I studied at Swinburne University of Technology in the 2015 summer semester. During this time I have had a lot of positive experiences about the country and the university. With this report I hope to be able to reach people who are undecided who are still to decide in which country they would like to spend their semester abroad.
First and foremost, it was a matter of deciding which university would be suitable for me. My planning started a year before my big trip started. Because I study information management in Germany, i. e. a mixture of computer science and business administration, it was important for me to choose a university that meets my requirements for promoting and promoting my achievements. I also wanted to improve my English and get to know an interesting and varied country. Then, through research, I came across the Swinburne University of Technology. The global rankings different universities, as well as the field reports at MicroEDU have helped me a lot in consolidating my interest in the university. I searched the Swinburne University database for suitable courses and found both interesting computer science and business administration courses. So my decision was made to do my semester abroad at Swinburne University of Technology which is short for SUT via liuxers.
Fortunately, it is also possible to study at Swinburne University without a direct exchange. Many of my fellow students told me that the easiest way to apply is through MicroEDU. The implementation of the semester abroad via MicroEDU was easy and problem-free. My wishes and suggestions for my studies in Melbourne were forwarded to MicroEDU and then sent by MicroEDU to the university of choice. The choice of courses was obviously difficult for me because I was unsure which courses would bring me the greatest benefit. That’s why I initially decided on a different selection of courses than I actually chose in the end. First of all, it is important that the courses in Australia are also recognized by the home university. I initially decided on three courses, but later decided to change. The change of the courses was not a problem for the Swinburne. After two weeks the changed courses were confirmed and I got the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) with which it was possible to apply for the visa.
Not only studying in Australia, but also living there is very, very expensive. It is very advisable to think about the financing in advance. My way of doing this was to think about prices and possible housing options on the internet. I also applied for foreign student loans to have some financial headroom in Australia. The foreign student loan must be advanced and a marginal part also paid back. Bafög abroad is a great way to finance your studies abroad. I had already been thinking intensively about sleeping options in Australia, but I was a bit amazed at the prices, as the rent in Australia is very high and I decided to search locally. Furthermore, I had to have my English skills confirmed by a DAAD language certificate. Applying for a visa prior to travel is mandatory. The costs by credit card were around AUD 540 for me.
In February I went to Australia. With Singapore Airlines I went to Singapore first, and then flown on to Melbourne. The actual flight time to Melbourne is around 20 hours. It is therefore advisable to stay on the road. So I stayed 2 nights in Singapore before flying on to beautiful and tranquil Melbourne. If there is the possibility, it is very advisable to arrive in Melbourne at least a week before the start of the semester in order to find an apartment in peace. This gives you enough time in the first two weeks of the semester to look at the various events and put together the timetable. There are also some formalities that have to be dealt with. As soon as you arrive in Melbourne, the first way leads to the Student HQ of Swinburne University, which is located directly on campus. There you can get all further information regarding outstanding questions.
Swinburne University is planning an information event in the first week of the semester with all the information about the range of subjects and possible excursion destinations in Melbourne. The atmosphere is relaxed and you have the opportunity to get to know students from all over the world. You get an overview of the most important apps on campus and which festivals and events you definitely have to visit. After the event everyone went straight to the next pub to get to know each other better. The atmosphere at a free beer was always relaxed and amusing. The Swinburne University of Technology has a wide range of events, not just during the introductory week. There are free ways to get further education. Cooking courses, photography courses and much, much more are offered free of charge. Most of the Mondays there is free pizza and beer for Swinburne University students. You can also take part in the free yoga training before the exams and enjoy one of the massages, which are also free.
Living in Melbourne
At that time, I decided to live in the dormitory. The prices are very expensive. There are also good offers for living in the surrounding suburbs for the smaller budget. It should be noted, however, that the price range only starts at AUD 200. The student dormitory directly on campus, and thus only a few minutes’ walk from the faculties, costs AUD 280 per week and is therefore quite expensive. But it’s also worth it. You get to know a lot of interesting people from all over the world. Entertaining student parties are held on the weekend. Furthermore, a billiard table and a ping pong table including rackets are provided. A flat screen TV and a balcony are standard features of every apartment. It is also important to set up an Australian bank account as soon as you start. I can only warmly recommend the Commonwealth Bank. The student account is always free and offers the option of withdrawing money flexibly and at any time. In addition, it is now the standard in Australia to pay by credit card and no longer in cash.
After the introductory week, the lectures started straight away. The classes in the master’s degree are slightly smaller or larger, depending on the course. The number of participants in my courses fluctuated between 9 and 31 people. The IT courses are held in the engineers’ building. They are mostly divided into labs and lectures, whereby the lab is mostly practice-oriented. The atmosphere in the classes is much more relaxed than in Germany and the relationship between professor and student is relaxed. You can tell that it is important to the professors that the student learns something and is encouraged and challenged. Professors are mostly addressed by their first name in Australia, but there are exceptions. The courses each consist of several modules. Usually there are between 3 and 5 different partial services, from homework to presentations, everything is included. At the end, an exam is usually required, which is between 50% and 60%. Most of the exams take place at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. A large sports stadium that was rented especially for the Swinburne students’ exams. But it is also possible to work alongside your studies. After the student visa, it is possible to work up to 20 hours a week. I enjoyed my working life in a coffee shop at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Please note that all applications are only sent digitally.
In general, Australians are a very open and helpful people. This makes it easy to make new contacts and you feel in good hands both at the university and in all other areas of life. The food is usually very varied and good. Because Melbourne is very multicultural, there is a little bit of everything. In Chinatown in Melbourne Central it is possible to get good Asian food. One corner further, Tacobell and Co. are already waiting for their customers. Smaller restaurants in particular are recommended for connoisseurs and gourmets. But not only the city of Melbourne with all its museums and theaters has a lot to offer for recreational activities, the area around the city is also worth seeing. There are many interesting places and landscapes in the area that are worth a day or weekend trip. In particular, the Great Ocean Road and the Yarra Valley must be mentioned here.
I can only warmly recommend Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology for a semester abroad. On the one hand, all the basic conditions are in place to quickly get used to Australian culture and the city. On the other hand, due to the fact that Melbourne is located on the coast, geographically speaking it is a great starting point to get to know the most beautiful sides of the country. The people are super relaxed, the food is varied, as is the nightlife. There are many ways to go out and end the evening with a good beer.