It will be very difficult to summarize this experience in just a few lines. The best recommendation I can give is to have this experience yourself. No matter how this report may sound like below, I can say with certainty that it was the best year of my life and that I definitely don’t want to miss it.
The course I am doing required spending a year abroad. Since the partner universities and their offers were less appealing to me, I decided to apply to other universities as a freemover. After a few conversations with other students, I came across college-contact.com, which will help you find a partner university.
After I had decided on Australia, or more precisely Melbourne, I started discussing possible courses with my university at home. This enabled me to choose a university that offered the best courses for my studies. Shortly afterwards, I wrote the application, which was more than delayed on the part of RMIT (thank God I was early enough) and then got my acceptance three weeks before departure.
Arrival and the first few weeks
After the visa and the flight were organized (but packing was also a challenge), it went to the airport. A temporary hostel in Melbourne was booked and ready to go. After recovering from jet lag for a few days (going to Australia is worse than going back), I went looking for an apartment that I would have imagined easier. Important: don’t get confused and keep looking. After about ten visits and several phone calls, I found something suitable and was able to move in with two Australians a few days later. In retrospect, it was the best I could have done, because during the orientation week you could already see the group formation by country: the Scandinavians together, Americans and Canadians in one heap – and then there is also the group of Germans, Austrians and Swiss. – after all, you go abroad to get to know other cultures and people. But after a few weeks it got mixed up.
- Visit shoefrantics to learn more about country of Australia and continent of Oceania.
Studying at RMIT
Many can see everything relatively carefree, as some exchange students just have to pass it. In my case, the notes were transferred, so I didn’t see it all that easily. Completely unfounded. The study in Melbourne itself is very practical and less related to a human memory, but hard work and independent work are very important. Interactive collaboration is highly valued by the professors (Asian fellow students are a bit reluctant) and there is generally a rather friendly relationship at the university. If I was not able to collect as much information theoretically and professionally as in Austria, I have learned a lot of human and practical things. I would even argue that these classes prepared me better for the world of work than I would anywhere else. A lot of project work and case studies were carried out with various companies that not only required organization and planning, but also team and knowledge management. Australian professors in particular have always had an open ear and a great understanding of international students. Many a dialect (especially the Asian professors) caused difficulties for me at the beginning, but I should prove thankful for them a little later when I traveled to Asia.
Living in Melbourne
Melbourne is in my opinion the best city in Australia to live (but not cheap either). Not as many tourists as on the Gold Coast (unfortunately you have to accept the bad weather for that), and once you get there you know exactly why this city has been named Most Livable City in the World several times. The infrastructure, which seems a bit irritating at the beginning (no announcements in trams etc), becomes very simple after a few days and the connections are great. As an exchange student (unfortunately not as a free mover) you can even get half the price. The RMIT City Campus is right in the CBD (Central Business District) and thus offers the opportunity to explore various cafes, restaurants and (rooftop) bars after and / or between lectures and seminars. Meeting friends in the city was always a great experience, even if the weather was sometimes insidious (there were sometimes no more than five minutes between a bright blue sky and the next storm). Many students still had an opportunity to earn a living alongside their studies, but I would generally recommend: work at home and save money and make full use of the year abroad. Only in this way was it possible for me to undertake the following trips.
Travels through Australia and other countries
Since my year abroad stretched over semester 2 and semester 1 of the next year, I not only enjoyed the “mid-semester breaks” that I both spent in New Zealand, but also the Australian summer vacation, which lasted almost four months. After exhausting weeks of exams, it was time for me and five friends from all countries (Germany, Mexico, Denmark, Singapore and France) to Tasmania (in my opinion it is the most beautiful piece of unspoiled nature in Australia and definitely worth a trip). With a campervan we explored the country for two weeks and were able to experience many great moments in a beautiful landscape. Shortly afterwards I unfortunately had to say goodbye to many friends from the first semester, but I was able to start a new great experience right away: I spent two months exploring the diversity of Southeast Asia: I started in Malaysia, then met my family in Thailand for the New Year and Traveled Cambodia and Vietnam with an Austrian fellow student before moving on to China went and then visited him in Hong Kong, where he was doing his year abroad. To describe these trips here would more than go beyond the scope, but when I think back on it, I feel the urge to travel. I didn’t want to miss Australia either, so I left the east coast, where I discovered my passion for diving, and made friends with “strangers”.
Friendships and the farewell
My heart starts bleeding when I think about it. Even if you felt homesick one time or another, the last few weeks have only been characterized by moments when I didn’t want to leave this wonderful country and its people. It taught me a lot more than just the knowledge of the university: I was able to show serenity for the first time, gossip and gossip no longer interest me at all – my own life is too good to break my mouth over the life of others. In return, I have made very good friendships all over the world, and I have resolved to cultivate these contacts very much, as they always bring me to the best year of my life will remember. Accordingly, it was difficult for me to say goodbye and many tears were shed. But one thing should be said: Australia, I’ll be back <3