph the receipt and send it to [email protected] with the account details to which the reimbursement is to be made) Suncorb (green), Commonwealth (yellow-black), ANZ (blue-black) and NAB (red-black) do not charge any fees.
If you are coming for the winter semester, I can recommend you to arrive about a month in advance and enjoy the warm weather a little and travel around. I only arrived 4 days before the O-Week and was driven straight to the university by my host family to apply for all the important cards (student ID, OSHC, Consession, Gocard, etc.).
Since I did this semester abroad voluntarily in addition to writing my master’s thesis, I only took 3 courses. This means that you are very busy.
The facilities at the university and the intranet are great. The library offers laptops, tablets, computers, printing facilities and charging stations for mobile phones. Around the G7 you will find post offices, hairdressers, ATMs, learning accessories, snacks, drinks and a fitness center. Those who are thrifty can also warm up their homemade food using the microwaves on the G7.
Extreme Adventure Trip to Byron Bay
Highly recommended, as almost all the activities you want in Australia are carried out: zoo (keeping koalas, petting and feeding kangaroos), kayaking on the open sea and seeing dolphins (unfortunately the cyclone Marcia raged before my Byron tour, which is why the sea was so churned that the dolphins could not be seen. But you get a dolphin guarantee, i.e. you can come again), lighthouse hike (amazing view), BBQ, surfing hour and party in the evening.
- Visit thenailmythology to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
I myself decided on a homestay because I heard that as an exchange student, you tend to come into less contact with Australians than with other internationals. And you meet them enough when traveling in hostels. The homestay cost about € 155 fee for the organization by the university and then $ 235 per week semi-catered (breakfast and dinner during the week and lunch on the weekend). I was incredibly lucky with my host family because my hostmum cooked incredibly tasty and healthy and my host brothers were my age. I’ve done a lot with them and their friends. But I’ve only heard good things from other homestays. You have to be the type for it, of course, but it is definitely a great opportunity to meet the “real” Australians.
For those who tend to come here to party, I recommend Surfers or Southport for living. You should definitely expect $ 230 for a single room. Shared rooms were around $ 110. The Village is pretty expensive at $ 370, I’ve heard, and shopping is a little sparse.
Means of transport
Gumtree – if you’re looking for a bike, you’ve come to the right place. A beach cruiser is enough for surfers. However, if you want to use the bike to go to university, you should get a mountain bike. For around $ 80 you usually get something on Gumtree and you can always trade. It’s relatively hilly, so you definitely need a well-functioning gearshift. From surfers, however, the tram is the best way to get to the university.
Bus / tram / train – I went to the university on the day of arrival and had my Student ID made and bought a GoCard. The GoCard in connection with the ID and the Consessioncard are a discounted ticket. Money is loaded onto the GoCard (Student Guild or any tram station) and each time you start your journey you have to touch the card at a touchpoint and repeat this when you get off. The cost of the trip and the remaining amount are displayed when you get out. Depending on where you live, you should expect $ 15 per week in travel expenses. Brisbane into the city is only about $ 5 with the GoCard. The cost to the airport to Brisbane is around $ 25. If you’re on a trip that starts at an inconvenient time, there is an airport transfer for $ 49.
Waxy´s Survers (Irish pub) – Steak 2 $ and salad / sauce / fries each for 2 $ on top.
Chemist warehouses basically have everything that DM also carries a little more expensive!
Sunscreen – here I can recommend that I take a 50+ sunscreen from Germany and fill it up with the cheap “pump cream” that is available in every Coles, Wallmart or Chemist Warehouse if necessary. Cream yourselves really. All of my fellow travelers looked like crabs after three days of sun because they were just taking it lightly. Even if you are already tanned. The sun has incredible power here and even if it no longer causes sunburn, if you look at the old Australians on the bus with their leather skin, you will NEVER forget the sun cream;) It is best to always take a smaller 30 with you, which you can take on for at least a minute Applied shoulders and face. And don’t forget your feet. Despite the cream, I unfortunately had a sunburn after 3 hours in the canoe – OUCH!
Mosquito protection – Autan Protection Plus did not work on the mosquitoes on my host family’s terrace. But here there are insect rollers that look like deodorant rollers (blue) that work better.
Best Ice Cream – Peanut Butter Fudge in Surfers at Gelatissimo on Cavill Avenue, if you walk towards Surfers Sign to the beach. Samples are also distributed there;)
Postage stamps – for letters and postcards to Germany cost $ 2.75. But you can also stay in touch via Skype and Whatsapp.
Amaysim SIM card – costs 2 $ and can be topped up with 10, 15 or 30 $ on the Internet or afterwards via the mobile phone. Since the university has great internet and I also had internet in my host family, I only turned on the mobile data when I was out and about and didn’t book a package for internet packages. Amaysim also offers this at a reasonable price.
Sport – for everyone who likes to do group fitness or go to the gym, the Uni Fitness Center offers affordable memberships.
Choir – If you like Pitch Perfect and want to meet funny people, you can join the A Capella Choir at Griffith Uni. Personally, I had a lot of fun there.
Travel – Get the suggestions from the STA Travel catalogs, which are available from the STA travel agency in the university, but book everything yourself if possible, because it is often cheaper and more to your taste.
Study Buddy Program – I highly recommend it. I was very lucky with my buddy, because we got along great straight away, despite the insane cultural differences, and we also did something outside of the meetings.
You can also ask questions and get free coffee.
Powerbank to charge the cell phone on trips – we got one for orientation week (o-week) at the university.
A waterproof and dustproof cover for the Iphone 5S was available on Amazon for around € 25.
Neck pillow for travel
Girls: take hair oil from home with you, the hair is very attacked by the salt water and the sun and those who hang on to them use a lot of hair treatment here.
Sunglasses: make sure that the sun protection factor of the sunglasses is 3 or 4 if you love your eyes as much as your skin;)
Otherwise I can only say, come down and experience it for yourself. There are so many beautiful places here and it is THE experience of your life. Have fun!