Every beginning is difficult (6-8 months before)
The first question I asked myself was: “Which country do I want to go to?” Then I talked to friends who had already been abroad, got information from the Internet, listened to lectures at the HS and above all listened to my own instincts and my heart. At the same time, I looked at the partner universities of our HS and realized that they did not meet my expectations. I didn’t just want to study somewhere, I also thought about what I got from the country. A semester is a long time. That’s why I finally decided to go to Australia to discover. Because who knows when you will have the opportunity to fly there again for such a long time. Once the working day has started, it is difficult to get vacation for several weeks. Of course, the choice is also a question of the financing options. However, I was sure that with the help of BAföG and an education loan this dream will be possible. However, this is a personal matter that everyone has to decide for themselves. As soon as the decision about the location was made, I found out about existing partner universities via the website of “MicroEDU”. MicroEDU had previously given a lecture at our UAS and was very knowledgeable about Australia. When choosing the university, I paid particular attention to the range of subjects, after all, every student wants to bring back good experience from their semester abroad and above all not sit bored in the lectures. Since I am studying Marketing and International Business, I was interested in subjects related to marketing. For the Griffith University, I was most impressed by the variety of interesting subjects and its location on the Gold Coast. After making my decision, I’ll get in touch with MicroEDU. Shortly afterwards, I received all the important information and forms and could now start preparing. Despite the selection you have already made, it is important to always keep an eye on a second university in case there are unexpected problems with admission. This can also be in another country, which is of interest.
Preparations (6 months in advance)
It is now important that you create a to-do list with an assigned time frame. This becomes quite long with a free mover. I started with the most important and what takes the most time. For those who receive BAföG, this is the application for BAföG abroad. You should start 6 months in advance as the paperwork takes longer than you would like. You can find the required forms on the website of the relevant responsible office. There is a different responsible office for each country or group of countries. For Australia this was in Marburg. After you have filled out all the forms, simply send them to Marburg by post. Then it is time to wait. Usually, missing documents are requested after a few weeks. In the meantime, other preparations can be made. First of all, you should get the registration forms from the university abroad and, at the same time, register the semester abroad at your home university. You can only legally do a semester abroad with the confirmation of your own university / college (editor’s note: This depends on the home university, not every university has such requirements.) I received the registration documents for Griffith University directly from MicroEDU. As a freemover, I can only highly recommend working with an agency. MicroEDU is paid for by the universities that provide it and is therefore free of charge for students. Registration is not a big act. Freemovers pay for their semester themselves and are therefore usually accepted without any problems.
- Visit behealthybytomorrow to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
Then it’s time to choose a course. This turned out to be quite interesting on the Griffith. There is a really wide range here and it all sounds interesting at first. Here you have to weigh up what is most helpful for you and what you want to do later. Above all, choose courses that are not typical for a normal degree program, so that you can stand out in applications. I can now, for example, roughly design a website because, among other things, I decided on “Introduction to Webdesign”. In marketing you rarely have to design websites, but I now have background knowledge of time management and the workload. This can be very helpful when commissioning a website to an external company. However, the examination procedure for the respective subjects is also important. We are mostly just used to to write an exam at the end of each semester and that was the end of the semester. Not the greatest expense. However, things often look different at foreign universities. Three to five small to large exams are normal here. On the one hand, this is of course a lot more work, since you always have something to do for four subjects, but you also have to be aware that for the most part it is more positive for us because we are abroad and are not familiar with the exam system. Many who only write one final exam abroad fail the semester because it did not go well. However, if you have three exams, one can turn out a little worse. So take a good look at the examination system and make sure that you have to do at least three in the semester.Introduction to Web Design ”,“ Consumer Psychology ”,“ Introduction to Event Management ”and“ Digital & Social Media Marketing ”and can recommend all of them with a clear conscience. Of course, some subjects were better or worse, but that was entirely up to the professors. Most, however, are very careful to get the students with the best results through their studies, which I have to give Griffith credit for. The projects but super exciting in all courses. After you have chosen your courses, you enter them in your Learning Agreement and clarify them in a short conversation with the responsible professor at the FH. Typically, there are few compliance issues here. I only had one course that was not recognized because it was too simple and actually already included in our course. Should you notice at the beginning of the courses that you don’t think one of them is that great, there is an extra document that is simply emailed to the responsible professor and approved briefly. So no problem at all. Now you have already done most of the preparation and have to wait for Griffith’s approval. This includes course recognition and confirmation of admission. You will also need this for your BAföG application. If you have already sent everything to the BAföG office, you can simply submit the missing documents later. With the acceptance on the Griffith comes the unsightly part – the Cost. I had to transfer tuition fees of around 5800 euros. Apply for the passport, the flight book and apply for the visa. Since I knew from other experience reports how much I would have to pay, I applied for an education loan from the KFW in addition to BAföG. The KFW gives students a very good loan at very low interest rates. These are around 1.09%. In about 4-6 weeks I had the approval for the loan and the money was already transferred to my account. My loan was around 7,000 euros. That’s a lot of money, but it’s almost normal these days. Since we are lucky enough not to pay any tuition fees here, I find that quite acceptable. Other students already have such high debts from studying at home.