The UNSW (or University of New South Wales according to answerresume) in Sydney is everything that the HSG in St. Gallen is not: big, international, friendly. In addition, regional differences such as the sea and the sun cannot be overlooked. However, what goes hand in hand with the size of the city (almost 5 million inhabitants) and the university (approx. 50,000 students) is that everything is accordingly separated from each other and depending on where you live you can be on public transport for a good 30-90 minutes. That is completely normal and no problem at all to find your way there. You are almost always addressed nicely, no matter what language you speak, so practical help is always available if you should need some.
The university offers just about every degree you can think of. From art to biochemistry to IT and languages. All office and contact points at the university see themselves more as service providers, know a surprising number of students by name and try everything to design the course in a way that suits the student best. Since you have to ‘ask’ about courses there and not, as here, bidden, you design the timetable, so to speak, and respond to personal requests (such as: Mondays / Fridays free, mainly university evenings etc), as it is common for Australians besides to work on studying. This is mainly due to the relatively high cost of living, an average weekly rent is AUD 235 for an apartment with 2-3 roommates. Rooms with bath and cooking facilities can also be found at this price. The average Australian usually lives with their parents, sometimes even married at 30, precisely because of the expensive square meter prices. This makes making friends with other exchange or international students much easier, which is not a bad thing. Taking a taxi is relatively cheap, public transport is rather expensive and food prices are about the same as in Switzerland, the prices always depend on the current exchange rate (AUD / CHF).
Due to the size of the university, the selected course is offered several times, so there are several exercise and lecture dates every 1-2 hours. Lectures are all recorded so that you can catch up on what you have missed as an ‘i-lecture’. You have to go to the exercises, as this is the main difference to the HSG – you are generally forced to work regularly because you have to hand in smaller tests and essays every 1-2 weeks. Participation and attendance are assessed, but the finals can only make up 30% of the final grade. A lot of value is placed on fairness on both sides, both in the correction and in the precautionary measures that there is no plagiarism at all. The examination phase takes place 1 week after the three-month semester and goes relatively quickly, There are special rules for cases of illness, etc. , a lot of consideration is generally given to disabilities; Pregnancies and the like The level depends on the course chosen, but is roughly similar to that of the HSG (I have Marko2, Financing, Marketing and Orga & Leadership). Each course is rated with 6 ETC, which corresponds to 7. 5 HSG credits. Basically, the attempt is made to involve the students and a lot of emphasis is placed on participating. Somewhat strange for the European student is the point that you can eat in the library – the books and the floor look surprisingly clean.
Bureaucracy for the university is limited, here too the ‘convenience’ concept is the top priority for the student. Scans of the respective papers (copy of passport, English certificate from the previous university, etc. ) are completely sufficient to apply as an exchange student, and if you have the approval you can apply for the electronic visa on the Internet, which usually activates the passport for entry after 2 days (The entry itself after just under 30 hours of flight is then less relaxed). Sufficient language skills are required for both the visa and the exchange and are, as usual, through TOEFL& Co to prove. At the university itself it is relatively well organized, the feedback and grading with a waiting period of a maximum of one week is a dream, regardless of whether it is an essay, multiple choice exam or handwritten test. Of course there is an internet portal for the students. Due to the size of the campus, you will find everything you need for life there. Doctors, pharmacies, grocery and stationary shops, the university bar, even the canteens consist of around 8 different kitchens each where you can eat from kebabs to sushi. The tuition fees are, however, relatively expensive, you can see the Anglo-Saxon background.
Out of the curriculum, I would advise every exchange student to travel to this and neighboring countries, as nature is simply breathtaking. Whether diving under the water on the Barrier Reef or in the air skydiving (a must for Australia / New Zealand), fun, nice people and great nature are guaranteed everywhere!
Culturally, there is not such a beautiful old architecture as in Zurich, which is also logical from a historical point of view, but the skyline and the entire cityscape are very beautiful. Almost every nationality has ‘its’ district, there are also countless beaches, suburbs, fashion sales, parties and everything you would expect from a big city, including that you can shop every day until around 10 p. m. (cars, groceries, clothes. . . ). Due to the very liberal attitude, the homosexual scene is also very well represented, which positively underlines the special flair of the city. You will find a healthy mix of openness, education and national pride.
Aboriginal people are present to the extent that one is aware of them and, depending on one’s interests, can learn more about them, but it is not forced upon one.
If you like to travel and have already seen a lot, you might miss the ‘overcoming of the new’ in Sydney, as certain things are strongly reminiscent of the USA & Europe, and you don’t feel completely lost in a completely foreign world without language skills.
Smoking is banned and out almost everywhere, so a good time to quit.