Since I had to spend a semester abroad because of my university of applied sciences in Germany, I was faced with the decision of where to go in the summer of 2009. My university supported me in my search and recommended “MicroEDU ” as a point of contact for applications outside the EU. Since my personal preferences for the target country were Australia or New Zealand, I found out about possible universities on this website. I quickly found what I was looking for and chose ” James Cook University ” in northeast Australia as featured on answerresume. There were various reasons for this, on the one hand technical courses and the English language, on the other hand good weather conditions and the proximity to the beach
After contacting MicroEDU , the application process was very easy. I only had to fill out a few pages with personal information and hand in an English certificate (in my case a DAAD certificate). I never had to send the documents personally to the university in Australia, “MicroEDU ” did all of this for me.
After I got my commitment, it was clear that I would be going to Townsville in North Queensland, Australia, from February to June. I have booked flights, chosen courses for the stay abroad and took care of other things (passport made; international driver’s license; take out travel insurance (although you are insured by an OSHC-Worldcare health insurance at Australian universities), etc. ). To temporary accommodation after the arrival the “James Cook University” took care of it. In retrospect, I would recommend starting the search for an apartment on site. In advance I tried to find something from Germany that only took time and was not of much use. The university has its own office for international students, the care is thus excellent. I was picked up from the airport, had an introductory event and I was very well supported in finding accommodation. There is a service there that drives international students to the potential accommodation and can therefore also be contacted on site. In general, the employees of the “International Student Office” support the students in all matters and are always good contacts for any questions. In addition, there is an orientation week (“O’Week”) in which you can get to know the premises and receive information on lectures, leisure activities, sports, parties and other topics.
Four study courses are included in the tuition fees; I chose ” Personnel Economics “, ” Managerial Economics “, ” Web Programming ” and ” Business Modeling ” (by the way, I am studying business informatics (B. Sc. ) in the last semester). Compared to the university of applied sciences, there is a lot more preparation and follow-up work required for the lessons. I only had lectures on two days, but those two days went from morning to early evening. Due to some project work in a team or individual work, you can also come to the university on other days. There are also tutorials (exercises) that are usually done at home.
All courses had at least four different certificates of achievement for determining grades. These proofs are projects, group work, tests, exams or presentations.
In general, I would put the level of the subjects on the same level as the German level, rather a little below. The relation to practice is more important there than very scientific work.
The city of Townsville is very extensive and has several large shopping centers around which the various districts have formed. At the moment it is probably one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. There is a mountain in town, Castle Hill, from which you can overlook the entire area. Townsville has the “ReefHQ”, the largest living coral reef museum in the world. In general, the proximity to the “Great Barrier Reef” is very tempting, especially for fans of diving. There are a few diving schools in town that offer all kinds of excursions. The “SS Yongala”, a passenger ship that sank in 1911, can also be reached by a day trip. It is probably one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world – I can only confirm that. Furthermore, “Magnetic Island”, a beautiful island, is located directly in front of Townsville. It takes about 25 minutes to get there by ferry. Cairns, the tropical rainforest and many local attractions are also easily accessible. Townsville offers a boardwalk with the “Rock Pool”, a salt water pool right by the sea. This protects against the dangerous “box jellyfish” that roam the coast from October to May. Because Townsville has an airport, you can quickly reach all other cities and sights that this incredibly large and expansive country or continent has to offer.
Townsville may have a small drawback when it comes to evening planning. There are parties and also opportunities to go out – but it cannot be compared with cities like Sydney. . .
In conclusion, I can say that the semester abroad was a very good experience. I enjoyed the variety, the relaxed culture and the international flair. I would recommend such a semester to anyone as it is an invaluable experience.