Before the actual course begins, there is an orientation week with information and introductory events, a city rally, campus tours and various other offers. At the weekend an orientation trip to Byron-Bay is offered, which, even if it is quite expensive (about $ 300), is still recommended, as you can make first contacts there with other students and the town of Byron Bay is well worth seeing and has a beautiful beach. The program includes a surf taster lesson and a kayak tour as well as a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
I really liked the study concept at Griffith Uni. Although the workload per lecture is a lot higher than in Germany, you take fewer subjects in which you then go into more depth. There is a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial per course. In most of the lectures there is a “lecture capture”, ie the lecture is filmed and uploaded to the intranet so that you can watch a lecture again later if you missed it or did not understand something directly. In the tutorials, the material dealt with in the lectures is applied to practical exercises and you have the opportunity to ask questions. In the tutorials, unlike in the lectures, attendance is checked and, depending on the course, you have to prepare more or less time-consuming tasks for the tutorial. The final grade at the end of the semester in the individual courses results from a written mid-semester exam (mostly multiple-choice or short-answer tasks), an individual or group assignment and a final exam at the end of the semester. This means that the workload during the semester is significantly higher than in Germany and due to the many exams and deadlines for homework, you always have something to do for the university, but with good planning there is still enough time to travel on the weekends or day trips to do.
Since 10 Australian credits are converted into 7.5 ECTS points, you have to take 4 courses during your semester abroad in Australia. When you apply, you submit a list of your desired courses and the university will then decide, based on the courses you have taken so far, whether you can be admitted to these lectures. It is possible to choose the course to be changed later, but the prerequisites have to be checked every time, which can take a lot of time. Enrollment in the courses takes place online around one month before the start of the semester. If you cannot decide between several courses, there is the possibility to have the admission checked for several courses. This allows you to look at different lectures in the first one to two weeks and then change courses without any problems. The Griffith University website gives you a very good overview of which courses are offered in which semester and you can even see the timetable for the entire semester and the individual examination components.
- Australia is a major country in Oceania continent. For information about Oceania, please visit physicscat.
I took the courses in International Economics, Advanced Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management and Innovation Practicum (in cooperation with Deloitte Australia) and was very satisfied with all of the courses. The lectures were all interesting and with a high degree of practical relevance and the lecturers were very competent and are happy to answer any questions. If you have specific questions or for more information about the courses, feel free to write to me.
As Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane is a fascinating city that has the charm of a metropolis and yet offers many beautiful places to relax. In particular, the Southbank Parklands should be mentioned here, a beautifully designed promenade on the Brisbane River, which offers many green areas as well as an artificially created lagoon with a real sandy beach. In general, the cost of living in Brisbane is lower than in Sydney or Melbourne. However, I find it a major disadvantage that Brisbane does not have a beach in the immediate vicinity, but instead you can either go up to the Sunshine Coast (approx. 2.5 hours) or down to the Gold Coast (approx. 1.5-2 hours by train)) has to drive.
A great advantage of Brisbane, however, is that the city is the ideal starting point for numerous day trips. I can particularly recommend:
- North and South Stradbroke Island
- Moreton Island
- Burleigh Heads National Park
- Springbrook National Park (Natural Bridge)
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- Gold Coast (beaches and theme parks (Dreamworld, Movieworld, Wet and Wild))
- Mt Coot Tha (nice view over the city lights at night)
On the Griffith Uni website you can also find various day trips organized by the university to different places that cost nothing or very little. However, you have to apply early to get a place.
If you decide to attend Griffith University, you have to note that you have to complete your compulsory internship after the semester abroad, so that unfortunately there is not much time left to travel. With good planning, however, there will be enough time during the semester on extended weekends or during the one-week mid-semester break to travel to the most important destinations on the Australian east coast (including Sydney, Melbourne, Fraser Island, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Rainforest, Byron Bay, Noosa (National Park)). Domestic flights are comparatively cheap if you book early (Brisbane – Sydney for $ 50). Via skyscanner.de you can easily compare the prices of different airlines and choose the cheapest offer.
Tip: Check out sites like groupon.com.au for great deals on activities or the like.
At the beginning of the semester (July) it was still quite cool, but the Australian winter cannot be compared with the German winter. So it was very mild during the day with often blue skies and bright sunshine, but it was still quite cold at night. Since most houses / apartments have air conditioning, but no heating, it is advisable to bring (thin) jackets, warm sweaters and long trousers with you for the early days. In the following months, however, the temperatures increase rapidly. This time is one of the most pleasant because it is already very warm, but the humidity is not as high as in the high summer months of December, January and February. There are also not as many jellyfish in spring as later in summer.
I had a wonderful time in Australia and even though I unfortunately didn’t have much time to travel after the semester, I still had plenty of opportunities to drive / fly to the most beautiful places on the east coast during the semester. Even if it should be difficult at first, I advise you not to do anything with other Germans or other foreign students. Experience has shown that you get to know other “internationals” more quickly at the beginning, but you shouldn’t stop trying to get in touch with local students. Sports clubs or group work at the university offer a good opportunity for this.
I wish everyone who decides to spend a semester in Australia as wonderful and exciting a time as I had. I am happy to answer any further questions about the semester abroad at the Nathan Campus of Griffith University.