Preparation and arrival
The preparation, the journey, as well as the first days after the journey are certainly the most strenuous organizational activities before the real start of the semester abroad. Basically, I had to think about the following topics:
- course choice
Financing the study abroad / costs on site
A semester abroad at the University of New South Wales is expensive. Not only are the tuition fees very high at around 8,000 euros, so are the costs for food and rent. Before my semester abroad, I worked alongside my studies for 1. 5 years and was thus able to meet these costs. In retrospect, I can say that the experiences, the outstanding time and the many new good friends all over the world were definitely worth the money.
Accommodation and meals
In general, there are two options for accommodation and meals in advance of the semester abroad:
- On-campus living with organization prior to departure
- Off-campus living with organization after arrival
I chose the second because I was hoping to get more for my money on site, as on-campus living was very expensive. This is due to the fact that the providers simply take advantage of the concerns of international students about being away from home without a permanent place to stay, which is reflected in very expensive on-campus rooms with little comfort.
Accordingly, I booked a hostel for the first week after arriving in Sydney and started looking for an apartment from there. The websites flatmates. com. au and gumtree. com. au are suitable for searching for a shared apartment. After the first viewings, I immediately noticed that I will probably never meet all of my requirements for a room. The requirements included:
- Single room
- Flat share with other, non-German-speaking students
- Proximity to the beach and the university
- Price under AU $ 300 / week
- Good condition of the apartment
Renting a well-located single room apartment is very expensive in Sydney at over AU $ 300 per week. After a lot of thought, I therefore decided on a shared room in a very good location (Randwick) in a nice apartment with nice roommates for 230 AU $ / week. I shared my room with a Brazilian and also lived with three other exchange students from the USA. We became very good friends and had a great time in our apartment, which was a 10-minute walk from the university and a 10-minute bus ride to the nearest beach.
Host university / host institution
According to toppharmacyschools, the UNSW Sydney made a very positive impression from the start and maintained this throughout the semester. First I was picked up with other international students directly from the airport after my arrival. This service means a lot to me in retrospect, as I met 3 of my best friends in this car for the semester abroad. The airport pick-up was followed by many welcome events with several traditional Aussie barbecues sponsored by the university, as well as lectures and a demonstration by Australian Aboriginal people. All in all, we were welcomed very well and initiated into the local processes. Choosing a course was also easy and stress-free. You could already book the courses online before departure, but with the great help of the Study Abroad Office, you were able to change them on site and online by a certain deadline. the organization of the university was very good, quick help was always available and the staff were always very friendly
The lessons were also very good and demanding. During the semester there were an extremely large number of graded assignments and projects in each individual subject, which kept you on your toes. I took four subjects, a so-called full semester load, and had a lot to do, which I’m happy about, because first of all I was able to learn a lot professionally and also improve my English immensely.
Everyday student life / leisure activities
Since the course took a long time to complete, good organization was extremely important to ensure that all things, B. travel, sports, cooking and household to get under one roof. From Monday to Thursday, my everyday life mainly consisted of lectures and working on assignments and projects in the library, which was also very well equipped and nearby. Every other day I went to the university gym with my best friend from Madrid. At the weekend we often went to the beach or the city with lots of people or went on day trips to nearby national parks. Depending on the university workload, there were also short vacations to Melbourne, Darwin or New Zealand or study sessions with other fellow students. There were also many parties in the first two months,
After the end of the semester, I traveled to beautiful Australia as a backpacker for another 6 weeks. Overall, it was a great time with a great mix of university and leisure activities.
My goal was to broaden my horizons and improve my English. I was definitely able to meet these goals through the semester abroad. In addition, I learned a lot, both organizationally and culturally, and made very good friends. Overall, I had a great six months and would recommend this experience to everyone. At the same time, I’m glad that my semester abroad was so well supported by MicroEDU.