Organizational matters before going abroad
When I finally decided on trimester 3 at Deakin University in Melbourne, the application process began. I applied very early (April / May) for the trimester in October / November. First, you get in touch with a MicroEDU employee and discuss your individual plan for your stay abroad. MicroEDU will then give you detailed instructions on which documents to submit. MicroEDU then sends this to the host university and informs you about the status of the application. If you have any questions, you can contact your contact person at any time. I always received an answer promptly and felt very well looked after during the entire application process!
After I received the Official Confirmation (CoE) from Deakin University, I started taking care of the visa. The application for the visa takes place online. I applied back in June. Usually you can get a student visa in a few days, sometimes weeks. It took me almost 2 months because the Australian government had just made a system change (so that was more of a special case). There are also costs for the visa.
Another cost factor is the extremely long flight. If you don’t want to be on the road for 40 hours, you have to pay a lot. Qatar Airways offers the fastest connections (20-21 hours).
As far as accommodation is concerned, you have two options: either you choose to live on campus or off-campus. I opted for the off-campus variant because it was too expensive for me to pay the 800 euros a month for a dorm room. At that time I found a room in a 3-person flat share with two Australians via flatmates. com and that even before I arrived in Australia (but that is often not the case, many of my friends were looking for a flat-share on site and quickly one found). My share house was in the next suburb, Box Hill (10 minutes from the university in Burwood). It was a lot cheaper (around 400 euros) and I loved living with two Australians instead of a bunch of international students. The location (Box Hill) alone was not ideal, as social life took place in the CBD or in St. Kilda. However, you have the same problem if you live in the student accommodations in Burwood, where the transport links are much worse than in Box Hill! At the university, however, the location was a clear plus.
Deakin University has three locations: Burwood, Geelong and Warrnambool. I studied at the Burwood campus which is near the city of Melbourne. The other locations are quite a long way from Melbourne (1 hour to 2. 5 hours).
Here’s an important piece of information: If you go to Deakin in trimester 3, you should be aware that the campus is basically dead. There is no big orientation program (only a Scavenger Hunt aka City Rally), all clubs & associations have summer break and also many of the Australian students do not take any courses in T3. We international students (around 30 people, many Germans. . . : D) then organized our own meetings. That was really very cool and so I didn’t think the lifeless campus was bad!
The campus itself is very new and accordingly modern. After a short time you can find your way around. The library is equipped with many PCs. The lending system for books is a bit complicated and you may have to wait for books. If you have any questions, you can go to Student Central. Dining options are located at various points on campus, but I have never eaten there (most times for coffee bought) because the courts are almost as expensive as in a restaurant.
I was enrolled in the Business and Law course and took 3 units: Contract Law, Health Law and Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution. That meant I wasn’t a full-time student (4 units), but that wasn’t necessary in my case. At the beginning I had difficulty understanding the content and finding a good learning system as Australian law is very different from German law. I did 3 assignments during the trimester (one per unit) and at the end of the trimester I wrote an exam per unit. Gradually I got used to the new legal system and saw it a little more relaxed. In the end I passed all units well. It wasa very interesting experience to get to know and apply Australian law in depth. The content and linguistic knowledge acquired here will certainly benefit me for the rest of my studies.
The course size in T3 was very manageable. This in turn can be used as an advantage, for example to speak to the professor personally if you need help. I did it and it helped me, especially in the difficult early days!
My circle of friends mainly consisted of the international students who started the third term with me. With the exception of a few conversations, I had less contact with my fellow students from the units.
The negative thing about studying at Deakin was the high semester fees (around AUD 6000 for a trimester with 3 units). This is really expensive and you should plan the financing long enough in advance (foreign BaföG, work, savings, etc. )
Living in Melbourne / Australia
I can only say about Melbourne as a city: I love this city! Melbourne is divided into many different suburbs as well as the CBD. Each suburb has its own flair. In the CBD and around Southbank you can experience the classic downtown with lots of skyscrapers, St. Kilda with the beach, Brunswick is the hipster district, etc.
The city offers countless options for dining out. There are also a lot of bars (especially on Brunswick Street) and clubs. The downside: everything is expensive. However, I have to say that over time you will find ways of living cheaper (happy hour in bars, special offers in restaurants, shopping at Aldi, etc. )
Our group has often hosted BBQs at public BBQs. Even sports fans are in good hands in Melbourne, because here you can cricket, Austalian football, rugby and soccer look. I went to the Australian Opens (I’m not really a tennis fan) and it was a really great experience!
Overall, the city is incredibly lively, there is actually always something going on, be it festivals, markets, exhibitions or other cultural / sporting events.
Together with my friends I have made many weekend trips in the Melbourne area, such as Philipp Island, Wilsons Prom, Mornington Peninsula, Dandenong National Park, Yarra Range NP, the Great Ocean Road and Tasmania (highlight!).
In the intra-trimester break over Christmas I traveled to the east coast with two friends and, after graduation, the west coast, Thailand and Myanmar.
A few more words about the public transport system: Melbourne has a huge network of buses, trams and the metro. At first it was too much for me, but with the PTV app, things go pretty well afterwards. Nevertheless, the travel times within Melbourne are really long (it took me 30 minutes from Box Hill to the CBD and over an hour to St. Kilda). That can be annoying in the long run.
Finally, I would like to point out that the Australians are really extremely friendly, helpful and open people! You just get into conversation very quickly and you are often offered help. I have also made close friends in my international group at Deakin Uni, which I will certainly keep.
Lots of organization, very good support from CC, good university, courses are okay, living in Melbourne and traveling in Australia is great! I would choose Deakin, Melbourne and Australia again!