How it all began: I became aware of James Cook University (JCU) through a friend. Actually in relation to marine biology, for which the university is known worldwide, but since I have a medical background, I found out about the public health program on the university’s homepage and finally decided to apply for it. I came across MicroEDU by chance while browsing the Internet and then quickly discovered on the homepage that the JCU is included. After that, everything went very easily and quickly. A quick email to MicroEDU and within a few days I had an answer. MicroEDU really took care of everything. All forms to be filled out have been sent to me. All I had to do was get my documents translated into English and send them to MicroEDU. At first I had no contact with the university itself. After I had finally filled out all the forms, translated all the documents and received my letters of reference and everything was forwarded to the JCU, it was time to wait according to liuxers.
Finally the university confirmed: ” Congratulations, you have been accepted into the MPH program. ” The joy was huge. After you have received the Letter of Offer and confirmed that you also want to study in Australia, you will receive your CoE. This is the Overseas Student Confirmation-of-Enrollment Letter. You need this for the visa. Now it was called my visa for meto organize. Usually it is Visa 500, Higher Education Sector. In addition, you have to undergo a medical examination. I had to go to Frankfurt for this, as the doctor responsible has to be registered with the Australian government. You can find the doctors who have the authorization on the homepage of the Australian Embassy. After I was finally in Frankfurt and had submitted all the required documents online, I didn’t even have to wait 3 days and had my visa confirmed. As a rule, the visa is automatically stored on the biometric passport and does not have to be taken with you in printed form.
Parties and studies
After this was done it was time to look for accommodation. I figured living on campus was the easiest. Here, too, there are corresponding links and finally forms that you have to fill out on the university homepage. You can choose a college or make a list of priorities. The advantage of living on campus is that you are really close to all facilities. In addition to Rotary, the colleges offer full board. In other words, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in buffet form. However, you shouldn’t expect a gourmet kitchen. Ultimately, I ended up at University Hall. It is the cheapest but also the largest college on campus. Well, if you can eat fast food for a semester and have no problem with party weekends, I think at least you can survive quite well. At least I was lucky enough to have been accommodated in one of the quieter townhouses. In the end, however, it was basically too loud and too messy for me. Especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you should either stay in Rotary (where you cook yourself) or in a shared apartment. Finding an apartment is not as difficult as you might think. There are several pages on Facebook, for example Townsville Accommodations, where you can always find good deals. Douglas and Annandale are the closest suburbs to the university. I now live in a shared flat in Annandale and enjoy my time here.
Now to the study itself. The decision to study public health abroad was an obvious one for me. Studying at home would of course be much cheaper, but the curricula are very much adapted to the German or Austrian health system. At JCU you can do the normal MPH as well as the MPHTM – Tropical Medicine – and MPH, MBA. The latter lasts 2 years. I chose here for two main reasons, on the one hand, that PH is an international field and completing a degree in English certainly has an advantage, on the other hand, the degree is also designed for the Australian health care system, but overall the focus is on the tropics and therefore hasa wider range than at home. There are compulsory subjects that you have to complete and a large number of elective subjects, depending on your point of interest. The professors are extremely courteous and helpful. You can always ask questions. Emails are usually answered within a week. The program is tough but quite feasible and depending on the chosen subject you have to write one or more assignments and additionally either several smaller tests or a larger exam at the end of the semester.
Watch out for the crocodiles!
Townsville itself is a small town in the tropics with a more or less good bus system. There are enough shopping possibilities. On Fridays you meet people on Flinders Street. As a nature lover, you can go to Castle Hill, the local mountain, or you can take the ferry to Magnetic Island, Maggie for short, and hike one of the tracks and look for the wild koalas that still live there or enjoy a day on the beach in one of the many bays. There is also the possibility to go to one of the nearby creeks and bathe in the fresh water. However, warning signs regarding crocodiles should be taken seriously. Although the Salties are more common in the north, they have also been spotted in Townsville. In the Ross River you will only find fresh water crocodiles. These are smaller and generally not dangerous to humans. All in all, it was a good decision to do my Masters in Australia. The first semester was very exciting and exciting and I’m already looking forward to the next two and all the adventures that I will have here. Overall, the Australians are much more open and relaxed than the people here – or who can claim that a business administration professor in Germany gives his lecture barefoot ?;-)