Dr Colette Southam Bond University

Study Abroad at Bond University (25)

My semester abroad at Bond University Australia

As part of my bachelor’s degree at the FOM (University of Economics and Management, Essen), I decided to spend a semester abroad at Bond University in Australia from September 2012 to January 2013

Planning and preparation

I started planning and preparing for the semester abroad relatively late in March 2012. Since I am doing a dual course of study, there were many points to consider. For one thing, I needed my employer’s consent, but it was easy to get.

Much more difficult, however, turned out to be the “negotiation” with my home university, the FOM, to find courses from the foreign university that I can credit at my home university after graduation. Although Bond University has a large business faculty, most of the courses were not accepted by the FOM, so that in the end I was only able to have 2 of 3 courses taken at Bond recognized back in Germany. Therefore, I can only recommend everyone to deal with their home university at an early stage in order to coordinate the choice of course, as this process took 4 months for me.

I chose the University on the Gold Coast of Australia because it is one of the few universities with trimesters. This had the advantage that I could still write all the exams at the FOM in July and be back in Germany at the beginning of the next semester. In addition, the Bond is a private university with a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 11. The lectures and seminars were held in very small groups, which enabled more effective learning and a personal relationship with the professors.

Furthermore, Bond is a very international university with around 40% international students.

Overall, MicroEDU made my application to Bond University a lot easier. I just had to send the requested documents, including an English test, letters of recommendation, letters of motivation, etc. to MicroEDU, and they took care of direct contact with Bond University.

I also received the visa within a few hours, after which I was able to take care of the flights and accommodation on site.

Arrival in Robina, Australia

Since I had already looked for suitable accommodation in Germany for the time of my study stay, I was able to relax and live in a hostel in the area a week before the start of the semester until I finally moved into my shared apartment on the Monday of the orientation week. My new home was a very good decision. I lived a 5-minute walk from the university in a “gated community” which consists of around 60 houses and is mostly occupied by students. In addition, we had two pools, a jacuzzi, a large TV room and BBQ areas within this complex. In my house we lived with 4 girls, including two French women, one Finnish woman and me.

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The first impression of Bond University was great. Bond University is a relatively small university, but beautifully laid out with the latest technology and all the sports facilities that a student needs. It has tennis, squash, badminton, volleyball, beach volleyball, rugby and soccer fields and also has its own Olympic pool, sauna, whirlpool and a well-equipped fitness center.

In the second week, registrations for the clubs also take place, where you can freely choose from more than 100 clubs.

The international orientation of Bond made it very easy to get to know people. The events of the orientation week meant that at the end of the day you had got to know all kinds of people from all over the world.

The studies

I took 3 courses at Bond, including Marketing and Organizational Behavior, which could be credited to my home university. As an elective, I decided on Business Plan Development, which didn’t bring me credit points but a lot of knowledge and experience.

Overall, the system is very different from what I was used to in Germany so far. So every week I had tests, presentations or term papers that required constant learning. The final exam was therefore relatively manageable and required significantly less effort than in Germany.

In each of my courses there was also group work that took up a lot of time, but also led to being able to work with a wide variety of people.

The lecturers were very competent and always ready for a personal conversation. In the lectures we dealt with the theory but also very much with current practical examples.

Bond University has a relatively small reference library, but the online offer is very large and diversified.


Since there was a lot of time for other activities in addition to my lecture time of 11 hours a week, I was very active in sports. So I decided to go to the beach volleyball club and the tennis club.

We also use the weekends as most of us had Fridays off to explore Australia. We rented cars to visit the local area with their national parks and Brisbane and flew to Melbourne, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef.

Robina is more of a small suburb that doesn’t have much to offer other than a mall. But you can reach the beach within 15 minutes by bus and another 10 minutes to reach surfers paradise.

The small number of students also meant that there was a very strong community among the “bondies”. This included many community activities such as surf camps, parties, beach days, jeep safaris and many other events organized by the student council.


Overall, this semester abroad was the most beautiful and eventful of my studies so far and I was able to gain a lot of experiences and cultural impressions. Bond University was a great university, which in addition to an extensive range of courses, offers individual support and assistance, especially for international students.

Australia is very expensive overall and for a semester there you should plan around € 25,000 including tuition fees if you want to see a little of the country itself in addition to the university, but every penny was worth it for me.

I have made many international friends and have been able to develop personally.

Therefore, I can personally recommend everyone to take the chance of a semester abroad. Australia was a very good choice because, in addition to the beautiful nature and the wide beaches, it also has very friendly people to offer who live a very relaxed lifestyle, from which I, as a German, could learn something and take away with me!

Dr Colette Southam Bond University


Last but not least, a few valuable tips from me.

  • It is best to book your flight so that you can postpone it inexpensively so that you can spontaneously coordinate your travel plans with the others on site.
  • If you apply for the DKB Viacard, it works perfectly and you can get free cash (almost) everywhere in Australia
  • Buy a prepaid mobile phone card, for example from Vodafone, and then book “Caps”, so you can cover just about everything for 30 €, telephony, SMS and Internet
  • Cosmetics (shampoo, etc.) are incredibly expensive, so bring enough from home.
  • Varsity Shores, a really great place to live for Bond students (especially Study Abroad students), otherwise very nice (but also expensive) The Cape, The Reserve
  • You should definitely plan a sailing trip in the Whitsundays, the most beautiful experience, simply enjoying the freedom of Australia like a dream
  • Even if there will be a few Germans at Bond, you will also get to know other cultures and nationalities, that’s what you’re here for;)
  • Enjoy the time, you will miss it soon enough later!