Since I had decided not to spend a semester abroad during my bachelor’s degree in economics, I really wanted to make up for it in my master’s degree. It quickly became clear to me that I wanted to go to an English-speaking country, which meant that only England, South Africa, the United States and Australia were shortlisted for me. Since I had already done an exchange semester at an Australian school during my school days, I decided relatively quickly in favor of Australia, as the country is also worth seeing for tourists and I only had positive experiences at the time. The University of Bayreuth, where I study business administration, offered the University of Technology Sydney. It quickly became clear to me that it should be Sydney in order to be able to combine the big city with a subsequent internship. When I didn’t have the opportunity to go to Australia via the University of Bayreuth, I was so fixated on the country and the city that I checked the Internet for information on how to get there as a so-called free mover and ended up going to MicroEDU, who sent me all of the application documents after a phone call. In the end, this was a stroke of luck because I always had a contact person to turn to in case of problems. With some courses, for example, you don’t seem to meet the requirements, because the German course has the same content but is called differently, etc. Students who have already changed universities, MicroEDU was of great help here because, as intermediaries, they were able to solve all problems within a very short time and I was able to concentrate on the upcoming exam phase in Bayreuth. It started for me at the end of July and one day after my arrival in Sydney the introductory event was on the program. It should be said that I made a conscious decision against a student residence. This is where most of the contacts are made, but there are often relatively strict visiting rules (only ten days total, only five in a row), which was out of the question for me. So I decided on house sharing in Glebe (15 minutes walk from the university and many pubs). Overall, everyone must be aware that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world. I paid $ 250 a week for rent only. It is often even higher in student dormitories. So if you’re more of a saver, then I think Sydney might be the wrong place. The prices continue for food and especially alcohol.
The next day, the introductory week started right in the university. The differences to Germany are quite clear here. The focus here is not on party nights on the part of the university and pub crawls. Rather, city tours, Excel courses for beginners or support for housework are offered. According to liuxers, The UTS is located in the Ultimo district and has a total of 39,000 students (business is the largest faculty here with 10,000 students). The university is still relatively new (founded in 1988) and is currently investing an incredible amount in buildings and their equipment. Business and engineering are two fields of study whose buildings were only completed this or last year. For business in Australia she owns what I have learned an excellent reputation. Already in the week of preparation I realized that I am not the only German. I would say that we are the third largest group of nations after China and India. So it was incredibly difficult to speak only English, as the individual countries formed groups relatively quickly. So the language of instruction among each other is then the respective national language. Australians themselves can hardly be found in a master’s program, as they shy away from the costs and work experience is more important here than a master’s degree. In a bachelor’s course that I had taken, it was almost exclusively Australians, which was also very beneficial for improving my English vocabulary.
During your studies you have to be prepared for the fact that the differences to Germany are quite large. Attendance is compulsory and while in Germany there is usually the final exam at the end of the semester, there are often midterms and homework (individual or group work) for each subject at UTS, which means that you have to work continuously. Since the submission of the individual work takes place in a relatively short period of time, it can be quite stressful. The grades too usually play out in the range between 75% – 80% if you are good. It is best to find out from your university how grades are converted in Germany before you go abroad. I think it is very annoying to write very good grades according to Australian standards, which are no longer very good in Germany due to conversion keys.
Overall, I can say that I really enjoyed the semester despite the stressful exam phases. Sydney itself and the university cannot be compared with German standards and therefore a unique experience. However, it is best to pay attention to the tips mentioned above (relatively expensive, more stressful than in Germany during the semester due to various housework and a relatively low proportion of native speakers in the finance courses).