For my semester abroad, I chose Griffith University in Australia. Although the university has five geographically separated campuses, most of the business administration courses are offered on the Nathan campus in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast campus (approx. 1.5 hours south of Brisbane). I took my classes at the Nathan Campus.
Application to the university
The application for a semester abroad at Griffith University was very much on simple and easy. Since the application goes through the recruitment agency MicroEDU, you do not have to send your application documents to Griffith University, but to MicroEDU, who will review them and then forward them to Griffith University. In general, MicroEDU helped me very competently with all questions and simplified my preparation for the semester abroad with lots of suggestions and tips. Before departure, you will also receive a list of contact details for students from Germany who are spending a semester at Griffith University at the same time (provided that you have previously consented to the data being passed on), so that you can exchange ideas with other students and make initial contacts in advance.
To apply to Griffith University, you need to submit the following documents:
- The application form “Griffith University: Study Abroad Application Form”
- Proof of English (in my case, it was sufficient to prove that I was being taught entirely in English during my studies)
- A certified certificate of study
- A copy of your passport
You will receive an “Offer Letter” within a few weeks. After you have paid the tuition fees (7150 AUD), you will receive your final confirmation of enrollment (CoE). You will need this document to apply for the student visa and the Auslandsbafög. However, I recommend that you apply for the Auslandsbafög in advance and submit the confirmation later.
To enter Australia you need either a student visa or a working holiday visa. The student visa is very expensive (565 AUD) and therefore a lot more expensive than the Working Holiday Visa (270 AUD), but you can only apply for the Working Holiday Visa once in a lifetime. So if you are not sure whether I want to go to Australia for work and travel later, you should opt for the student visa.
- Australia is a major country in Oceania continent. For information about Oceania, please visit philosophynearby.
You should book the flight as early as possible, as you can easily save a few hundred euros if you book early. It is often worth booking the flight through agencies such as STA Travel, as they can offer you special offers with student discounts. When choosing the airline, pay attention to how much luggage you can take with you. Griffith Uni offers a free shuttle service for students that picks you up from the airport on arrival and drives you to your accommodation.
Accommodation in Brisbane
When looking for accommodation in Brisbane, you generally have 3 options:
- You apply for a place in one of the numerous student residences on campus. I’ve heard both bad and positive opinions about this. On the one hand, the rooms are very small and you live with many other people in a confined space, so that you often have to compromise on cleanliness and volume. On the other hand, you can quickly find a connection and many evening events and other offers are organized for the residents of the student dormitories. Ultimately, you have to know for yourself if you are the type for it.
- For example, I tried to find private accommodation in advance. This was recommended to me by my previous tenant in response to my request in one of the numerous Facebook groups on this topic. In general, you should not transfer a deposit or the like without having seen the apartment in person beforehand, as many offers look very different in reality than the photos or the description suggests. Many other fellow students spent the first few days in a hostel and then looked for accommodation on site. In most cases, this works quite well and you can find suitable accommodation within a shorter period of time. Unfortunately, living in Australian cities is generally very expensive. The rent is usually between $ 130 and $ 230 per week.
- If you want to get to know Australian life from the family side, you can opt for “homestay” and live with an Australian family. (More information on the Griffith University website).
To rent a car in Australia, you need an international driver’s license. You can only apply for this from Germany. So if you plan to travel around by car during the semester or afterwards, you should definitely get an international driver’s license.
With an account at Deutsche Bank, you can withdraw money from WESTPAC Bank’s Australian ATMs at no additional cost. Otherwise, many Australian banks offer a student account that you can set up free of charge for one semester (e.g. Commonwealth Bank).
If you are not bound to a specific provider by your contract, you can easily continue to use your mobile phone in Australia and just exchange the card. Popular providers are Optus or Vodafone, where you can buy a comprehensive flat rate tariff with free minutes to Germany for $ 30 per month.
It is best to buy an adapter in Germany, as these (like almost everything) are significantly more expensive in Australia. In addition, you should either buy two adapters or an adapter and a multiple socket or an adapter with several connections, as experience has shown that you often want to charge several electronic devices at the same time (camera, mobile phone, laptop, electric toothbrush, etc.).