Author: itypemba

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (28)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (28)

AUSTRALIA – sun, beach, sea, koalas, rugby… Everyone associates one or the other catchphrase with this country.

To be successful in the job market these days, a stay abroad is essential. Why shouldn’t you combine the pleasant with the useful and not spend your semester abroad in one of the most beautiful places in the world?

I chose Griffith University for a couple of important reasons. Since I wanted to spend my stay abroad in an English-speaking country and did not have to go through countless selection procedures, the choice was not very difficult for me. In addition, the selection of modules to be taken at one of the five campuses is huge and the number of international students promises an unforgettable stay. The location and the flair of the Gold Coast Campus did the rest…

You should plan about six months before you start your journey to clarify all organizational matters.

During the application process and the contact with the university, the team from ‘college-contact.com’ was always at my side with words and deeds, so that everything went quickly and easily. The only prerequisites for receiving a study place at Griffith are, on the one hand, proof of the required language skills (DAAD is sufficient) and, on the other hand, proof of a valid visa.
After receiving the ‘Confirmation of Enrollment’ (CoE), you can then apply for a visa at ‘immi.gov.au’. In my case, I opted for a ‘Non-award Temporary Visa (Subclass 575)’. This costs around 350 € and after your credit card (or that of a friend’s) has been debited with the amount, you will have your visa within the following 1-3 weeks.

You should take care of the flight as early as possible, as the costs for short-term bookings are very high. For the transfer from the airport to the university, Griffith also offers a free Airport Collection Service, which must be booked at least three days before arrival.

  • See liuxers for more information about Australia and Oceania.

When looking for accommodation, there are basically four options. With a ‘homestay’ you live with an Australian family and pay a small amount for the ‘inconvenience’ (mediation by the university). Living in a student residence is definitely the most expensive option, but it also has advantages over the other options (close to the university, contact with other fellow students…). Of course, you also have the option of looking for a place to stay on your own. If you would like to know everything in the towel before your arrival, you can view a large range of apartments on various websites (e.g. gumtree.com.au) and do everything online. However, I only looked for an apartment on site. There are apartment advertisements in various showcases on campus,

There are really only positive things to say about the university. I chose three modules that are not offered at my university and I was spoiled for choice. In contrast to my university, the tutorials are a compulsory course and you cannot miss more than two times. However, this does not serve to ‘torture’, but to support learning, which is also very important at Griffith University. All lecturers and tutors are very helpful and almost always have time to help you with problems if possible. In addition, there are numerous seminars and other offers that support you in learning and if there are problems in the private sector, a contact person can always be found.

I have to say that the workload is very high because you have your hands full with the regular tests, homework and presentations. Because of this, the course is also much easier than in Germany and the exams can be passed without any problems.

Otherwise, there are numerous leisure activities and lots to do in addition to studying. From sports clubs to concert events to excursions in the surrounding area, everything is included. The Gold Coast is also the right destination for the party-hungry – there is something going on in the numerous clubs and bars almost every evening and ‘Surfers Paradise’ is highly recommended!

In retrospect, I can say that the semester abroad in Australia was definitely worth it and I enjoyed the time Down Under. It’s definitely worth an experience and I’m sure you won’t regret it either!

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (27)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (27)

Do you feel like sun, sand and sea in your semester abroad and want exactly that, but outside of Europe and preferably as far away as possible ? I think then Australia would be a great destination for you too!

Organization

I’m Anna and I spent my semester abroad on the Gold Coast in Australia from February to the end of June 2018 and I don’t regret it! When I decided to go to Australia in mid-2017, my home university referred me directly to MicroEDU. We then got in touch. I received excellent advice on all of my questions and the organization of my semester abroad. Because Griffith University is right on the Gold Coast and one of the best universities in the world, it wasn’t difficult for me to choose her. First I applied to Griffith Uni, then I received my offer, that is, an offer from the university. Then I paid the tuition fees and when Griffith received them, I received the CoE (Confirmation of Enrollment) from Griffith University. This was necessary to apply for the visa. You should then apply for the visa via the website of the Australian government. The processing time took about 3 weeks and I had my promise to enter Australia.

  • See jibin123 for more information about Australia and Oceania.

After all of this was organized and confirmed, the rest of the organization began – for example, course selection at Griffith University. Pay attention to which courses you choose and if you still have too few economics credits for your master’s degree, this is a great opportunity to collect more at Griffith. I focused on economics and chose the following courses: Economics for Dec Making 1, International Economics, International Trade and Competition and Firm Behaviors and Business Strategy. What you should pay attention to is that at Griffith Uni the courses are split up according to academic year 1, 2 and 3. For example, if a course code is 3001ABA, it would be a third year course and therefore more difficult than a course with code 1002IBA. This is then because of the 1 at the beginning of the first year of study and much easier.

Flights

Next it was the turn of the flights. I can definitely recommend that you book your flights four months in advance if possible, so as soon as possible so that it doesn’t get too expensive. If you were to go to the Gold Coast to study, Brisbane Airport is relatively close and you will be picked up at the airport with a shuttle service from the university.

Flat

After all the basic things had been clarified, it was time to look for an apartment. Here I can only recommend Flatmates.com.au to you. There are the best apartments here and you will find apartment offers in various places around the university. In any case, buy the subscription for AUD 25, because then you can also write to landlords who have just offered their apartment on the net and the landlords will also contact you directly. This way you can find better apartments faster and mostly !

If you’d prefer to stay a little out of the hustle and bustle of town, Southport or Parkwood is a good location. The university is only a few minutes away and supermarkets are right around the corner. Personally, I opted for Surfers Paradise, the center directly. There is always something going on here, of course, but as long as you don’t live on Cavill Avenue (party and restaurant mile), you will find enough peace and quiet to switch off and study and have the sea right outside your door. And if you feel like partying or the hustle and bustle of the city, everything is just a few minutes’ walk away. The university is also only 25 minutes away by tram, which was perfectly acceptable!

Arrivals

When my trip finally started in mid-February, after the 24-hour flight with a stop in Dubai, I lived in the Bunk Hostel in Surfers Paradise for a week. I can only recommend it, it was the best decision! Super nice people, different cultures and you get to know people right away. So you don’t have time to think about homesickness ! If you are lucky, other students from your university may even be there for their first time and you will make new friends straight away ! So it was with me.

When O-Week started, we were all overwhelmed at first. The university is huge, a great place to get lost, but after a week you have found your bearings and can just enjoy it! A university bar, many dining options, a fitness studio (I can recommend it!), A swimming pool, a tennis and basketball court, a library for studying, and much more are all on campus. So it can be endured there! I can only recommend that you enroll in one of the sports courses during O-Week or shortly afterwards. So you mostly get to know locals and maybe even experience a whole new sport! Speaking of which, if you have any questions at university or need help with anything, the Student Guild is located directly on campus and is the direct point of contact.

University

All I can say about the university effort is that it won’t be boring in Australia. Because you don’t have just one exam that counts 100% at the end, but several exams throughout the semester, you always have something to do. On the one hand, you learn more and can always improve your grade. You should be aware that you really have to do a lot for university in Australia (depending on the type and number of courses, of course), but that you are there to study too. And if you ever need an assessment of your homework or help with the preparation for an exam, the Student Guild offers several ways to provide help or your homework with the so-called ” Assignment Help”” to correct. Despite the effort at university, I always used the weekends and the semester break to see as much as possible and in the end I can say that I saw the whole east and even most of the west coast. So use the time you have and travel as much as possible. If you are busy on the unit days, the weekends are definitely free to discover a lot of Australia! What is perhaps more important, Australia is a bit more expensive than Germany and you have to expect travel including 800-1000 euros per month, depending on the rent and so on. But that is completely feasible with a scholarship, student loan, salary or savings and no reason not to want to get to know this country!

Conclusion

All in all, I can only recommend the semester abroad in Australia. In Down Under you will have a unique time, discover a wonderful country with many different, wonderful sides, find friends for life and definitely want to come back when you are in Germany! I hope I brought Australia a little closer to you and motivated you to go to the other end of the world! Have fun and don’t let a crocodile devour you.: D Take it easy and just let yourself be carried away by the Australian lifestyle!

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (26)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (26)

Arrivals

I decided to take a few days vacation to Bali before my semester abroad at Griffith University in order to adapt to the time difference and to avoid the Australian ‘winter’. I can highly recommend this. From Bali I booked my flight to Brisbane at short notice and paid a total of around € 700 for my outbound flight. Griffith University offers a free shuttle service from Gold Coast Airport or Brisbane Airport which is really great if you are landing in Australia for the first time. Gold Coast (or Coolangatta) airport is closer, but the flights to Brisbane are usually cheaper, so I would recommend booking a flight to Brisbane. The driver then waits with a name tag at the airport

I can only recommend booking a hostel for the first week (Budds Beach, Surf’n’Sun) and looking for apartments on site. The students who lived in the University Village moved out quickly because it is very expensive (250 AUD / week), far away from the beach and more young students live there. Even if it sounds like a dream, many students have found accommodation in the high-rise buildings in Surfers Paradise, which are actually holiday apartments or hotels (Hilton, Q1, Focus Apartments, Imperial Surf) with a pool, gym, BBQ and tennis court. You can find these on Gumtree or you can walk through town and ask at the reception. The rent was between 110 AUD / week in a shared room and 200 AUD / week in a single room. In most cases electricity and internet are added to the rent. Many students have used the Internet provider Optus (for cell phones Optus, Vodafone or Lebara). You can either share an apartment with other international students or look for a shared house at gumtree.com.au or flatmates.com.au. Most of them live in Surfers Paradise, but some also live in Broadbeach, Main Beach or at the university.

Transport

A tram has been running from Broadbeach via Surfers Paradise to the university since July 2014. The drive from Surfers Paradise to the university takes about 20 minutes. For the tram you should get a GoCard (you can get it from 7Eleven, for example). This gives you a 20% discount on all trips or a 50% discount as a student. For the Student GoCard, however, not only the student ID is sufficient, you also need the TTCC, which you can apply for via the university (do it right at the beginning). The train runs every 15 minutes during the week. In addition to the train, there are also buses that cover other routes. You can get anywhere easily by bus and train, so you don’t actually need a car. If so, you can rent a car.

  • See iamaccepted for more information about Australia and Oceania.

Leisure

The Gold Coast offers many recreational opportunities. On the one hand, the apartments are mostly equipped with a pool, gym and tennis court, on the other hand, you live directly by the sea and can swim and surf there. Although Surfers Paradise is ironically not ideal for surfing, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta or Byron Bay are better. There are also several rivers where you can SUP or kayak. In addition, there was a day at the university on which all leisure clubs introduced themselves. For example, you can join the outdoor club and take part in weekly activities such as a sunrise hike or hikes through national parks. Devocean Dive also introduced itself to us and offered the diving license 50% cheaper for students (250 AUD). Many took up the offer and obtained their diving license during the semester. There is also Seaworld, amusement parks like Dreamworld and water parks like Wet’n’Wild. The orientation trip to Byron Bay was worth it, as you got to know a lot of students, but in general you could have done all the activities much cheaper. Otherwise you can of course travel a lot. Many students have organized trips to Fraser Island, the Whitsunday Islands or Cairns. If you are lucky you can get a free campervan (e.g. transfercar, just google relocation car) and drive up the coast to Cairns. A lot of people went on a sailing trip in the Whitsunday Islands, I went on a day trip with Oceanrafting because I didn’t have much time and that was great. You can also book cheap domestic flights to Cairns, Sydney or Melbourne. You can also fly to Fiji or New Zealand. Many have made these big trips after the semester. You can party a lot in Surfers Paradise, but I recommend going out to Broadbeach. Why will you notice when you’ve been partying in Surfers Paradise.

Eat

In Australia, sushi is one of the cheapest meals one can get. Sushi rolls are often available for $ 2.50 per roll. In addition, the pizza at Dominos is very cheap. You can get a value pizza for 5 AUD that tastes good too. On Sunday and Monday you should go to the Irish Pub Waxys, they have steaks for 2 AUD. On Thursdays, depending on the season, Longboards burgers are available for AUD 10. Many restaurants also have other lunch specials until 4 p.m. Most of the shopping at Coles or Woolworths in Surfers Paradise. But there is also Aldi, which is also much cheaper in Australia, but is not necessarily nearby. You can drink the tap water in Australia, but you have to get used to the chlorine taste first.

Weather

When I arrived in Australia it was still winter or spring. In the morning, in the evening and at night it can get quite cool (approx. 10-15 degrees). Accordingly, you should also pack long trousers, sweaters and a jacket. Since the Australians usually have no heating, it is also quite cool in the apartment or in the hostel. During the day, when the sun is shining, you can walk through the city in shorts and a shirt. We went into the water from August, which had a temperature of about 20 degrees. From September it got warmer and you rarely needed a sweater. It is often windy in Surfers Paradise, especially on the beach. As a result, it doesn’t feel so hot in summer. We mostly went to the beach in the morning because the wind didn’t come until noon.

University

I took 3 Masters courses at Griffith University as I did an additional course before. That was great, because I only had university on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. I took the Measuring Marketing Effectiveness, Retail Branding and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Innovation Marketing courses. I had various assignments during the semester, mainly group work and presentations. The overall grade is made up of 3-4 individual grades, which are weighted differently. This means that you always have something to do during the semester and not one big exam at the end. In the first week I looked at 4 courses and then decided on 3. In the bachelor’s program, the submission times are usually based on the mid-term and final, and you usually have written exams. In the master’s program we had to write many papers in individual and group work, give presentations, but also written exams. The level is a bit lower than in Germany in that you are rated better, but compared to Germany you have something to do throughout the semester. Still there is plenty of time for the beach and for traveling! Every 2nd Wednesday at the university there is a market where you can buy food, which I can highly recommend. The Griffith Mates and Student Guild always have great events for international students. The hairdresser and computer shop at the university are not recommended as the prices are not necessarily better. Griffith University’s library is very large with computers and game consoles. The university also has tennis courts, a basketball court and a beach volleyball court. You have to register with the Studend Guild beforehand, but we just always played beach volleyball and brought our own ball with us without registering, as no one else wanted to use the pitch.

Costs

All in all, the semester at Griffith University was a great experience, especially for me in the Masters, as I had another very relaxed semester in which I traveled a lot. The cost was less than expected as I paid $ 150 / week for my rent and groceries and excursions were reasonably priced too. I can only recommend the university and life on the Gold Coast!

Have fun with your semester abroad, it will be an unforgettable six months in your life!

International applications - Griffith University

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (25)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (25)

Planning and preparation

Since a semester abroad was planned for my English studies and I study design as a second subject at the University of Applied Sciences, Griffith University with the freely combinable courses was totally suitable. I started planning about a year before my stay abroad and would recommend it to everyone. Since I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go, that was also more than helpful. In the end there are a few things to consider and plan (course credit, financial planning, flights, insurance, etc.), with Sabine from MicroEDU was really very helpful. I booked my flights through Sta Travel. I booked the outward and return flight together in one tariff and thus had the opportunity to rebook the return flight for a small surcharge. I actually took advantage of that: I extended my stay in Australia and made a stopover in Thailand for 10 days, which was really great.

Arrival and orientation week

I went through my entire semester at my home university before starting in Australia, which meant I had an exam shortly before my departure. That was stressful – but maybe it was also a welcome distraction so shortly before the start of the semester abroad. So I arrived at the airport in Brisbane on Monday night (on the first orientation day) and had the university staff pick me up. That was very well organized! I then spent the first few days in a hostel (BudsInn) in Surfers Paradise. The orientation drive to Byron Bay from Wednesday to Friday is more than recommended. Ocean kayaking, surfing lessons, hiking and visiting the zoo were really great and of course you get to know the other internationals more easily.

  • See hetongdiy for more information about Australia and Oceania.

Accommodation

Most arrived on the Gold Coast a week before Orientation Week started and were looking for an apartment. When I got there shortly before, most of them had of course already formed shared apartments. I then wrote to three Swedish girls via an internet platform (I think flatmates) who still had a free bed in the apartment in Surfers Paradise. I moved in straight away and shared a small room with a friend for € 130 a week. We lived less than 200m from the beach, which of course was great!Surfers Paradise in general is very touristy and a bit trashy. But for a semester it was really cool and since the place itself isn’t particularly big, it was always easy to meet up with the others. However, I wouldn’t want to live there permanently.

Most internationals live in Surfers Paradise, which can be reached easily and reliably in twenty minutes by tram. The student village / dormitories on campus are really very expensive and far from just about everything – except of course the university. Many of the Americans lived there and some Australians.

University in general

The campus is incredibly big and you need some time to find your way around. I had three courses this semester: two in Linguistics (Intercultural Communication, English Words and Grammar) and a graphic design course / project (Action Research 2). The linguistics classes were always super interesting and the lecturers really competent and helpful.My design course wasn’t bad, although I would have liked more input. The level there was a bit lower than that of my courses in Germany. In terms of effort, it was more than feasible – I still had time to work 15-20 hours a week in a café, which was a lot of fun. Otherwise there are enough opportunities to pass the time on the Gold Coast and with the others.

Leisure

Many of the internationals have bought a surfboard for the semester, which is very good on the Gold Coast. You could also get a diving license through the university. That paid off directly in the mid-term break: I spent 10 days with my Swedish friends on Bali and the Gili Islands. It was indescribably beautiful and really worthwhile due to the cheap accommodation and affordable flights. Many of the other internationals have toured the east coast (between Brisbane and Cairns). We did that after the semester and took more time for it. Sydney and Melbourne are also incredibly beautiful and a must if you are at the other end of the world.

During the semester there are also weekend trips to Byron Bay, Noosa or the surrounding International Parks (Springbrook, Burleigh Heads, etc.). We have often rented a car for it.

Due to the many acquaintances there was always something going on somewhere – whether it was a house party, going out in Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach (right next door and not quite as touristy as Surfers Paradise). I personally spent most of my time with mostly Europeans. Many of my friends came from Scandinavia. A few of my people also came from Germany – although I was happy that we were actually always a good mix from many countries. But there was also a large group of Germans who were mostly among themselves.

Costs

The semester abroad with flights and high tuition fees can of course be very expensive. However, I was lucky enough to get foreign student loans, with which I was able to cover a lot (it is essential to submit the application in good time, as we know they like to take longer). With a small PROMOS scholarship and my part-time job, I was able to finance the two months of travel that followed.

Food, public transport and alcohol are a lot more expensive compared to Germany. Beer is hardly affordable… so most have been satisfied with a “wine product” called Goon. Not the very best, but definitely enjoyable and practical.

Conclusion

During my time in Australia and at university, I met great people and had many new experiences. I haven’t regretted the decision a bit, don’t want to miss the indescribable experiences and can more than recommend a semester abroad in Australia.

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (24)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (24)

About two years ago I had the first information event on the subject of a semester abroad at my German university and it quickly became clear to me: I’m going to Australia ! Not only did I want to get to know the impressive nature and relaxed mentality of Australia, but also as far away from home as possible (and let’s be honest, New Zealand was just too cold for me…). After I had decided on the country very quickly, the much more difficult question arose: which university and, above all, which part of this huge country did I want to go to?

Instead of digging through tons of travel guides and university websites, I decided to organize my semester abroad through MicroEDU and I was not disappointed with the quick, friendly and very helpful advice! I described my wishes to the advisors at MicroEDU and came to the conclusion: Queensland should become it – the Griffith Unviersity Gold Coast.

The City of Gold Coast is a medium-sized city on the east coast of Australia and the perfect place for a semester abroad. It lacks the hectic bustle of a big city like Melbourne or Sydney and yet the lively city center (Surfers Paradise) has it all what you want in your semester abroad (beach, party, bars and all sorts of events… by the way, shopping is also quite good, girls!). What I particularly liked about the Gold Coast is that you can feel the Australian relaxation in every corner, according to the national motto “No worries, mate!” (Unlike in the major Australian cities). In addition, the Gold Coast with its own airport and the proximity to the airport in Brisbane is a great starting point for all trips – especially for a road trip along the east coast (an absolute highlight!).

  • See ehuacom for more information about Australia and Oceania.

After I had decided where to go, the preparations for the semester abroad began. About six months before the semester abroad, I began applying to Griffith University, applying for a visa and choosing a course. The Australians – and especially the international student advisors at Griffith University – are super helpful and therefore the bit of bureaucracy that came my way wasn’t done as quickly and as wildly. Nevertheless: start organizing at least six months before the semester abroad, otherwise it will be tight and stressful.

Griffith University itself is a large college that has more than just the Gold Coast campus. However, the Gold Coast campus is the largest and liveliest with just under 18,000 students. Accordingly, there are also many international students and the university specializes in the problems and needs of international students. The support is unique!

Despite everything: You have to be able to afford Australia. Not only the tuition fees, but the land itself is very expensive. Find out about the current tuition fees, housing and other living costs in good time and look for scholarships if necessary. These are often given through letters of motivation and not according to grades – so everyone has a chance!

When looking for an apartment, I decided not to search from Germany, but to look for a shared apartment on site via portals such as flatmates.com or the university’s own real estate website. You have to spend a few months in your apartment and with your roommates, so I can only recommend everyone to search on site first and to take a good look at the rooms and roommates. The housing market on the Gold Coast is very fast moving and many students despair in the first few days, but in my time there everyone found good accommodation in the end, so don’t despair!

I personally studied at Griffith University’s business faculty and took the following courses there:

  • Firm Behaviors & Business Strategy
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business communication
  • Economics for Decision Making 2

In the business area, all courses are taught in two parts. On the one hand you have a lecture (not requiring attendance) and on the other hand a practice-oriented workshop (attention: here there is often compulsory attendance, which is also included in the grading !). Unlike at many German universities, there is not just a large exam at the end of the semester, but many small examinations (presentations, essays, etc.), each of which makes up 20-30% of the final grade. So you are busy the whole semester and have less time to travel than you might think.

That’s why you should think about when you have time to travel and which travel destinations you really wanted to see. My personal highlights were:

  • Melbourne
  • Road trip along the east coast (including Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Fraser Island, Whitsunday Islands, Magnetic Island, Noosa and many more)
  • Camping trip to the outback

If you can make friends with communal showers and some dirty clothes, then do without hostels or hotels along the east coast and rent a campervan ! You always have your sleeping place with you, you are flexible and can always stop where it is nice. But be careful: Wild camping is officially prohibited in Australia and Australians have no limits when it comes to fines!

I could tell you a lot more about my time in Australia, but I think you actually have to experience a semester abroad there yourself. I can only recommend Australia as a country, the Gold Coast as a city and Griffith University as a university and I would spend my semester there again immediately. So: off to Down Under !

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (23)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (23)

The registration process is electronic and is easy to complete with the “griffith portal” as a general point of contact.

There you can also find the self-created timetable, course content (downloads) and the professors’ announcements for the lectures can be observed there.

The Griffith University has a huge campus and is excellently equipped. It has a huge area with confused numbering of the buildings, luckily they have their own app that you can use to orientate yourself.

In addition to the important Student Center, where you can get your student ID and OSHC health card, there is a huge bib. There, the reading material to be borrowed is rather sparse, but there is plenty of PC space available. There is even an XBOX station for gaming in between.

Cafes, restaurants and a kind of cafeteria can be found relatively centrally. The cheapest meal there was about 8 AUD – cheap is something else.

The bar, however, is pretty cool. You can eat there, play billiards and drink alcoholic beverages, and there are occasional parties that I didn’t go to.

You can live in the so-called Village. Student dormitories with small apartments. Heard that it should cost from 230 AUD per week there, so comparatively expensive. Better to look for a flat in the middle of surfers or the surrounding area. Most of the students who live there are very young, 18+, and eager to party. There were regular parties that ended around 11 p.m., as the rhythm is different there.

  • See educationvv for more information about Australia and Oceania.

There are numerous sports clubs that you can join for a small price. The teams try to act professionally, but there is still considerable room for improvement in more European sports.

You can register in the in-house fitness studio, which I advise against. It’s small and expensive. There’s one in Southport that is better and much cheaper.

I can’t say much more about leisure time and sports opportunities, as I was hardly ever on the university grounds and didn’t take part in these events.

I attended the Management Consulting, Programming Principles I and Quality and Performance Management courses.

Management consulting was very exciting, but also extremely demanding. In addition to the mandatory final exam, a group presentation and an individual assignment should be made. The lecture was very interactive and the lecturer has many years of professional experience and knows what she is talking about. The biggest disadvantage was the required reading. This was extremely rare in the bib and there were no used copies to buy. New costs around 200 AUD – just too much.

It was also graded quite hard, so the rumor is not true that this course is very easy in Australia.

Programming Principles I was great. There you learn the basics of Java programming. There is no compulsory attendance and all of the learning material is online. There is a quizz every week, but it was usually very easy if you had prepared yourself. In addition to the script, tutorial videos are also provided. A lot of exercises are provided, which can also be challenging and motivating. Overall, I really enjoyed this course. The exam was fair and was also graded fairly.

Quality and performance management was also great. The professor knew how to inspire and explained very well. A total of 5 quizzes had to be written, which were a joke:-D and a final exam that was fair.

The quizzes were set up as multiple choice, each with 4 questions, and were corrected by the person sitting next to me… I couldn’t find the words.

The tuition fees for three courses at AU $ 7,500 are quite high. Each additional course costs AUD 500 extra. If you drop a course on time, there is no penalty. If you exceed a certain date, unfortunately I forgot which one, you have to pay a kind of penalty so that you can cancel the course without failing.

The connection to the university is great, the tram comes every 8 minutes. To be able to use this, you will receive a so-called Gocard. They can charge them with money and thus use public transport at a low student rate. In addition to the Gocard, you must always have your student ID and a so-called TTCC card with you, which Translinc guarantees you the student tariff. Sounds strange, but that’s how it is. Sometimes it’s much more bureaucratic than at home.

Exam conditions are quite strict. Sometimes there are seating arrangements and you have to sign a piece of paper that is supposed to prove that you are writing the exam yourself. Toilet visits are meticulously recorded and several people check that everything is in order during the exam.

Campus tours - Griffith University

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (22)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (22)

My semester in Gold Coast, Australia

I begin my experience report with the help of College-Contact:

If I had the choice to do a semester abroad again through an agency, I would do it again through College-Contact. MicroEDU did most of the work for me to apply to Griffith University in Gold Coast. It was always good to know that employees like Sabine Jakobs, who work for MicroEDU, take care of you and answer any question as quickly as possible. Not only have I been very happy with the work MicroEDU has done, but so have all of my MicroEDU friends I have met in Australia.

Flights / Organization:

Like many others, I have regarding flights made fault. Because I did not know whether I would get financial support from the Bafög office, I did not book my flights and thus paid around € 400 more than others. If you want to spend a semester abroad, you should book the flights as early as possible in order to save a lot of money, even if you don’t yet know whether you can afford it, as the rebooking fees are not high. The documents for the Bafög office can actually be arranged very quickly, so that you get the semester fees and the flat-rate flight allowance back before you leave. If a passport is not valid long enough, you should renew it or apply for it again (it was not the case with me). There is one thing I would sort out beforehand (perhaps through the MicroEDU Team). The so-called TTCC. This is a card that you absolutely need to be able to travel 50% cheaper on the S-Bahn. Since this card was used in the Gold Coast from July, but could be applied for from January 2014, I wondered why MicroEDU couldn’t take care of it. As a result, we had to use the S-Bahn for 4 weeks (some a lot more) without a discount and would have saved ourselves a lot of money with the TTCC. Some students who had been helped by other agencies were already prepared.

A little tip for the long flight (mine from Dubai): Ask beforehand whether you can sit where there are no children. They could often cry in the 15 hour flight and that can get annoying after a while.

First weeks:

When I arrived exhausted, I checked into a hostel for the time being, because I wanted to look for a good apartment on site. The best thing would be to find roommates from Germany via the “Official Griffith University Study Abroad & Exchange Group” on Facebook so that you can book a hostel together in Australia and look for an apartment there if you want to study there all by yourself. It is not difficult to find an apartment there, however, as every year old Abroad students offer their apartments for the newcomers. However, you should have thought about where you would like to live beforehand. Personally, I’ve been to Surfers Paradise and haven’t looked back. The university was easy to reach from there by S-Bahn every 5 minutes and it only took about 25 minutes to get there. In Surfers you had a lot of opportunities to take advantage of the free time you had in abundance. If you could get an apartment fast enough, you were happy to be able to enjoy the orientation trip to Byron Bay without the stress.We can only recommend booking this trip, as you could get to know almost all students there. I personally got to know people there whom I can call good friends today.

Catering / study / party:

So I wanted to say a few words about these three subjects. In terms of food (actually better: cost of living) you can only say: It is significantly more expensive than in Germany if you don’t want to eat a pizza for 5 $ or the equivalent of 3.50 € every day at Dominos. So if you don’t have an abundance of money, like me for example, you often have to pay attention to the prices. There are two large supermarkets in the city or in Australia in general. Woolworth and Coles, you can argue which of the two is cheaper, but I often had the feeling that you could buy cheaper at Coles. In any case, be prepared for the fact that you can expect around $ 150-200 per week for the apartment and an additional $ 100 per week just for food. That means you get around $ 1000-1200 a month without a party or other activities.

The course itself was not very difficult in my opinion. It is more school-based and you can actually only master the exams and all assignments through the tutorials and the lectures (without further learning). The university is, however, great! Every day there is something new to see in front of the library and every second Wednesday a larger market with various inexpensive delicacies is set up, while there is a small “concert” by various acoustic singers on a meadow next door.

You can party in Surfers Paradise every day. As a student, you can get into any club for free before 11 p.m. if you buy an LCARD at the university for $ 5 (definitely worth it!). On Tuesdays and Thursdays women could drink all night for a fee of $ 10 because of Ladies Night at no additional cost. The men always had the Thursday that Vanity Corona offered for $ 1. Otherwise there was a party every day, but not cheap. You can be prepared for the fact that without an LCARD you pay around 15-20 $ entry and, for example, a beer (Corona) costs 10 $. Alcohol is not allowed on the streets!

These were the most important things I was able to take with me during my stay in Australia. If some still want to travel there after their semester, I recommend that you look for people who might want to go on a road trip. Otherwise there is only good news to report from Australia. It was a beautiful and unforgettable time with many different characters that you got to know there. If you still have any questions, I am available through MicroEDU to help one or the other.

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (30)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (30)

A semester abroad is planned as part of my studies (cultural studies and knowledge management) and it quickly became clear to me that I would go to Australia. I was surprised how quick and easy the application process was. After I decided to go to Griffith University on the Gold Coast Campus and had all the documents together, everything went very quickly. MicroEDU was always there for my questions and always promptly answered. It would of course be ideal if you could book the flight as early as possible. Applying for the student visa was also very easy and the confirmation came quickly. If you can, I would recommend that you apply for a foreign student loan as early as possible. On July 16 Orientation week started and the Byron Bay trip is definitely a must! You get to know all the other foreign students very quickly and you are also in one of the most beautiful places in Australia. However, I would recommend flying to Australia early. I only arrived in Brisbane on July 14th, 2012, where the Uni Shuttle went straight to Surfers Paradise. I had actually imagined looking for an apartment a little easier. Many rooms are incredibly expensive or just further away. I would definitely recommend looking for something in Surfers Paradise, because then you will live more or less in the center, where everything happens. And by bus it is only about 20-25 minutes to the university. Take enough time to do this on site, but it is certainly also a matter of luck.

At university I had taken the following courses: Introduction to Public Relations, Corporate Communications & Public Relations, Sociology of Identity and Employment Relations. I found all courses quite interesting, although it always depends on the lecturer, but that’s no different in Germany;) In terms of the scope of work, I found it okay. You definitely don’t have to revise yourself, but if you want to get credit for the courses and their grades, a little something has to be done. I thought the university campus was really great. Everything is green, so you can also do a lot outside. The library is well equipped and there is actually everything you need. And if, like me, you only have to go to university from Monday to Wednesday, life is good anyway. There are books for each course that the instructors say are helpful. Just don’t buy the originals because these books are incredibly expensive. At the beginning of the semester there is a second-hand sale of university books that you should definitely use. But you can get by quite well without these books.

I found Surfers Paradise really great to live with. I was at the beach in seven minutes and you actually have everything you need to live. The surrounding beaches are also great for surfing. You can tell pretty quickly that it is a tourist stronghold. There is actually something going on in Surfers almost every evening and it never gets boring. You can take the train to Brisbane in 1 ½ hours and spend a great weekend there. Otherwise life in Australia is of course a lot more expensive than in Germany. Apart from the enormous tuition fees, the rents are very high (calculates at least AS $ 600 per month) and then groceries, public transport, celebrations, trips etc. I have the room with another German Student shared, which also made the rent cheaper. It wasn’t that bad either. There is of course an incredible amount to see in Australia. At the weekend we often drove to the surrounding national parks such as the Lamington National Park. During the semester break in September I was visiting a friend in Melbourne and then did a little road trip on the Great Ocean Road. Then it went on to Adelaide. After university, I rented a campervan with friends and then drove all the way up to Cairns. Fraser Island and a sailing tour in the Whitsunday Islands are definitely a must. Be careful when choosing your campervan. First we had one from Wicked, which was no longer roadworthy on the second day and Wicked did not exactly show itself from the best side. We had much better experiences with the Jucy camper. In the end I was in Sydney for two weeks. Definitely one of my favorite cities now! You can quickly see how life is going in Australia. The people are incredibly friendly, helpful and open-minded.

The half year in Australia is definitely one of the most beautiful of my life. You meet so many people at university or while traveling, you see many of the most beautiful places in the world and you can get used to the Australian way of life incredibly quickly. I would do it all over again and I can only recommend everyone to use this opportunity.

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (21)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (21)

Arrival and accommodation

There are a few things that I would have liked to have known before I arrived. For one thing, I didn’t know that the university pick-up service (can be booked online through the Griffith website) is available from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I thought I had to fly all the way to the Gold Coast, which meant that I had to change planes once more and the flight time increased significantly. It is much easier to get to Brisbane because there are flights from Germany with only one stop.

If you don’t want to book the pick-up service: you can also get to the Gold Coast by train and bus. However, I would recommend the pick-up service because after 25 hours of flight time you don’t feel like looking around for train connections.

On the other hand, I didn’t know about the possibility of booking a flexible return flight. At first I only booked a one-way flight to Australia because I didn’t know whether I would be traveling to Australia afterwards or not. So I didn’t know when and from where I would fly home. In Australia I have heard from many people who have had the same problem that you can also book a return flight with flexible dates and locations. For a small surcharge, of course, but this option is still significantly cheaper than booking two one-way tickets.

We also recommend arriving on the Gold Coast a few days before the start of the semester. Like many others, I had to look for an apartment. I would advise against apartments on campus. $ 250 a week is very expensive, plus you live on campus in Southport, so far from the beach and most of the internationals. One advantage, however, is that you live closer to Australians and thus not only come into contact with international students.

  • See andyeducation for more information about Australia and Oceania.

However, looking for an apartment was not a problem for me, I found a suitable apartment within a day. I’ve also heard from people who had more trouble finding, but the majority had an apartment by the start of the semester. It is advisable to have a look around the exchange students’ Facebook group beforehand. I met my roommate on Facebook before I arrived.

Even if you are not looking for an apartment on site, it is better to arrive a few days before the start of the semester, as you have to take care of a few organizational things, e.g.: hand contract (Vodafone has good offers for students), bank account, GoCard to use the tram, Student ID Card,…

Studies and University

The university itself is located in Southport and can be easily reached by tram from Surfers Paradise. The campus itself is huge, it takes a while to find your way around.

The semester started for me on Monday and Tuesday with some organizational events for exchange students, then on Wednesdays the people who booked the trip went to Byron Bay. I can absolutely recommend the trip. There are lots of cool activities, such as kayaking, surfing lessons, partying… And most importantly: you get to know the other international students.

My experience was that the courses are much easier than courses at German universities. My subjects were Human Resource Management Principles, Management Strategy and Decision Making, Corporate Communications and Public Relations and Investment Analysis and Management.

For each course there is a lecture and a tutorial / workshop, comparable to German universities. However, in contrast to my home university, there are assignments and also smaller tests during the semester, so that more courses are mandatory and are included in the final grade. But it’s not that wild.

Activities

The Gold Coast and the university offer a lot of activities, it never gets boring. I bought a surfboard after taking surf lessons on the Byron Bay trip. It’s difficult in surfers, but shops further south (Miami) have good deals on surfboards and wetsuits. You can also surf in Surfers Paradise, but especially further south on the Gold Coast there are better spots like Currumbin and Burleigh Heads. I also got my diving license through the university’s diving club. The diving club works together with a local diving school and offers the courses really inexpensive.

The Q1 is also recommended. At the end of the semester we had dinner with many exchange students on the supervisory platform.

The Student Guild also offers many other activities, and I particularly enjoyed whale watching.

You can also go partying on the Gold Coast, there are many mainstream clubs, but also clubs where other types of music are played. Elsewhere comes highly recommended. In my opinion, the house parties of the Internationals in the high-rise buildings of Surfers Paradise are better anyway.

There are also many national parks on the Gold Coast (Springbrook, Tambourine, Burleigh Heads, Lamington). However, some can only be reached by car. I have visited Springbrook and Burleigh Heads, they are really recommended.

Travel

One week is free during the semester. Like many others, I booked a flight to Cairns with some friends and then rented a van to drive back to the Gold Coast. On the way we went diving on the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsunday Islands and saw a lot more.

After the semester, I did another road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. But many also flew to Bali, New Zealand or similar. I can only recommend traveling during and after the semester to get to know Australian culture and lifestyle a little better. As much as I appreciate the Gold Coast as a place, Surfers Paradise is more of a tourist destination, and you can get to know Australian culture better elsewhere. Nevertheless, I also really enjoyed surfing for a semester.

Costs

Most things are significantly more expensive in Australia than in Germany, especially food, rent and alcohol. I lived with two other exchange students in a shared apartment; I paid 180 dollars / week for a single room. That’s a lot by German standards, but my room was one of the cheaper ones compared to others. The further away from Surfers Paradise you look for an apartment, the cheaper it becomes. However, I would not recommend living far away as most of the other exchange students live in Surfers. Groceries are best bought from Coles instead of Woolworths. There is also an Aldi on the southern part of the Gold Coast, but it is difficult to reach for surfers. Unfortunately, those who like good German beer have to dig a little deeper into their pockets; a six-pack Becks can cost the equivalent of € 12. Goon (wine from 2-4l cartons) is significantly cheaper, even if it takes some getting used to.

Conclusion

I can recommend a stay at Griffith University on the Gold Coast to anyone. The university is very modern, there are countless leisure and travel opportunities and you get to know a lot of new people from different countries. The semester was really a great experience, and even if there are cheaper alternatives for a semester abroad, I would always go back to Griffith University on the Gold Coast.

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (20)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (20)

After I had decided to spend a semester abroad in Australia, I found out about possible universities on the MicroEDU homepage. My selection criteria were: to expand my marketing knowledge, to achieve very good grades and to study for a semester in the sunshine. It quickly turns out that Griffith University Gold Coast best suited my criteria and my available time. After very good advice from MicroEDU, my decision was confirmed.

Application

The application process was straightforward and easy. After completing the documents and sending them to MicroEDU, I received the acceptance from Griffith University within a few days. Then I was able to apply for my visa and book the flights. I booked the flights through STA-Travel.

It is worth mentioning that the MicroEDU team was a very important support for me, especially in the decision-making process. My questions were answered patiently and in detail, both by phone and by email.

Accommodation

For me it was important to find and book accommodation in Germany in advance. To find out about accommodations on the Gold Coast, I read a few testimonials beforehand. Most of the experience reports recommended looking for accommodation on site. Nevertheless, I wanted to have booked an accommodation before arrival, so I created an account on Gumptree and Flatmates. Since the housing market in Australia is very fast moving, I had no success in November.

In January all international students were invited to a Griffith University Facebook group. I got to know my roommate through this group and we rented two rooms in a student dormitory (Metro on Central), three kilometers from the university. The feeling of security of having an apartment was very important to me. Basically, however, I would not recommend the Metro on Central student dormitory. It’s overpriced, you can only get to the university via the metro shuttle bus (which only runs three times a day), public buses (which NEVER run according to the schedule) or on foot.

If I were looking for an apartment on the Gold Coast again, I would definitely make sure to live at a tram station, as the buses are far too unreliable. The trams, on the other hand, run very regularly and are reliable.

Studies and courses

The Australian system of study is very different from the German. The whole trimester over are partial tests in the form of mid-term Exams, quizzes and / or Written Assignments deliver. The partial performances have the advantage that at the end the final exam usually counts a maximum of 55%.

At Griffth University, I chose the following four courses:

  • 2002 IBA – Firm Behaviors and Business Strategy
  • 2004 MKT Consumer Psychology
  • 2036 MKT Retail Marketing
  • 2098 MKT Branding and Promoting New Business Ventures

2002 IBA – Firm Behaviors and Business Strategy

The content of this course was comparable to the microeconomics at my German university. Fortunately, 90% of the material on the course was known to me from my German course. If I had heard the content at the Griffith for the first time, I would have had great problems, as it was very difficult to understand the Asian professor (this was also confirmed to me by Australians).

As an exam, you had to write a group assignment, complete three quizzes in the classroom and write a mid-term and final exam. The quizzes and homework were rated very well. The exams were comparatively very demanding, were rated rather strictly and turned out pretty bad. Personally, I would not take the course again because micro is an interesting subject, but the professor taught it very boringly and poorly.

2004 MKT – Consumer Psychology

Consumer Psychology was one of my favorite courses. In terms of content, I found the subject very interesting. As an exam, I had to write two term papers and take a mid-term quiz. Every Monday I had a two-hour workshop in which the theory was briefly repeated, which one had learned in advance through video material and readings. Then we discussed our housework in the workshop. This time was especially valuable for the first group housework. In summary, I can highly recommend this course, the tutors are hard-working and extremely helpful, I have learned a lot and, if you make an effort, you get a very good result.

2036 MKT – Retail Marketing

I can also highly recommend this course. I particularly liked that we applied the theory with the help of many examples in the workshops. At first, the course reminded me of my school days, as we started the first workshops with an attendance list and Icebreaker games. After a while I got used to it and understood the meaning of the games. A group assignment gave us the opportunity to get to know all the students in the course and to be able to form groups who pursued the same grade goal as yourself. You got to know each other better through the games. In addition to the group homework, we had an online quiz, a individual reflection and a final exam. This course also took up a lot of preparation and follow-up time.

2098 MKT – Branding and Promoting New Business Ventures

In terms of content, the course was interesting. Every lecture we watched some practical marketing videos so that I could learn a lot about the advertising strategies of Australian companies. The examinations for this course were two papers and two quizzes.

The first term paper specialized in dealing with the different theories of a brand. For the second term paper, a separate promotion plan had to be drawn up for a brand he had invented. The tasks for both term papers could have been formulated more clearly. However, if you attended the workshops and lectures regularly, you knew what to focus on in your housework.

On-site support

I was pleasantly surprised by the support in Australia. Both the professors, the tutors and the international office always replied to emails very quickly and were very helpful. I didn’t know such a service from Germany. In addition, at the beginning I had a few concerns about all the homework and readings, but I was quickly relieved of this fear, as the university offers different programs to support writing homework.

Conclusion

In summary, I am very happy to have done my semester abroad at Griffith University and can only recommend it to everyone.

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (29)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (29)

Preparatory phase

Half a year before the start of my studies, I started the preparation phase for a semester abroad. Here I came across the agency MicroEDU GmbH from Münster. On their website, these provide important key data from various universities around the world in a clear form. So I ended up in Australia with my search criteria `English` and` Sun`.

I then decided on Griffith University because it only required an English test from the German Academic Exchange Service, which could be taken quickly at the FH Flensburg. Since the recruitment agency did not take any fees, I sent my application documents to Münster and within a few weeks had a preliminary acceptance from the Australian university.

Three months before the start of my studies, I transferred the tuition fees of AUS 7150 to Australia and booked a flight with a fellow student who also wanted to spend a semester abroad at the same university. Thus, EUR 7,500 had to be pre-financed for the semester abroad in November. However, I only had a confirmation of receipt of my documents from July 2013 from the responsible student loan department in Baden-Württemberg.

Two months before the start of the course, we were able to choose my courses in an online portal at the university in Australia. This turned out to be a great advantage, as we were able to coordinate this quickly in consultation with our course director and thus everything was settled except for the financial one.

On February 2, 2013, my fellow student and I boarded the plane in the direction of the Gold Coast, Australia. We landed in Brisbane two days later and were taken to a hostel on the Gold Coast by a driver from the university, which we had previously booked online. Since the cheapest student dormitory with around AUD 200 per week rent exceeded my budget, I went looking for an apartment on gumtree.com.au. After about nine days of looking for an apartment, I was able to move into a cheap holiday apartment with a Tasmanian of the same age. The rent here was around AUD 160 a week. We got along well, even if his dialect made him difficult to understand at first.

Thanks to my roommate, I was quickly immersed in the Australian way of life. He was probably happiest when he could watch AFL (Australian footbal league), there was a meatpie and he could wash it down with a jug (large mug) full of beer. But I was able to discover this phenomenon in quite a few other Australians as well.

University life

The university started on February 18th. My schedule consisted of the four courses Employment Relationship, International Business, Management Concepts and Environmental Economics & Politics. There was a weekly lecture with the entire course and a tutorial in smaller groups. The lectures and tutorials were very well coordinated and based on chapters from books. At the beginning of the semester, you knew when which chapter was being discussed and thus had a very nice overview. So it came about that you had to read a chapter per week in each subject. At the end of the chapter there were mostly questions that you should then work out and bring with you to the tutorial. These weekly elaborations were already included in the final grade. When you got used to the workload of the weekly case studies after a few weeks, assignments were added. Assignments are written elaborations in the order of 1500-2000 words on a specific question. A lot of emphasis was placed on scientific work and so it came about that one sat again more intensively in the library to find sources. After all the work in the semester, however, the exams in June were all the more relaxed.

Overall, the university kept you on a short leash, but you were also well looked after and even got feedback from tutors on Sunday evenings if you had any questions. The many written elaborations and the scientific work in particular helped me a lot to improve my English and gave me a little routine for the upcoming bachelor thesis.

Everyday life

Financially speaking, the semester abroad was a ruin for me. I used around 1000 euros a month for a student lifestyle (rent, groceries, bus to university …). In a country with lots of sun and sand, you don’t need to spend much money on leisure activities. Since it was mostly light from 6 a.m. in the morning and the temperatures were already over 20 degrees Celsius, the day started early.

I usually had to take the bus to the university at 8.30 am, so I had enough time in the morning to go to the beach to go surfing or swimming and have a leisurely breakfast and read the newspaper. For me it was the best way to start the day and you were automatically in a good mood during the day. But this may also be due to the Australians, who are naturally cheerful. I would describe the Australians as very relaxed and helpful. It was very easy to get to know people, as “small talks” with strangers are definitely more common than in Germany. Most of all I have heard the phrase “No worries, Mate”, which for me reflects the Australian lightness in the words.

Conclusion

Although the semester abroad was very expensive, I am very happy that I took the risk. I was able to improve my English, took a certain amount of Australian ease with me and experienced a lot. At the end of the semester I still had time to get even more insights into the breathtaking Australian landscape, which I will probably never forget. Many events happened during the semester that will have a positive impact on my life in the future and Australia will be a country I love to fly back to.

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UCSD Reviews (11)

UCSD Reviews (11)

Application process:

I would take care of a scholarship and student loan at an early stage, because the UCSD is quite expensive by German standards. I know from a friend that it is not difficult to get a scholarship. He was reimbursed for the entire tuition fee + 800 euros per month.

On the introductory day you will receive all important information about the university and contact persons.
Twice per quarter, an appointment is made with the contact person for all foreign students to report on current developments. If you have poor grades or difficulties, you can talk to all teachers or TA’s there! The relationship between professor and student is much more personal than in Germany.

University:

The UCSD is a very renowned university and therefore relatively well known! However, as long as you are taking undergraduate courses, the level is not too high. It’s easier to get an “A” than in Germany. However, in most subjects you are required to do homework or projects, which are included in the grade. Oral participation also counts in smaller lectures such as Marketing in the Rady School of Management. Due to the self-work, 4 courses are completely sufficient to be busy and still have free time. Check toppharmacyschools to see more reviews from current students.

The courses at the Rady School of Management are highly recommended, as the lectures are manageable and there are also some interesting guest lectures.

In addition to the normal lectures, you can take part in the UCSD extension courses, through which you also receive your credits.

To be accepted as a full-time student at UCSD, you should have at least 12 credits. Most courses give 4 credits. However, if the number exceeds 12 credits, additional fees are due.

In order to get all the courses that you would like to have, you should reply to the e-mail that is sent to you before you start your trip in good time. There you can register for the course that interests you. And here it runs according to the motto: “First come, first served.” With the popular economic courses, course selection is now based on the same procedure and you no longer have to camp on campus in the middle of the night to attend a course come. An email will also be sent to you here during the orientation week.

At the university there are an incredible number of leisure and sports activities to use.

It can also happen that the university gives a concert at which, for us, relatively well-known stars such as “The Game” or “Pharrell” perform.

The campus is huge, almost like a small town.

There is also plenty to eat. In addition to the subway, you can buy food at Panda Express or Burger King and there is also its own supermarket and ticket sales.

Accommodation search:

You can definitely find accommodation at www.craigslist.org and a thousand other things that you need to live. I would post an ad myself and there will definitely be a few people to answer that. I found an apartment through Craigslist within 3 days.

However, I would try to move into a flat share with Americans, because otherwise you usually only have to deal with the other foreign students and you don’t get to know a lot of Americans!
If you want to live right in the party district, look for an apartment in Pacific Beach! There are only young people here and there is always something going on! However, La Jolla is closer to the university. There is no way I would move downtown. It’s too far from the university and there are also some freaks walking around there.

Leisure / excursion possibilities:

The weekend actually starts on Thursday!
In downtown there is a lot going on every day.
Pacific Beach is the right place if you want to go out to a bar in a relaxed way. Some of the bars also dance.
In downtown you go to clubs rather chic.

Good ways to get away:

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday – all tacos at a low price Fred’s or Typhoon in PB

Thursday: Moondoggies (PB), Bar West (PB), Wiskey Girls (Downtown)

Friday, Saturday: Stingerees (Downtown), Voyeur (Downtown), On Broadway (Downtown)

Sunday: Wave House (only in summer time, but really cool!)

Nationalities:

At the university there are mostly students of Asian descent – around 40%. Most of the foreign students are Norwegians, but there are also a few Germans. In general, many Brazilians also study in San Diego.

DOS:

  • to San Francisco via the 1
  • to Santa Barbara on Halloween
  • to LA
  • eat a frozen yogurt in Yogurtland !!
  • Buy or rent a car (you don’t get around much without a car!)

Don’ts:

  • JIt’s best to have your passport with you everywhere – without a passport you can’t go to any club or bar and you can’t even buy beer in the supermarket
  • Beware of incorrect parking, especially at UCSD, or driving too fast – parking incorrectly is about $ 50, driving 20 miles too fast is about $ 250

I definitely wish you a lot of fun in San Diego! I can only recommend a semester abroad in San Diego, because it was one of my best times!

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Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (19)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (19)

b. Courses

Basically, no final exams are written at the university that count 100%, as we know from Germany. During your studies you always have individual assignments, mid-exams and sometimes also small online tests. You are pretty busy with the university during your studies, but that’s perfectly fine. But in the end you don’t have an exam that makes a lot of decisions. The final grade is then made up of the results of all exams that you have taken during your studies. This system wasn’t really wrong in my opinion, that way I was able to take a lot more with me.

In Australia I attended the following bachelor courses:

Urban Ecology and Biodiversity

The course consisted of a weekly lecture and a laboratory day, which took place every two weeks. My professor in this course attached great importance to linking theory and practice. Most of the things that were discussed in the lecture were examined again in practice. In the course I had a mid-semester exam, an assignment (5000 words), a laboratory workbook and a final exam. The course was a bit complex but was worth it.

Various learners in the Contemporary Classroom

In this course we learned the principles of inclusion in schools. In doing so, we theoretically addressed all forms of disability that can occur in mainstream schools and were given practical options for action. Here, too, some practical actions were demonstrated on how the lessons could be designed. In addition, I got to know quite a few new teaching methods. This course consisted of a weekly lecture and tutorial.

Language & Communication for Science

In this course the academic writing and editing of texts was essentially taught. Sometimes a few grammar rules and vocabulary were refreshed in the tutorial. The course wasn’t really time consuming and helped me improve my English. This course also consisted of a weekly lecture and tutorial.

4. Life and leisure time

Basically, the cost of living in Australia is quite high compared to Germany. Everything costs a little more than in Germany. But after a certain amount of time you settle in and you know where you can buy cheap products. Most people in Australia shop at Coles and Woolworth, which would correspond to EDEKA in Germany. Bed linen and other household items are best bought from Kmart. Kmart is something like IKEA. Otherwise there is a steak for $ 3 in Restaurant Waxys on Sundays and Mondays, which is also good.

There is definitely no shortage of leisure activities on the Gold Coast. There are plenty of national parks around surfers like Springbrook, Lamingtion or Tamborine, where you can easily get there and back in one day. The beach at Burleigh Heads or Stradbroke Island is also very beautiful. All of this can be done very well in one day. Another thing I can recommend is the sunrise in Mount Warning. You have to walk up the mountain before sunrise, which can be a bit exhausting, but it’s definitely worth it for the view. Domestic flights are very cheap in Australia. The cheap airlines include TigerAir, which is comparable to RainAir. This makes it easy to fly to Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns for a long weekend. During your studies you also have a week’s vacation that you can use for a longer trip.

Surfers also has plenty of bars, clubs and cafes to offer. There is something for everybody. If you register for the clubs during O-Week, you have free entry to many clubs for the entire semester. I also got my open water diving license, which was incredibly cool. With my license I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef after the semester. You could go diving in the reef without a license, but not deep (about 8m) and only with an instructor who holds you.

During the semester I made very good friends and in four weeks after the semester we drove along the whole east coast with many stops. This is a good option and is a nice end to Australia.

5. Financing

I financed my semester abroad with the help of the Hans Böckler Foundation, for which I am very grateful. The scholarship covered the tuition fees for me and I received a lump sum abroad, which was a great financial support.

  • See cancermatters for more information about Australia and Oceania.

In addition to the DKB credit card, I have opened a bank account at the Australian bank ANZ. I then withdrew larger and larger amounts from my DKB card free of charge and transferred them directly to my ANZ card. With the ANZ card I was able to pay anywhere free of charge for the entire semester. You can pay anywhere with the DKB card, but you pay a small fee. The fee is not high, but it accumulates over time. In total, I spent around € 15,000 over the six months.

Statement of costs

  • Flight: € 1,300.00
  • Tuition fees: € 5,400.00
  • Visa: € 360.00
  • Monthly expenses: approx. € 1,300.00
  • 6 months stay: approx. € 15.00

6. Conclusion

You’ve probably read the following sentence in many other reports and I didn’t think I’d write that, but the semester abroad on the Gold Coast was the best time I’ve ever had. I made so many friends in Australia and experienced a lot of great things, so I can only recommend the semester abroad on the Gold Coast. The relaxed, friendly nature of the Australians, the closeness to the beach, the sun and all the wild, beautiful animals have a positive influence on how we feel in Australia. If I had the chance to do another semester abroad in Australia, I would take it immediately.

I also think it’s great that the Hans Böckler Foundation made it possible for me to have this experience. Also a big thank you to the friendly staff at MicroEDU who always had answers to my many questions.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, have fun with the planning and have a good time in Australia 😉

Best wishes

Griffith University alumni

UCSD Reviews (10)

UCSD Reviews (10)

I came across your website through an event held by my university abroad and then decided quickly on the University of California San Diego (UCSD), as the university has a very good reputation in the field of economics and a large number of courses on Selection is available. The entire application process went very smoothly and all my questions about the process were always answered very quickly and in detail. Although the application itself was not that much of a hassle, you should plan enough time to do the Toefl test and apply for a visa, for example. But you don’t have to worry about it,

I flew to the USA a month before the start of the first quarter because I wanted to do a road trip with a friend through California and the adjacent national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley, of course. It was a great experience and I can only recommend everyone who is considering studying in the area to take a tour.

The only downside was that I didn’t really have time to look after an apartment, and the feedback I posted on Craigslist was sometimes very strange. In the end I was lucky and found a very nice roommate. The apartment wasn’t exactly cheap, as it was located in the rather expensive district of La Jolla, but I also had my own bathroom and in the associated complex there were pools and tennis courts that could be used by all residents. In the end, I paid around $ 800 a month rent, but I also know many who only paid half of it and I think that if I had had more time to search, I could have found something cheaper in the university environment.

Automobile

Although I studied two quarters at UCSD, I was one of the few who didn’t buy a car. It is true that almost everywhere you can only get there by car, but since I had a lot of friends, could pick you up and my roommate also had a car, that was not a problem most of the time. I always came to university by bus, if you live near a bus stop that is part of the “Superloop”, that’s actually the best way to get to university. The buses run about every 10 minutes and the journey time is also quite short. With the car you have more problems because you first have to buy an expensive parking permit at the university and then in all probability you won’t find a parking space, since the majority of students drive by car.

UCSD

Since I’m studying economics here, I knew beforehand that it would be rather difficult to get all the courses I would like to have. However, I was also very flexible, as we had to add a certain number of points in the bachelor’s degree via elective subjects, among other things, and I therefore had a lot of leeway in terms of my courses, as long as they were economics courses. In a quarter you take 3 courses and in both quarters I only took economics courses. The whole process until you were finally enrolled in a course was actually a bit stressful, but in retrospect I was always very satisfied with my courses. The problem is that the regular students of the UCSD always have priority and the remaining places in the courses are then divided among the extension students. To do this, you have to send an email to the Economics Department on a specific day and you will then be assigned a number. The lower the number, the better, ie it is best to sit down at your PC at midnight and quickly send the email. A few days later you have to go to the Economics Department personally with the list of your courses and you can then enroll in the courses there, whereby the one with the number 1 can of course be the first to choose his courses and thus has the best chances of getting a place , in courses with only a few remaining places. I was very satisfied with all of my courses and was able to assess my chances quite well beforehand, so that it was never the case that I went to lectures for the first three weeks (the selection process does not take place until the third week) even though I was not able to take the course afterwards. The teaching content was all very good, even if you quickly noticed that at least in the undergratduate courses, the level was well below that in Germany. The grading is also much less strict than I know it from Germany, with a little preparation an A has always been achieved. For all questions you have about the university and the different processes, you could always turn to the responsible advisor at the Extension Campus, Ms. Dana Jimenez, who was always very friendly and answered everything quickly. In my opinion, one should not be put off by the disadvantages of the course selection system, Check mcat-test-centers to see more reviews from current students.

San Diego

Because there are very few exercises for the lectures and usually only three courses are taken in the quarter (unless you pay for an additional course), you also have enough free time. You can of course use them very well in San Diego. There are many beautiful beaches in La Jolla or Pacific Beach and you won’t get bored easily either. I especially recommend Coronado Island and Balboa Park! At night there are of course several ways to have fun. The clubs mainly play Hip Hop and RnB and depending on where you go, drink prices range from $ 2 to $ 10 or even more per drink. However, all bars and clubs close at 2 a.m., which is why everything starts a little earlier than usual. All in all, the whole semester abroad was totally worth it for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was also very happy that I stayed two quarters and not just one, as time flies by there.

UCSD Department of Psychology

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (18)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (18)

Why Australia?

Right from the start of my studies it was very certain that I wanted to do a semester abroad. On my list were Australia and America. I finally decided on Australia because my gut feeling told me that Australia would be the best choice and it was.

1. Organization

My semester in Australia on the Gold Coast started in mid-February and ended in late June 2016. I started organizing at the beginning of October last year.

The first thing I did was get in touch with MicroEDU and roughly get some information about the universities in Australia. The nice staff at MicroEDU then sent me a list of colleges that would best fit my degree. I then chose Griffith University on the Gold Coast because I liked it the most. The reasons were mostly the positive reviews and the proximity to the beach. Then I took the necessary language test at my university in Bielefeld. I took the “DAAD” language test which was free and very relaxed. I passed the test with a small “b” in all areas. This corresponds to language level B2-C1.

After I received all the necessary documents from MicroEDU for the application and sent them completed to MicroEDU in Münster, I only had to wait for my acceptance, which did not take long. Then I applied online for the student visa and got an acceptance within 24 hours. After all that happened, I booked my flight and waited eagerly for my semester abroad.

2. Apartment

Apartments on the Gold Coast can be found through gumtree or flatemates. Most international students lived in Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, or Southport. I arrived a week before O-Week and went looking for it. At first I lived in the hostel “Budds” in Surfers Paradise.

When I was looking for an apartment, I only had the right to have a single room and not a high rent per week. I also wanted to live in surfers. After five days, I found that finding a place to live is not as easy as explained in the reports. I personally walked to the high-rise buildings in Surfers, which wasn’t promising either. After about 8 apartment visits, I decided to live at the Campus Village because I didn’t want to put the stress of looking for an apartment to myself anymore. The apartments were either too expensive or in poor condition.

The Campus Village is a five-minute walk from the university. At Campus Village, I took over the last 4 months of an annual contract from a student. I had to pay $ 230 a week. This rent is relatively cheap for the Campus Village. If you book an apartment from home, you pay $ 275 a week, which I think is a bit high. In addition, the contracts start in early February / July and end at the end of June / November. So for the weeks that you are not there, you still pay. After about 4 weeks I moved out of the Campus Village because it was too expensive for me. Before that I had to find someone to take over my contract. Amazingly, I was really lucky and quickly found someone. I then lived in Southport for $ 170. I found the apartment very quickly through friends. From Southport I always took the bus to the university for about 6 minutes.

In summary, I can say: Finding a suitable apartment in Surfers is not quick and can be expensive, depending on where you want to live and what your needs are. In my opinion, the women didn’t have that much stress looking for a place to live. In some cases, a large number of apartments were advertised only for women. But you should call them anyway, sometimes it works anyway. Living at the Campus Village is really cool, you are only surrounded by international students, which is very good for your own English skills. At the Campus Village there are also a lot of activities such as free dinner, pool party and more. If you don’t live in the Campus Village, most of life takes place in surfers. I liked both apartments, although the price at Campus Village was a big disadvantage.

What would I do differently next time? It’s not that easy to sign a contract at the Campus Village, if you’re unlucky you won’t find anyone to take over the contract. I would wait until O-Week, get together with students and rent an entire apartment in a holiday home such as the Genesis, Penthouse, Solaire Apartments or Trilogy Surfers Paradise. In any case, you shouldn’t drive yourself crazy about your apartment in Germany. You will definitely find a suitable apartment. For some it is faster, for others it takes a while. Once you’ve found the right apartment, everything works.

3. Study

Griffith University on the Gold Coast is very big and quite beautiful. It’s pretty green everywhere, so you can relax outside in the shade to do work for the university. Of course you can do that in the library too. The individual faculties of Griffith Uni are spread over a large area. If you download the Griffith app beforehand, you can easily find every single room.

If you live in Surfers, you can take the tram to the university in around 25 minutes. In addition, the bus network is quite good and you can get almost anywhere. For buses and trains you need a GoCard, which you can buy at the university or in any “Seven Eleven”. In addition, students receive a discount on every trip. In order to be able to use this, however, one must first apply online for “concession fares”, which only takes a few minutes.

a. Orientation Week

On the first day, all international students meet in the main lecture hall and receive basic information there and play a few little games. Then there is a welcome BBQ and you can talk to international students. I found the program very cool and fun. In addition, get-to-know meetings, games and much more are organized throughout the week. The university goes to great lengths to ensure that the foreign students feel comfortable at the beginning. There are also events in the semester that are quite fun. I’ve visited a few and thought they were cool. In the first week there is also a market for sports courses and various other promotions. There you can register for a diving license (open water, $ 250), register for club VIP cards in Surfers Paradise and get to know nice people. I took the diving course, more on that later.

I was also on the orientation trip in Byron Bay. It was definitely worth it. It’s the best way to make friends, pet kangaroos, and get on a surfboard for the first time. I can only recommend it because the friendships that are built up there usually last until the end of the semester.

Brochures - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (9)

UCSD Reviews (9)

Application and approval

As I am not studying at any of the University of California’s partner universities, I was unable to apply through the Education Abroad Program (EAP). However, UC San Diego offers a special program for exchange students, operated by the UCSD Extension, for which only sufficient knowledge of English (by means of a TOEFL test) and sufficient financial means must be proven. This simplified the approval considerably.

It was then possible to take any modules from the course catalog. The condition in each case was that the university professor gave his consent and that there was still enough space, as regular students had priority. Fortunately, the professors were fairly unproblematic in giving their consent, so that I was able to take all of the modules I wanted. For the transferred tuition fees one could take three modules from the undergraduate area. An additional fee would have been due for each additional course. There is also an additional fee for graduate courses. So overall that’s not so ideal.

There were significant differences in the demands, quality and workload of the various courses. Unfortunately, some courses have very low demands and a comparatively slow learning pace, so that these courses are simply boring. Nevertheless, such courses can be very labor-intensive. However, there are also very successful courses in which the standard is kept high, the topics are well chosen and the lectures are interesting.

What struck me is that undergraduate students are often comparatively dependent. The lecturers’ office hours were often very crowded and trivial questions were often asked that would have resulted from reading the lecture materials again. I found this difference particularly strong when editing exercise sheets. While in Germany the exercise sheets are evaluated first and then discussed afterwards, in the USA the exercise sheet was mostly completely solved by the tutor in the tutorial before it was even handed over (to the tutor). This made it damn easy for the inner weaker self to just go to the tutorial and copy off all the solutions without ever having to think about the tasks themselves. Likewise, in the consultation hours before the handover, specific questions were asked about solutions for certain tasks, which were then also delivered in detail. A practice that I found very strange, especially since the exercise sheets determine up to 40% of the grade.

In general, however, I would say that undergraduate courses often have a comparatively lower (scientific) standard and are often more practical. This can certainly also be explained by the less differentiated education system in the USA, as well as by the very high tuition fees required to work alongside your studies.

I experienced a hereditary difference in graduate courses, especially in research classes that are primarily attended by Ph.D. students. As a rule, two publications per lecture, suitable for the subject area, had to be read, summarized and assessed. In the lecture it was discussed with the professor, ambiguities removed or certain aspects deepened. In addition, there were extensive exercises or project tasks as well as a separate research project on a topic suitable for the course. Check liuxers to see more reviews from current students.

Graduate courses take a considerable amount of time, because you are constantly busy reading the given publications, reading other articles on your own research project and you still have to do the exercises and project tasks at the same time.

All in all, I think the concept of research courses is very successful, as it gives you a very well-founded insight into the current state of research and enables you to work on relevant research projects. I would like to find such courses at German universities as well.

Support from the UCSD Extension

The support from the UCSD Extension has been very good so far. The semester began with an information event and a campus tour. During the semester, the UCSD organized various activities, for example a trip to Sea-World, the San Diego Zoo or Disney World in Los Angeles. This offered the opportunity to get to know other exchange students very quickly. However, most of the participants were in the UCSD Extension’s English program, so communication with them was sometimes difficult. The UCSD Extension was always ready to answer any questions and always had an open ear for you.

Living in San Diego

Since the dormitories on campus are very expensive and not worth the money, I can only recommend living off-campus. This also avoids the compulsion to have to eat on campus, since the rooms in the dormitories often do not have their own kitchen. Unfortunately, living off-campus is still quite expensive, with around 700-800 US dollars per month including ancillary costs. And the closer you get to the beach, the more expensive it gets.

San Diego’s public transportation system is also not very good. If you don’t want to get a car, you should live in the immediate vicinity of a bus line that goes to the campus. However, it is highly recommended to get a car, otherwise even short distances in San Diego, and San Diego is huge in terms of area, is really torture. In a pinch, you can rent a car at Dirty Cheap Car Rentals San Diego for a reasonable price, even for a longer period of time.

There is a real emergency parking space on campus, as almost every student drives to the university by car. That’s why I parked on the east campus and then cycled to the lecture building, which took about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could still use the campus buses.

I really enjoyed my trimester in San Diego and I am glad that I decided to go to this college. It was interesting to get to know a different education system and other main research areas. However, a trimester goes by incredibly quickly, especially with housework you have to be careful not to take too much time at the beginning, otherwise the trimester is already over.
San Diego is also really a stunningly beautiful city, with perfect weather and beautiful beaches. Even if the lectures are not so exciting, San Diego offers a lot of variety. And I can only recommend surfing and diving in San Diego, as well as going on a whale-watching tour, if you are in San Diego in winter.

UCSD Academic Personnel Services

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (17)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (17)

The organization in advance with the help of MicroEDU worked great. The entire application went smoothly and I soon had my firm acceptance and courses that I had already chosen. It should also be mentioned that the choice of these courses is not 100% binding. You will then have places in these courses, but it is still possible to change courses afterwards. Even if “prerequisites” are suddenly required, the relevant evidence can be submitted later. As soon as the courses are activated, you should try to find the times to make the timetable as suitable as possible. There is a lecture for all courses and several tutorials at different times, one of which you can choose depending on availability.

The start at the university was very successful, a lot is being done for the study abroad students. In my semester there were a total of around 300 students from all nations and there were many events, especially in the orientation week, but also during the semester, to bring everyone together. Parties, barbecues or team competitions took place regularly. Missing the orientation week is no drama, because there is not a lot of important information or the like, but you make the first contacts there, not to mention the great trip to Byron Bay. It is highly recommended, it was there that I got my first great impressions of Australia. The place is incredibly beautiful, there are lots of great activities and you have more to do with other students, especially at the beginning.

I hadn’t looked into accommodation before, except for booking 3 nights at the Trekkers Backpackers hostel in Southport. It’s not necessarily one of the nicest hostels, but looking for apartments for a few nights is more than enough. I then went to gumtree.com.au to look for it and finally, after my second visit, I selected the first apartment and moved into the hostel after 2 nights. The apartments in Surfers Paradise are generally rather expensive. I saw a lot of friends in retrospect and wasn’t too impressed with the value for money. I lived with two other girls in a small bungalow in Labrador. A bit out of the way, but spacious and really nice, the three of us felt very comfortable there. You can get anywhere with bikes, to the university in 10 minutes, to the beach about 20 minutes, to Surfers about 20 minutes. If you want to party every evening, then Surfers is the right place for you. Otherwise, in my opinion, the surrounding places are nicer and not that crowded. The beach can be easily reached from anywhere, which was actually most important to me.

  • See carswers for more information about Australia and Oceania.

My everyday life at the university looked relatively relaxed at first, four subjects in total and lectures and tutorials only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In Australia, however, the final grade consists of several parts. For example, I had to take regular online tests in subjects like finance or submit presentations and reports in international marketing. Then there is an intermediate examination in almost every subject before the mid-semester break. So with four subjects you are always busy with some “homework” in between. The tasks are not necessarily difficult, the lecturers just want you to deal with what you have learned, so it is rather time-consuming. At the time of the exams or when you have a major donation ahead of you, you are relatively busy.

But I’ve always been able to do a lot with my roommates and other fellow students. We went on trips more or less every weekend and spent a lot of the week on the wonderful beach on the Gold Coast. I can only recommend the Gold Coast Campus compared to the ones in Brisbane, you simply have a lot more of the great coastal landscape of Australia and the sea. The most beautiful destinations in my eyes are the Whitsunday Islands, the Great Ocean Road on the south coast of Melbourne, the smaller islands off the Gold Coast and Tasmania. In my experience, the excursions into the countryside were much more valuable than the ones in the big cities, which of course you can also look at, but not necessarily longer than a few days.

All in all, this semester abroad at Griffith was a great decision. The location is perfect, as you can easily reach the well-known places from the east coast. The weather is always nice and there is so much to experience. University life is something completely different and a good experience and helpful for language skills. The contents of the subjects were also completely different than at my university, much more practical and I took some away with me. I made a lot of great contacts and can only recommend everyone, when they are there, to really make the best of it and to travel as much as possible. Unfortunately, for such a long time, you won’t come back so quickly.

Information Technology Code of Practice - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (8)

UCSD Reviews (8)

San Diego

In San Diego itself I arrived about 3 weeks before the university officially started. So I had enough time to find my way around the new environment. I would also recommend arriving early to anyone doing a semester abroad in San Diego. This saves the risk of not being able to enjoy the relaxed life in California because of all the stress and gives you enough time to adapt to the time change, new culture, etc. My tip: arrive 2-3 weeks before the start of the university so that you have enough time to look for an apartment, buy / rent a car, etc.

Basically, I made the experience that there is a very lively and dynamic housing market in San Diego. Http://sandiego.craigslist.org/ is best for finding apartment advertisements. I looked there on the first day in San Diego and made some viewing appointments. It is very important in San Diego that you look at everything on site and, if necessary, meet roommates, etc. in person. I visited a total of 5 apartments and the first 4 were an absolute disaster, with the 5th being a stroke of luck. So my tip: You should look for an apartment locally to avoid possible disappointment!

Regarding the location of an apartment in San Diego, I particularly recommend La Jolla. You are very close to the university and thus save long journeys from other parts of the city in the morning chaos. Nevertheless, you have to know that in Pacific Beach (called PB), for example, there is a lot more going on in terms of bars, parties, etc. For me it was important to live very close to the university, as I didn’t feel like the clogged freeways on the way to the university. That’s why I lived in La Jolla, although I also knew some people who lived in Pacific Beach or Mission Beach and were totally happy with their location.

Automobile

Since I only went to UCSD for one trimester (quarter), I rented a car. Since some of my friends from home had already done a semester abroad in San Diego, I was very well informed about car rental companies. But first of all, the decision whether to buy or rent a car.

Buying a car vs. renting

My recommendation is to rent a car if you only want to go to UCSD for a quarter. This saves you a lot of stress when it comes to selling the car. Above all, you have taken out insurance directly and are completely covered. However, if you want to complete several trimesters at UCSD, I would recommend buying a car. Because in the end, if you catch a good catch, you can get rid of some of the car for the same amount or a few hundred dollars less. Nevertheless, there is always the risk that the car may be susceptible to repairs if it is not a new model. My tip: If someone wants to rent a car cheaply for the entire period, DirtCheapCarRental is. (Definitely negotiate the terms!

UCSD

At the introductory event / enrollment, exchange students were shown the very large campus. There is so much to discover, so just go out alone or with a few people and be surprised, e.g. discover floors in the library, singing trees;) etc.

Course selection

Since I am studying business administration in Germany, the courses at the Rady School of Management interested me the most. It’s a relatively young faculty, but since it’s privately funded, it’s just incredibly nice in terms of classrooms. However, some of the courses are very simple, as anyone in the USA can attend these courses, even if they have nothing to do with business administration / economics. Nevertheless, I was able to take some knowledge with me, even if it wasn’t as demanding as in Germany.

At other faculties, for example the Economics Department or International Relations Pacific Studies, the courses are much more difficult and also encourage foreign students to study, as far as I have heard from fellow students. Extension students can now also register for extension courses. These are courses that are also taken by “non-students”, i.e. people who are already in the job, are studying something else, etc. The level of these courses is, in my opinion, relatively low, but you can still learn a lot.

For me, it was irrelevant which courses I take, because I don’t get any credit at my home university anyway, so I decided to only go according to interest and chose 2 Rady and 1 Extension course, which is also very good in relation to grades to effort drove well. However, it always depends on the credit options and interests of the individual. Check jibin123 to see more reviews from current students.

I would like to expressly add that it is not as difficult to get into the courses of your choice as I read several times on the Internet before my stay. You have to be put on the waiting list at the Rady School of Management in good time (Americans have priority on places!), But you still have a very high chance of getting a place there. With Economics it is not impossible either, mainly you have to register there early. My tip: As soon as possible, take all courses that interest you and put yourself on waiting lists. Better to be on the waiting list for a few courses too many than for too few, because you can still cancel !!

UCSD Deep Decarbonization Initiative

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (16)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (16)

I studied law at Griffith University and I definitely don’t want to miss this experience.

The Griffith University (Southport) Gold Coast campus is nice and big, but not too big to get lost. There is a library, cafes, a university bar and a sports field with a beach volleyball field.
The location of the university is pretty good, as it is about 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise (by bus) and you are right at the beach and in the party zone. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in and around Southport. There is also an airport on the Gold Coast from which you can reach any destination with the low-cost airlines.

At the beginning of the course you receive a lot of information on an Orientation Day (1 week before the start of the course) in order to get a little start-up help for the course. But that was more fanfare than helpful. You can get most of it out yourself when the actual lectures begin.

After Orientation Day, I took a trip to Byron Bay, where you got to know a large number of the other international students. That was really great, because you get to know a lot of people right away and make connections and learn to surf, hike, chill on the beach and party. I can highly recommend this.

I really enjoyed the course itself. It was easier than in Germany. At the beginning it takes a while to get used to all the technical terms, but you get used to them very quickly. In addition, the lecturers are very nice and helpful. I took three courses. A course always consisted of a lecture and an accompanied tutorial. In the tutorial, the material from the lecture was discussed in depth again. The tutorials are always very small groups in contrast to the lecture. That was always very pleasant and you could memorize the material even better. You could always download all the documents you need for the lecture from the Internet (Griffith Portal). It was practical and easy. However, books are expensive and the library is not well stocked with items that you can borrow. Often books that I wanted to borrow were already gone.

When choosing a course, you should always pay attention to the course numbers, as the first number always stands for the number of semesters, i.e. for course number 4013, 4 stands for the 4th semester. The lower the first number, the easier the price is.

You have exams during the semester and at the end. But you can do that well and it is not an excessive learning curve.
The law course was very different from my German course. But I still enjoyed studying there and getting an insight into a different legal system.

I lived in Griffith University Village, which is right next to the university. The university is about 5 minutes’ walk away. I really liked it there because you share a 5-room apartment with other international students. Everyone has their own room and you share 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room and the balcony. This way you get to know your roommates very quickly.
However, you don’t have to apply there straight away from Germany. Most of the time there are still rooms available on site and it is sufficient to drop by the office after arriving and ask. The rent is quite high, but that’s the same when you move to Surfers Paradise and you have to pay a deposit. Internet is then added separately. This is not included in the rent.

The apartment is fully furnished, but you have to get bedclothes and kitchen utensils yourself. When moving in you have to fill out an inspection form and you should be pretty precise and list every deficiency in the room or in the common areas, because otherwise every little thing will be attracted to the deposit when moving out.

The village also has a pool, which was very useful on hot days to cool off for a while. There is a sunbathing area with a few loungers. Then you didn’t have to go to the sea first. There is also a basketball court and a barbecue area where you can always grill. There is also a TV and computer room and a laundrette with washing machines and dryers. But you always need change because it is not free.

Some people have also moved to Surfers Paradise, which is an option too. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the university, but it is right on the beach and where the party goes in the evening.

During and after my studies I traveled a lot in Australia. There is simply a lot to see and discover and you can always find time for it, even during your studies.

Overall, the semester at Griffith was very nice and full of experience. So if you decide to go to university, you will have a lot of fun there and meet a lot of nice people !!!!

Study Smart - Library - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (7)

UCSD Reviews (7)

Preparation of the study visit

Obtaining a visa
In order to obtain a student visa for the USA, one must apply to one of the representations of the US embassy in Germany. After paying various fees, you will be given an appointment to appear at the embassy. These appointments are not to be seen as fixed interview appointments, but only serve to straighten out the applicant appointments over the morning. It is therefore advisable to arrive at the embassy as early as possible. My visa interview was only about explaining where and why I would like to study in San Diego and showing that my studies are financed there. The applicant normally receives the visa within a few days, but in exceptional cases this can take up to three months, especially if applicants have recently changed their citizenship.

Luggage shipping
Since the Lufthansa allowed for ticket purchases before 01.01.2010 a luggage limit of two suitcases with up to 23 kg, this was not a problem for me. For shipping from the USA, USPS (US Postal Service) is recommended.

Money transfer
In principle, it is easy to pay by credit card in the USA. This is the preferred method of payment, especially in supermarkets, petrol stations and restaurants. When buying a car and paying for rent, however, preference is given to cash or a cashier’s check. For this it is strongly recommended to open an account with an American bank. Since Bank of America is a cooperation partner of Deutsche Bank, money transfers and withdrawals at the BoA machines are free. Keep in mind, however, that the US ATMs have a daily withdrawal limit of around USD 800. This can cause problems if you want to buy a car and pay your rent within a week. At the beginning of the rental period, a monthly rent is usually due as a deposit and the first monthly rent.

Matriculation
The application deadline for foreign students in the USA is usually very shortly before the actual start of studies, usually 1-2 months in advance. Acceptance provides a lot of useful information about visa acquisition, the university, the city, and the US study model. Most of this information is available again on the day of registration. As a foreign student at UCSD is not seen as a full-fledged student (“extension student”), you do not receive a university account and therefore cannot register for courses in advance. Therefore, you have to look for courses that you are interested in from the course database – it is essential to pay attention to the length of the waiting list. If this has already been several students, your chances of getting a place in this course decrease. If there is no or a short waiting list, you attend the first lecture hour and then ask the professor to be allowed to participate in the course. In some courses, the basic knowledge that is required in this course must be proven, in most of them you will be admitted without any problems. After three weeks at the latest, you must have decided on at least three courses of 4 units each and register them with the extension. For each course at the Graduate Level, UCSD charges an additional fee and, if applicable, a fee for laboratories or computer rooms. After three weeks at the latest, you must have decided on at least three courses of 4 units each and register them with the extension. For each course at the Graduate Level, UCSD charges an additional fee and, if applicable, a fee for laboratories or computer rooms. After three weeks at the latest, you must have decided on at least three courses of 4 units each and register them with the extension. For each course at the Graduate Level, UCSD charges an additional fee and, if applicable, a fee for laboratories or computer rooms.

Lectures
The UCSD courses in the fields of computer science and business administration are basically divided into two categories: application-oriented (project-oriented) and lecture-oriented. The former are very much designed for independent work, which should be followed through the entire semester. During this time, interim results are presented and graded on an ongoing basis. In some cases, there is an exam at the end. The lecture-oriented courses of the UCSD are very similar to those in Germany: In addition to the weekly lectures, several exercises are offered, which are also assessed – their grade is also included in the final grade. In addition, tutorials for the lectures and for exam preparation are offered. In addition to the classic exams at the end of the semester (“finals”), most courses also have exams at the middle of the semester (“midterms”). The exercises mostly consist of very labor-intensive problem sets and should by no means be underestimated, as the deadlines at American universities are sometimes very strict. I estimate the general workload during the semester to be much higher than in Germany. In return, the exam is also more complex, but simpler. I estimate the general workload during the semester to be much higher than in Germany. In return, the exam is also more complex, but simpler. I estimate the general workload during the semester to be much higher than in Germany. In return, the exam is also more complex, but simpler. Check iamaccepted to see more reviews from current students.

Situation at the place of study

Although there is ample living space in San Diego, the high demand means that the rental price is high. In the student town of “La Jolla Village” near the UCSD, we had to pay $ 1650 plus additional costs for an apartment (2 ZKB with living room). We therefore decided to look for another roommate via Craigslist, who finally moved into the living room. The high monthly rent is largely due to the short rental period. If you are traveling alone to the USA, it is advisable to first look for shared apartments through Craigslist, as these have usually existed for a long time and pay much lower monthly rents.
Another popular residential area is Pacific Beach, which is located on the beach. This is in direct proximity to the beach, but the price is considerably more expensive than La Jolla Village; 1-5 km from the beach the prices are about the same. Another residential area that is recommended is “Clairemont Mesa”. With PB and Clairemont, however, it should be noted that a bus trip to UCSD can take up to an hour.

A car is generally indispensable in the United States. For stays of 10 weeks or more, it is more worth buying a used car (Craigslist) than renting one. The private sale is usually quite uncomplicated, even if the registration at the motor vehicle office (“DMV”) is a bit time-consuming.

Leisure time

UCSD itself offers numerous events such as visits to amusement parks, theme parks or visits to baseball games. The cultural center of San Diego with bars and clubs is downtown – otherwise Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach are good places to go out. There are very, very few places to go out in La Jolla Village.

In – for American standards – closer to San Diego there are numerous cities and sights that are worth a visit. These include Los Angeles, Santa Babara, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Death Valley, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park. Las Vegas can be easily reached by car because of the “short” travel time (5 hours) and can be used as a starting point due to the low hotel prices during the week (approx. $ 50 per room).

UCSD Teaching + Learning Commons

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (15)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (15)

Life on campus

I was very impressed by the great organization at Griffith: Regardless of whether it was a matter of informing the students competently and in good time or giving grades and feedback within a short period of time, everything worked great. The professional competence of the teachers was also great. The lecturers were always at your side, whether in person or by email. There were enough learning rooms on campus, in addition to the library with individual and group workstations, there were also so-called learning centers and a 24/7 study lounge.

Unlike what we know from Germany, there is no cafeteria on campus. But there is a large selection of snacks, restaurants and cafes. In terms of price, these do not differ from restaurants in the city. There are microwaves on campus that you can use to warm up food you have brought with you.

As mentioned at the beginning, you can find out about the course content and the composition of the examinations in advance. I had three courses, all of which were very time consuming. There were important levies every few weeks. Depending on the subject, these consisted of classic homework, some of which should also be completed in group work, or practical work (in the case of media subjects, these were, for example, graphics or prototypes). I can only advise you to organize your time sensibly and not to take care of deliveries at the last minute, because shortly before the deadlines it can get very stressful.

  • See computerminus for more information about Australia and Oceania.

Leisure

In addition to studying, there is a lot to do on the beautiful Gold Coast: The kilometer-long coast offers beautiful beaches (starting on Main Beach, via Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Miami, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin, to Coollangatta), but also numerous national parks, such as Springbrook and Tamborine are nearby. So just get together in small groups and explore the surrounding area by rental car! The cultural offer is also not to be despised with numerous film and music festivals, there are also many opportunities for shopping and a number of leisure and amusement parks. Brisbane can be reached quickly if you fancy some big city air. There are also beautiful corners further north, towards the Sunshine Coast and Noosa.

Travel

If you have the opportunity to travel during the semester or afterwards, you should definitely do so! Visiting Australia is incredibly impressive and varied. It can be an advantage to look for travel companions, as this is the best way to share the costs of accommodation, rental cars, campervan, etc. and of course the newly gained impressions. But solo travelers are also common in Australia.

By plane, rental car or campervan? Domestic flights are not expensive, for less than 100 euros you can fly across the country (flight prices to Alice Springs, however, exceed this considerably). There is also an airport on the Gold Coast that can be easily reached by public transport.

In order to explore the areas away from the big cities, it is advisable to rent a car. Incidentally, fuel is much cheaper than in Germany. There are also guided bus tours to some hotspots, but these are usually expensive, you are inflexible and you can’t get everywhere.

Adventure camping – the journey is the goal: If you have no problem with camping, then it is a good idea to explore parts of Australia by campervan! I traveled the east coast between Brisbane and Cairns in this way with a friend. You are flexible, save yourself the constant moving from accommodation to accommodation and also save money. That we did this in July, in the middle of the Australian winter, was not a problem in this part of Australia. In the south of Australia it is quite cold at this time.

Weather & clothing: As huge as Australia is, the temperature differences from place to place are just as huge. Depending on the season and planned destinations, a warm jacket may not be missing! (Assuming you get the idea to travel the beautiful south in winter, where the temperatures can be just above 0 in the early morning)

My personal highlights: Great Ocean Road (including Melbourne), Darwin and Litchfield National Park, the Whitsunday Islands, Fraser Island and Sydney.

Last but not least…

In retrospect, one usually only remembers the positive moments that definitely predominated during the entire stay abroad. Nevertheless, there are a few hurdles to overcome from time to time, the important thing is: There is always someone there who can help you. Be it the university on site, fellow students or MicroEDU. No matter how stressful it can be, enjoy this time to the full and don’t worry too much! You will notice how the lightheartedness and good mood of the Australians will rub off on you, according to the typical Australian motto – “No worries!”

Student computing - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (6)

UCSD Reviews (6)

As part of my master’s degree, I took the opportunity to go to the USA as a free mover. After contacting a number of universities, I decided to apply to UC San Diego. The reasons for this are easy to name: In the field of economics, UCSD is one of the best American addresses, the tuition fees are relatively low thanks to the quarter system, and the university is located in sunny southern California.

When applying, I made use of the excellent support from your website. It certainly does not increase the chances of acceptance, but it saves you some effort and costs (e.g. having GRE and TOEFL test scores sent). From my point of view, the hurdle to admission was not primarily the general application at the university, but the admission to the individual courses on site. In any case, I soon got my approval from UCSD along with some information about immigration, flights, accommodation, registration and health insurance.

For everyone interested: The F1 student visa costs around CHF 400 and only requires a visit to the embassy. You should book the flight as soon as possible and as (compulsory) health insurance, in my opinion, additional insurance for your existing KV is recommended.

When you arrive at UCSD, you first end up with the introduction by the UCSD Extension. This is a separate unit of the university that looks after the international students. So be prepared for the fact that in some respects you will initially be treated as second-class students. This applies in particular to the choice of courses, for which you cannot enroll online. Instead, you have to contact the professors individually and ask for admission. Incidentally, there is a clear difference here between undergraduate and graduate students: As a Bachelor you can only register in the third week of the semester in Economics, while Master’s students can choose their courses from the first week onwards (however, a course fee of 100 dollars in each case have to pay).

I had decided on three courses, which corresponded to 12 US credits and 18 ECTS. This is also the number that is included in the tuition fees ($ 5,700 all in all, but has now been increased significantly!). Additional courses, including language courses, must be paid for separately.

My courses were as follows:

Econ 247. Empirical Topics in International Economics (Prof. Muendler)
A course for doctoral students in their second or third year that deals in depth with models of trading theory. The level of requirements is tough, the effort is high due to two weekly homework, a presentation and a research proposal, but I also learned a lot for that. From the origins at Ricardo to the latest models, the entire spectrum is covered and the students are obliged to read and summarize all relevant papers. For every student interested in the topic, I can only give one absolute recommendation, especially since Professor Muendler is extremely competent and friendly. Check hetongdiy to see more reviews from current students.

IRCO 412. Globalization, the World System and the Pacific (Prof. Naughton & Prof. Haggard)
This course is offered by the IR / PS Department and covers all economic and political aspects of globalization: the emergence of global markets, financial flows, distributional effects, multinational organizations and companies, effects of development aid, as well as the financial crisis of 2008. The broad spectrum is reflected in a very extensive list of literature. Again, all of the texts are required reading, so the effort is also quite high. Furthermore, four assignments, a midterm and a final exam have to be written. The reward for the effort is a very good overview of all relevant topics in the current globalization debate.

IRGN 486. Economic and Social Development of China (Prof. Naughton)
For the area of ​​reflective skills, I have chosen a very good course on the development of China. Professor Naughton is a highly respected expert on the Chinese economy and can therefore offer an excellent insight into the achievements and problems of the emerging nation through his book. From my point of view, such a course should actually be compulsory for every student, because you learn an incredible amount about the second most important economy on earth and China often misses out on your studies. So here, too, a crystal clear recommendation from my side. The level of difficulty is not quite as high as in the other two courses I have chosen. In addition to two midterms, there is a research paper (around 15 pages) and a presentation to do.

All in all, I was able to take three very interesting courses and had no problems registering for them. On the contrary, the professors were very happy about my request and were always available during the semester. A look at the UCSD website should give you the opportunity to see whether interesting courses are being offered in the semester that is relevant to you. Usually, however, the selection is very large.

Now a few more sentences about life outside the university. Of course, the location offers ideal conditions for fantastic excursions. I myself have visited the following places with other exchange students:

  • Las Vegas: a city impressive in every way, must-see, very inexpensive and only a five-hour drive from San Diego.
  • Grand Canyon: about three hours east of Las Vegas, without a doubt a must-see, be sure to pass the Hoover Dam on the way.
  • San Francisco: a good eight to ten hours from San Diego, but with a very recommendable coastal road (Highway 1) and otherwise well worth the effort, a beautiful city
  • Los Angeles: thanks to a local student I was able to see the beautiful sides of the huge city, Hollywood is certainly not one of them
  • Joshua Tree National Park: an impressive national park, around three hours from San Diego, must be visited
  • San Diego: very chic Gaslamp Quarter with wonderful restaurants, beautiful harbor, fantastic beaches in Mission Beach, PB, and La Jolla
  • However, you soon realize that all these excursions cost a lot of time, which is already severely limited by the university obligations (if you are a Bachelor student: things look different for you, you will certainly have more time). Therefore, you should arrive a few weeks before the start of the semester and treat yourself to a few weeks after the finals.

Costs:
Without a doubt, an exchange semester at UCSD is not cheap. With tuition fees (around 6,000 dollars), rent (around 1,000 dollars per month) and other expenses at the Swiss level, you should budget up to 15,000 dollars. The weekend trips and shopping (cheap & beautiful outlet stores!) Also add to the bill. On the other hand, it should also be noted that practically all other good universities in the USA already charge more than $ 10,000 tuition fees for one semester!

Car:
I got by without a car, but that was because my roommate had one. In any case, you need a car for shopping and traveling. The free bus is also ideal for everyday university life if you live close enough to the campus.

Accommodation:
I booked the all-round carefree package from AC Housing before my departure. The thought was that I didn’t want to waste any time or nerves looking for an apartment on site. And for a slightly higher rent you actually get a clean, large, well-maintained apartment close to the university. If you have the choice, I would recommend the La Mirada apartment complex. Very quiet, good location, extremely well-kept and great service. As far as I know, everyone who searched on site did not get away with it much cheaper, but had more stress and a certain risk.

TOEFL:
Required for application, but shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.

Campus:
The UCSD campus is huge and you will therefore travel a few kilometers here. There are a multitude of beautiful places and around two dozen restaurants, only one of which I will positively remember Home Plate (after a few weeks you don’t want to see fast food anymore).

Weather:
It is actually always 20-25 ° C and sun, rarely warmer or colder. There was rain in four months on maybe 5-10 days (falls more at night). Even in December it is usually still over 18 ° C and sunny, so that there is no need for winter clothing.

All in all, I had a fantastic time in San Diego and can recommend a semester abroad there. For your money, you get the opportunity to study at a very prestigious university in the USA and to explore beautiful California.

If you have any further questions, feel free to write me an email!

UCSD Ethnic Studies Department

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (14)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (14)

A renowned university and a pleasant climate in the “Sunshine State” – choosing Griffith University was not difficult!

Many factors went into my decision to join Griffith University on the Gold Coast. On the one hand, of course, the subject orientation and the range of courses, on the other hand, the location, the weather, and possible activities in the area. My expectations were not disappointed! But now in order:

So much to plan…

When my desired university was determined, it was time to apply after collecting all the relevant documents. Thanks to the competent and very friendly advice from MicroEDU, this process turned out to be very pleasant. As soon as you have the approval, I can only advise you to apply for the visa as soon as possible. Even if this is usually approved quickly, processing times can vary. And with a time buffer you are on the safe side in the event of delays.

Course choice

If you then deal with the choice of course, you will find that there is very detailed information about the courses offered and that you can get a good idea of ​​the course content in this way. It is necessary to make a preselection and submit a transcript of your academic achievements from your home university, as selected courses must first be approved by Griffith. This ensures that you are only admitted to courses that are manageable in terms of difficulty. So it is better to specify a few more courses, as one or the other will not be approved. If you want to have the courses passed abroad credited to your home university later, you should clarify the choice of course with them in advance.

As stressful as it all sounds, this planning saves you unpleasant surprises later and, once you arrive, you can concentrate fully on finding your way around the new university. If you have not yet made your final choice, you can still select or deselect courses within a certain period of time.

Flight and arrival

I booked my flight to Brisbane through STA Travel, including the return flight (this one from Singapore, however). This can sometimes be cheaper than booking the flights individually. If you are not sure about the date of your return flight, you can subsequently rebook it free of charge, provided that you book this rebooking option from the start for a surcharge of 15 euros (although it may be that rebooking on certain flights is excluded from this – have found out I only did this when I made the request for a possible rebooking).

You can register in advance for the free pick-up service from Griffith University, so that after the long journey you are brought to your destination accommodation in a relaxed manner. I can only recommend booking the latter in advance, regardless of whether it is a hostel or, for example, accommodation through AirBnB.

Apartment Search

I arrived with a friend a few days before the start of the orientation week, so that we could look for a permanent place to stay on site. In our experience, this search can take a few days. We wanted to move to Surfers Paradise, happily in a flat share with non-German speaking roommates. For this we had looked at advertisements on www.flatmates.com.au and www.gumtree.com.au, but we had also created an advertisement for us as apartment hunters. Since we couldn’t find anything suitable that way, we decided to rent an entire apartment on our own and look for roommates ourselves. The latter worked extremely well, so we ended up living with two Spanish women. Finding the apartment itself was a bit more complicated, as many apartments are sold through brokers and have to be rented for at least six months. You can also try to go through various systems individually and ask about vacant apartments at the reception. So we found what we were looking for, even if it took a bit of patience (so don’t give up too quickly, there seemed to be some vacant apartments, especially in the northern part of Surfers Paradise).

Living on the Gold Coast, especially Surfers Paradise, isn’t exactly cheap. Each of us paid around 500 euros a month for a shared bedroom. Our apartment was beautiful and right on the beach promenade. The “Surfers Paradise North” tram station was right in front of the building, from where it only took 17 minutes to get to the university.

Transport

While I’m on the subject of transportation: the best way to get from Surfers Paradise to the university is by tram. Overall, this currently ranges from Broadbeach to the University Hospital. If you want to get to other parts of the Gold Coast, you can take advantage of the bus service. Regardless of whether it’s a tram, bus or train, the GoCard gives you a discount on your journeys. Once bought, the GoCard can be topped up with credit at the machine (it is essential to register for the Student Concession, so you can even travel for half the price). A ride to the university and back to Surfers Paradise costs about $ 3.20 with a discount. Very important: tap the GoCard both when boarding and disembarking at the designated stations, as the fare is calculated according to the distance traveled. If you forget to grope after getting out,

Music and performing arts - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (5)

UCSD Reviews (5)

Going out

There are more than enough places to go out in San Diego. Pacific Beach on Garnet Avenue is more relaxed. Every Tuesday at Taco Tuesday in the Typhoon Saloon there are inexpensive tacos and margaritas. Definitely show up before 8 PM to avoid long waits in front of the door. Drinks for $ 1 are available every Thursday from 9 PM to 11 PM at the Beachcomber. Again, it applies to appear before 8 PM. On Thursdays in downtown San Diego, the Ivy Club in the Andaz Hotel is the “place to be”. Often there are party buses that can take you there. In downtown you go out more chic. This is where the party people meet at the weekend, for example in the Fluxx or in the Voyeur. Great parties on Sunday would be the pool party in the Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown and in the Wavehouse in Mission Beach.

I firmly believed that I wouldn’t need a car. But I was taught a lesson. It’s hard to imagine, but especially in California everyone (!) Has a car. Without a car there is hardly any way to get from A to B. Certainly there are buses, but these often take five times longer than a car journey and are sometimes even more expensive. In addition, these drive very irregularly and relatively seldom. I often only used the bus to get from my apartment to UCSD, as it was free of charge for UCSD students with a bus sticker that you can get in the parking office. On-campus parking was relatively rare and at around $ 170 / quarter it was also quite expensive. Like many other students, I parked my car on the sand court at the Salk Institute, which was free of charge. The only downside is that it takes 20 minutes to walk to the Main Campus at the Price Center. But parking there is free and available in abundance. By the way, I rented my car from Dirt Cheap Car Rental. Very unbureaucratic and flexible company. The car is not the best, depending on the category, but very cheap because it is fully insured.

Bank account

I had an American bank account set up at the Bank of America on site, which was also straightforward. Don’t forget your passport and I-20. The account had been free of charge and my debit card worked like a credit card, except that the purchase amount was debited immediately, similar to a checking account. In any case, it is highly recommended to have an account with Deutsche Bank. This enables cash to be withdrawn free of charge at all Bank of America ATMs. I used it in such a way that I then immediately deposited my cash back into my American account. The advantage is definitely that you save the 1.5% fees of the German credit card for every transaction abroad.

Mobile

A SIM card and thus an American cell phone number can easily be obtained from the T-Mobile
Store. The credit can then be renewed monthly.

Course choice or class crashing

A few weeks before the start of the program, you will receive a request from UCSD to register on the waiting lists of the departments in which you would like to take courses. The first two weeks are known as class crashing. It is recommended to attend 3 to 4 times as many courses during this period as you actually plan. This makes it possible a) to exclude courses from the outset and b) simply to have more flexibility if one cannot enroll in one or the other course. I have courses in the Economics Department. as well as at the Rady School of Management.

  • Economics-Dept .: In the Econ-Dept. you can, in principle, enroll in all courses. The prerequisites do not apply to international students like us, but it is definitely advisable to already have some knowledge of some subjects. All courses have a maximum number of participants. After the first two weeks of lectures, you can go to the Econ-Dept.
    Enroll for your desired courses by having the “blue cards”, so-called concurrent enrollment cards, stamped. These are available in abundance in extension building. If there are no more places in the respective course, you are unfortunately out of luck.
  • Rady School of Management: Here the enrollment is regulated a little differently. You register online for the courses you want and then receive an email as to whether or not you will get a place. Here the prerequisites are taken a little more seriously, so that you can only register for courses without prerequisites in advance. For all other courses you have to contact the Rady School directly and state
    with your current transcript of records that you want to be admitted to the desired course with prerequisites.

You have to have these so-called blue cards stamped and / or signed for each individual course in order to then hand them over to your Academic Advisor, who then makes a binding registration for the courses. At first glance, the system appears confusing and complicated, but it is all half as wild. During the orientation week, everything is explained again in great detail. In addition, I strongly recommend everyone to go there, as you not only learn a lot of organizational things there, but also make contacts with fellow students. Check ehuacom to see more reviews from current students.

Travel

There are a lot of places worth seeing in California. In addition to the big cities like LA, we drove along the coast for a weekend, where there are many beautiful places as well as beaches. Otherwise, of course, you have to take the time to drive to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Cheap flights within the USA should also be used. Good comparison options are available at www.priceline.com.

Shopping

  • UTC Mall: a small shopping mall near UCSD with all the big brands, but a limited selection
  • Fashion Valley: Probably the Best Way to Shop in San Diego; very large mall with a very large selection of all the major brands
  • Las Americas Outlet Mall: Outlet mall in front of the Mexican border; definitely worth a visit
  • Horton Plaza: pretty mall in downtown San Diego, but the architecture is more impressive than the shops themselves

Living

There are a lot of advertisements on www.craigslist.com, where fortunately I also found a very great room in the Costa Verde Apartments in La Jolla not far from the UCSD. In general, one should be careful with craigslist, because there are (unfortunately) a lot of dubious people. It is best to have a look at the apartment beforehand and clarify all the details, as you can seldom rely on the people there. Otherwise there is also the possibility of booking a room through Anatolia Corporate Housing. The clear advantage is that you have a room that is fully furnished and can practically sit in the “nest”. The disadvantage is that it is significantly more expensive than renting a room yourself. If you have no problems commuting to the university every day and like to go out in the evening, is in very good hands in Pacific Beach, PB for short. Many initially book into hostels, for example the Banana Bungalow in PB, by chance meet other nice people with the same situation and then go looking for an apartment together.

Conclusion

I have to admit that it was an incredibly bureaucratic effort to organize the semester abroad beforehand. From the application forms for the university to visa applications to enrollment in the courses at UCSD and much more. Nevertheless, I can recommend it to everyone without reservation! It takes you not only academically but also personally a lot further than I would have ever thought.

Center for Memory and Recording Research (CMRR) at UC San Diego

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (13)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (13)

My name is Silvana and I’m in the 4th semester of studying multimedia and communication at Ansbach University. It was already clear to me from the start of my studies that I wanted to do a semester abroad in Australia and when I got the wanderlust, I applied at Griffith University in Australia at the end of the 2nd semester with the help of MicroEDU. The decision was not difficult for me because I wanted to go to the sea somewhere – so the Gold Coast was a great choice.

Application and organization

Filling out the documents was actually no problem, and I could always write to MicroEDU or Sabine if I had any questions. After six weeks, I received my confirmation at the beginning of August and thus had enough time to prepare for my semester abroad from February.

I booked my flight through a travel agency, which I can only recommend to everyone, as you always have a direct contact person there if you want to rebook your flight, for example.

To finance the semester abroad, you can apply for BAföG abroad, which you should do in good time, as the processing time takes a little longer and of course it is not sure whether you will be supported. It is also possible to apply for different scholarships.

Apartment Search

When looking for an apartment, it depends on what exactly you are looking for. If you only want a bed in a “shared room”, it is not difficult at all and you can find something within a few days. However, if you are looking for several people who all want a room to themselves, the search will take a little longer.

I recommend that you take a look at the “Gumtree” or “Flatmates” pages, or simply ask at the hotel reception – this is how we found our apartment. I lived with two other girls in the middle of Surfers Paradise in the “Genesis” – a hotel with many apartments. We had one with a single and a twin room. Since we always swapped places after six weeks, everyone had a room to themselves, but it wasn’t a problem to share a room with another person, as we got along really well. Our apartment was really big, we also had a balcony with a sea view.

Surfers Paradise is the center of the Gold Coast, here you can easily go to the beach, do good shopping and also have a great party. It’s 25 minutes by tram to the university, but that wasn’t a problem at all.

Also, be prepared for the fact that the rent or the cost of living in Australia in general are more expensive, but it is possible to find something for $ 150 a week.

Everyday university life

The Griffith Gold Coast campus is really big and at the beginning I felt a bit like a zoo because of all the birds and trees, haha. Overall, everything is really nice and new, you can actually relax or study anywhere. There are a few cafes, restaurants and a university bar. There are also many other shops, such as the university store or a hairdresser. There is also a regular market where you can buy delicious food with a good atmosphere and live music.

The Griffith looks very organized, for example there is an app with which you can find all kinds of information or a campus map. Even before the beginning of the semester, you will receive a lot of useful information, such as help with enrolling.

An orientation week takes place one week before the official start of studies, in which you can get to know many people and the university better. Whether you want to try typical Australian food, join clubs or get information on Griffith offers – you should definitely not miss the Orientation Week. If you like to party, you should also sign up for the list at the stands – you will then receive a card with which you can, for example, go to the clubs free of charge.

Furthermore, the range of courses is really very good, you will find a lot of and different courses, so there should be something for everyone.

I chose the courses “World Cinema”, “Television Studies” and “Creative Thinking”, all three of which were very interesting and not difficult either. In general, you don’t have to worry – with three or four courses you definitely have enough free time, but of course it depends on whether you put pressure on yourself to perform or not.

In my courses we were a very small group of no more than 20 people and depending on the course there were lectures, tutorials or seminars. The relationship with the professors or tutors was quite relaxed, so you always get help if you don’t understand something and you can adjust to a fairly relaxed atmosphere – at least that’s how it was with me in the courses.

The exams or research papers are spread over the semester so that you do not have total stress at the end, so there are several (mostly three) certificates of achievement in each course. Since I didn’t have any written exams, I finished a little earlier than many of my friends.

By the way, the English wasn’t a problem for me, the professors or tutors speak quite clearly so that you can understand everything.

Leisure

The Gold Coast and Australia offer so many different things to do.

On the Gold Coast you can of course discover the rainforest by the sea or in the hinterland in Lamington or Springbrook National Park. But there are also many amusement parks or many other activities that you can look forward to.

For shopping it’s best to go to Cavill Avenue or to one of the shopping centers on Broadbeach or Southport. There is also an outlet center in Harbor Town, which I can only recommend to you (my backpack was so much heavier than I flew home: D).

Those who like to party will also get their money’s worth on the Gold Coast. By the way, on Thursdays we found the “bedroom” in the middle of surfers the best.

I saw the most beautiful sunset on the Gold Coast in Burleigh Heads and the most delicious food is in the mega cool Marketta Market with live music in Miami.

You can also eat cheaply every Sunday, Monday or Wednesday in Waxys, an Irish pub in Surfers – there you can get steak or chicken schnitzel for $ 3 + side dish.

It’s also very easy and not that expensive to get from one place to another, as the bus and train network on the Gold Coast is really very well developed. The best thing to do is to buy a GoCard at “SevenEleven” and after nine trips you can drive the rest of the week for free – even as far as Brisbane.

During the semester we also did small road trips or other excursions, for example to Byron Bay and the surrounding area. The best way to do this is to rent a car and just drive off. But it is also possible to fly to Sydney or Melbourne, especially during the semester break.

Australia is generally a beautiful and varied continent that I was able to discover with friends in the weeks after my semester. First we were in the outback, which I can really recommend to you. The atmosphere there is awesome and I will never forget how nice it was to sleep by the campfire under the stars. From Cairns we rented two vans and drove down the east coast to Brisbane. Whether diving in the Great Barrier Reef, sailing in the Whitsundays, camping on Fraser Island or just driving around and spending time together – it was just so beautiful.

Conclusion

If I could, I would repeat my semester abroad. I had an incredibly good time, experienced and seen so much and became more independent. But the most important thing is: I’ve made friends for life. Of course, at the beginning I was homesick and didn’t know how the time was supposed to go by, but at some point I felt really good – and suddenly the time flew by. Maybe at some point I can’t remember every conversation or moment, but Australia will forever remain one of the best times. If you have the chance, go for it! It’s worth it, I promise!:-)

Impact - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (4)

UCSD Reviews (4)

Preparation and arrival

Visa: The visa can be applied for in either Berlin or Frankfurt am Main. You register on the Internet beforehand and receive an appointment. The embassy provides a checklist of the documents to be brought with you. The visa interview at the embassy in Berlin was very brief for me and essentially revolved around who would pay for my stay. I had my appointment on a Friday and the following Tuesday my passport was in the mail. Some of my fellow students told me that they were in Frankfurt, where the processing should obviously be much faster and less complicated. Especially when it comes to making appointments. In general, I would recommend applying for the visa in good time, as the next possible date that the consulate has to assign
Acceptance: I received the acceptance from UCSD within 1.5 weeks.

Means of transport: At the airport in San Diego we recommend a “super shuttle” bus, a kind of shared taxi. It’s cheaper than a taxi and runs regularly. A car can be very useful for the rest of the stay. That depends a lot on whether you live closer to the beach or near the university. Alternatively, there is a bus service to the university, which works very well. The journey time may only be a little longer.

Health insurance: It is possible to take out health insurance through the university. I decided to take out international health insurance in Germany. A tariff similar to that which would have been due for insurance through the USCD had to be paid for this. I also did not have the impression that a doctor’s visit or hospital stay or the settlement of costs
would have been easier if I had taken out health insurance through the university.

There is no accommodation for students in the UPS program in autumn on campus. However, there is the possibility of living in the CostaVerde Apartments (via AnatoliaHousing) relatively close to the university (see monthly expenses for prices). Another option is to contact an agency that arranges rooms in shared apartments and host families ($ 200 agency fee, $ 800 / month including 2 meals / day). The university provides the contact details for this agency when it sends out its acceptance.

Search apartment / room through craigslist.com. In my experience, it is advisable to either book a room in advance through Anatolia Housing (or in other complexes such as pcHousing in Pacific Beach) or to stay in the hostel for the time being and get to know the living opportunities here personally.

Costs

Flight: When and where the flight is booked has a major impact on the costs, which are between € 400 and € 1200.
Visa: approx. € 290 (€ 128 processing fee + € 8 appointment fee + € 154 SEVIS fee)
Uni: $ 7350 ($ 200 application fee + $ 7150 tuition fee). As I have learned, these costs should increase to around $ 8150 from 2013 (including the partial fees)
Living expenses: A room can be rented for $ 600- $ 900 / month (example CostaVerde: $ 750 per month + $ 200 reservation fee). The meal costs are slightly higher than in Germany. A comparable quality costs around 1.5-3 times the price in the USA. Depending on where you would like to live or find a room, a car may be advisable. You can buy it or rent it from DirtCheapCarRental from $ 400 per month. On-campus parking costs approximately $ 60 per month. However, getting a parking space is not guaranteed and is not very likely after 7.30 a.m. Books typically need to be purchased and cost between $ 90 and $ 400. At least in biology / medicine. Some can also be bought or rented second-hand.

Study / University

The campus is very beautiful, the Geisel library even served as a model for a location in the film “Inception”. If you live in the vicinity of the university, the best way to get there is by bike or bus. Students can use this free of charge. If you drive by car, you need a parking card. A parking space is not guaranteed. Depending on where you live, you are usually not much faster than the bus. The lectures are shorter (50-80min), but more frequent (each lecture 2-3 times a week), and there is usually an additional seminar per subject and per week. The lectures are designed very differently. In some you have to prepare and follow up a lot, in others it is enough to follow carefully. An essential difference is the use of iClickr: During the lecture, many lecturers throw in various questions, which are answered with the so-called iCklickr. It works like a small remote control. In this way the attestation is saved and at the same time the presence checked. For courses whose level is comparable to that at the University of Hamburg, I estimate the workload to be much higher in comparison. Check educationvv to see more reviews from current students.

Post-processing of the material took an enormous amount of time, especially the papers to be submitted (2-4 per subject) and the midterms (1-2 per subject) were very labor-intensive. I would recommend not taking more than 1-2 such courses and covering the remaining courses with introductory courses in other specialist areas or general education courses, for example. The range of courses on the whole is very good, it is just in no way certain that you will be able to take the courses you want. As a UPS student you are enrolled last after all others and therefore (in biology) you have no sure course until the third week (other faculties accept earlier or even immediately). The quality of teaching is, at least that’s what I’ve learned in biology, very high. Some of the professors are very keen to experiment in their teaching methods and so it can happen that instead of the expected lecture, one only experiences certificates. Questions about the self-developed teaching material are then clarified individually in the office hours of the lecturers or the teaching assistants. The range of courses is very broad.

Everyday life / leisure time

The leisure offer leaves little to be desired. From climbing tours to city tours over the holidays, everything is included. However, it is not much cheaper than organizing your own excursions. The use of the gyms and sports facilities on campus costs $ 98 for
the entire quarter, the sports clubs cannot be joined as a UPS student.

Conclusion

Personally, I have gained a lot of experience in various ways in the 3.5 months. For a semester abroad, San Diego is a recommended place. The city is very attractive and offers many opportunities to go on a discovery tour while studying. Regarding the course, it can be said that it can represent a professional enrichment, at least for students of biology at the UCSD. I take a critical view of the fact that as a UPS student you have to pay almost twice as high tuition fees as the students registered at UCSD. UPS students are also at a disadvantage when it comes to enrolling in the courses, and they cannot take advantage of any sports club offers (such as sailing). Despite these circumstances, studying at UCSD is recommended.

UCSD Department of Literature

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (12)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (12)

University and courses

It was worth studying there for the campus alone. The atmosphere is very relaxed due to a lot of meadow and trees on a huge area, you get the impression of being in a park and not in the university. So you can see straight away where the tuition fees are going. The equipment and furnishings of the rooms are also extremely high-quality. Everything is very organized and the professors are very committed and approachable at any time.

I took the three courses Retail Marketing, Consumer Psychology and International Business. Each week there is a two-hour lecture per subject and an associated one-hour tutorial, which means ten hours a week. That sounds extremely little, especially since I never had to go to university on Thursdays or Fridays. But you shouldn’t be blinded by that, because during the semester I sometimes had more to do than with my full-time job and evening studies combined. For the subjects I needed three books, each of which cost at least $ 50-100 if you’re not lucky and don’t find them used.

  • See prozipcodes for more information about Australia and Oceania.

The final grades of my courses consist of four components in each of my subjects: an intermediate examination, an individual report, a group work and the final examination. If you had to submit two reports on the same deadline and had an intermediate examination, you quickly came under time pressure, and each partial grade is decisive for the overall grade. I noticed that fellow students who only took subjects from the first year had significantly less effort. I had second and third year courses. Of course, it always depends on the demands you have on yourself and your grades. But I wouldn’t underestimate it. In retrospect, I have to say that I learned an incredible amount from it, because I dealt very intensively with all the content and everything was very practice-oriented. Although it was often stressful, it was fun.

The language didn’t cause any problems at the university, all lectures were very understandable.

Living on the Gold Coast

All the university stress is balanced out twice and three times with the Australian attitude to life. Australians are extremely friendly and helpful. The bus drivers say goodbye to you with a friendly “Take care, darling” and the old men on the street wish you “G’day!” In the morning. Life on the Gold Coast, in particular, is indescribably beautiful, and I have never experienced that in any other place during my travels. In the morning, the locals get up very early to surf, jog or do yoga on the beach at sunrise. Everyone goes to work early to quit work early to spend as much time outside as possible. Unfortunately, the sun sets from 5 a.m. in winter, which is a shame, but one more reason to enjoy the time in the morning.
I can only describe the weather from February to July: The rainy season was quite late, so it rained until mid-March, but it was very warm. In May it was already cooler, especially at night it went down to five to seven degrees by the end. In return, you have many great, dry, sunny days in winter, not cooler than 20 degrees.

Costs

Unfortunately, I can’t put it another way: Australia is expensive for Europeans. The rents range between $ 130 and $ 230 per week, depending on whether you share a room or what the location is – so you should plan for € 500 just for the rent. In supermarkets you spend about twice as much as in Germany.

The flight also costs around € 1,000, the student visa € 400, and of course you also want to see something of the country. It is not fun to be short of money in Australia, so I would take whatever support is possible – whether BaFöG, scholarship, student loan or maybe the parents. You can hardly manage these sums on your own. I tried to find a job, which unfortunately didn’t work. My training as a media clerk didn’t bring me anything, so I applied to restaurants and supermarkets, where of course all locals were given preference. Jobs are very scarce there so don’t trust yourself to find a job. You have better chances if you are there for a full year for a master’s program.

Travel

Here we come to the pleasant part. The Gold Coast is a good starting point to get to know Australia. On long weekends we flew from Gold Coast Airport or Brisbane Airport to Sydney and Melbourne and did a vantrip to Fraser Island. You can’t go wrong with traveling, everything is beautiful. After the semester, I had four weeks before my flight back home. Via the website “Workaway” I found a family with whom I could live for 10 days in a small village in the outback, because I wanted to get to know the ‘real’ life inland. A once in a lifetime experience. Then I traveled along the coast from Cairns to Brisbane for two more weeks, which was a nice end to the semester.

I had a great many moments full of happiness and gratitude that I was allowed to have this experience. I can only repeat what everyone says afterwards: it’s a lot of money but it’s just worth it and I would do it again without hesitation.

If anyone has specific questions about the courses or travel, they are very welcome to contact me via MicroEDU.

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UCSD Reviews (3)

UCSD Reviews (3)

Application process

The application for the UPS program at the University of California, San Diego was very well supported. If you had any questions, you always got helpful answers pretty quickly. In the course of the process, when you are in contact with the UCSD staff, things usually went smoothly as well, when it came to registering at the university or paying the tuition fees.

I studied undergraduate economics at UCSD, which is roughly equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Germany. In my first trimester, I attended the ECON 178, ECON 120C and ECON 109 courses. The latter two were very good and you could take a lot with you. 120C Econometrics C was a mass course with over 300 students, but there was still homework and good supervision. The 109 Game Theory course was extremely interesting. The course was small and there was weekly homework, which I never had at my home university. A very good change. 178 Economic & Business Forecasting was a disappointment because the “professor” is incompetent.

Overall, the quality of the courses is subject to a certain variance. The same then applied to the second trimester.

You should try out a few more courses in the first few weeks and then decide on the best, which is not always possible, however, as you are dependent on the waiting list, which you have to ask the ECON Department for as early as possible. I was able to take all of the courses I wanted, but I was also fairly flexible in my choice of courses. Check anycountyprivateschools to see more reviews from current students.

In most departments it is very easy to get into courses. ECON and a few others are the only ones with real limitations.

In the courses you usually write midterms and finals. That means the final grade depends on several achievements. It is usually not that difficult to get good grades, as the results are curved, i.e. subjected to a distribution function.

The libraries are very well equipped with PCs and software, but there is a lack of textbooks to borrow. If you have to buy books, they are significantly more expensive than in Germany, sometimes well over 100 euros.

The campus itself is very beautiful and spacious and you can find everything you need to study on campus. The sports facilities are great too, but cost extra.
Unfortunately there is no cafeteria and the food in the Price Center is definitely not suitable for long periods of time. I’ve tried it.

Living

After my approval from UCSD, I took care of an apartment and rented it from Anatolia. I lived in a shared apartment with three other international students from UCSD. The apartment was in La Jolla, pretty close to the university, so you could be on campus in 20 minutes by bus. I lived in an apartment complex, where you can also find apartments via craigslist. The complex is very good and an incredible number of international students live there, but unfortunately it is also expensive and security actually prevents any party from 12 noon. There is actually nothing going on in the area and you have to go downtown or Pacific Beach, which is difficult as there is no public transport and taxis are very expensive. A car is therefore very helpful.

Life and leisure

Well, that’s definitely the highlight. The weather is usually fantastic. The first two months in San Diego only sun and shorts. The beaches are great and San Diego is a very interesting city (Balboa Park, Downtown, Orchestra, Pacific Beach). There are an enormous number of shopping opportunities. The people of San Diego are friendly and open-minded, and it’s easy to get in touch with other people (usually other international students).

It is also unbelievable how quickly you feel integrated and also feel at home. In the end I was so sad to have to go back. I would have liked to have spent the summer there and would have loved to travel around even more if I hadn’t had any obligations regarding my bachelor’s degree or had still had money.

Costs

That’s probably the only major downside to San Diego. It’s expensive both to live and to live in and especially the tuition fees. In Germany I pay 500 euros semester fees and in San Diego I had to pay several thousand dollars for a quality that was not better. That is a disadvantage. The prices for calls and in the supermarket are also surprisingly expensive. If you want to eat well and healthily, you have to be prepared to pay a little more.

Conclusion

Apart from the cost, I’m really happy that I chose San Diego. I have learned a tremendous amount personally and had great experiences. I definitely have to visit San Diego again one day before.

UCSD Stem Cell Program

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (11)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (11)

As part of my part-time BBS degree at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, I had the opportunity to complete my 7th semester in Australia in the 2013 summer semester.

I chose Griffith University, which has several campuses around Brisbane. Because of the course offerings and location, the Gold Coast campus in Southport was my choice and it was the right decision.

Preparation

It was very important to me that I complete courses in my semester abroad that count towards my regular degree, which is why choosing a university took a while. I compared courses and coordinated the module descriptions with my professors in order to be able to write exams in my two main areas of International Management and Marketing abroad. As I have noticed, this process can be easier in the regular Bachelor program as full-time students have a mobility window.

In general, a large number of Australian universities have a very good reputation, so this was not a decision criterion. Of course, the cost factor also plays a major role – the tuition fees amount to $ 7,000-9,000 for one semester, approx. € 5,000-7,000. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about BaFöG because as a part-time student I was unable to apply for it. However, I would advise everyone to apply for scholarships!

The application to the university was very, very easy and quick and runs – if it is not a partner university – through an agency that communicates free of charge with the Australian universities and forwards all application documents. The two largest agencies for Australia are MicroEDU and Gostralia. I had a very nice contact at MicroEDU. To be honest, I have the impression that in Australia every student is accepted regardless of their grade point average, as long as the tuition fees are paid. That doesn’t mean that I had a bad cut, but that I was amazed at how easy it was to apply.

In addition to many forms, there are also some practical things that should be done beforehand. You need a valid passport at the time of application, nothing really out of order when it comes to vaccinations as long as you don’t go to a university in the middle of the rainforest. A valuable tip: With the credit card from Deutsche Kreditbank DKB, you can withdraw cash free of charge from most ATMs. I would advise everyone to take care of it at least 2 months in advance, it is very practical.

The best way to get from A to B is by bus and get a “GoCard”, which is discounted with a student ID. Unfortunately, the ticket is not included in the tuition fees.

I hadn’t organized permanent accommodation before leaving. I have read many testimonials that share this view and I can only confirm that firstly it does not work and secondly it is really easy on site. So I booked a hostel for the first four days (Trekkers Backpackers in Southport – the hostel was okay, the location was not ideal and an unbelievable number of Germans around me. I would recommend a hostel in Surfers Paradise). I arrived just three days before the orientation week started. In order not to have so much stress with looking for an apartment, I would recommend to be there about seven to ten days in advance.

What helps a lot when looking for an apartment is an Australian cell phone number! One of the largest mobile network providers “Optus” is very popular with all students so that you can short-circuit each other free of charge and even have 250 free minutes to the German landline network. It can be set up within ten minutes.

A lot of people who are living in hostels at this point are in the same situation as you and are also starting your studies, so it is quick to start looking for a flat together. Popular portals are gumtree.com.au and easyroommate.com.au, or you can go through the towns and ask about vacancies in holiday apartments.

There are several options for the location: The dormitory is very expensive, close to the university and far from the beach and there is always something going on. But $ 250 a week was out of the question for me. Surfers Paradise is the center of the Gold Coast, so to speak, and this is where most of the international students (not locals) move. You can go partying every day, I would describe it as the party stronghold of Australia. An extremely large number of Germans live here, often in German flat shares, which I personally find a shame. I lived there for the first four weeks, then I moved away. If you want to live with locals, you have to take another trip to the university. Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, and Burleigh Heads are the closest places to go. Southport is a popular place near the university, but not directly on the sea. I lived in Mermaid Beach with three Australians and it was the best decision I could make!

Academic dress - Griffith University

UCSD Reviews (2)

UCSD Reviews (2)

Because of the many positive reviews and the wide range of partner universities , I decided to spend a semester abroad in San Diego . In retrospect, I can say that the path via CC was absolutely the right one . It was a huge help to have a competent contact person at your side in advance . You were reminded of all possible deadlines and the information materials and checklists in particular were very useful.

I made my decision for San Diego primarily because of the outstanding location in Southern California and the city itself. I then have between the UCSD and the SDSU wavered and decided to go to UCSD mainly because of its better reputation. In retrospect, I’m really happy that I made this decision. My biggest concern was that the leisure factor and social life at UCSD could be neglected due to the higher demands. I can reassure anyone who asks similar questions here. Compared to my home university, RWTH Aachen University, the claim is strikingly lower. It was not a big hurdle to complete the subjects with an A / A +, I only had to go to university twice a week on relatively long days. The SDSU, on the other hand, adheres to the image of the party university, which is certainly very attractive – especially if you just want to spend a cool time in SD. However, from an academic point of view, the university does not have the best reputation, both in SD and in Germany. So I’ve heard stories that some German universities no longer recognize SDSU’s services across the board. That really put me off and the UCSD was the perfect compromise in that respect.

The life in San Diego, specifically in Pacific Beach (PB), was absolutely amazing ! During my entire stay, I had three rainy days and in December it went down to 15 ° during the day;) I made a lot of acquaintances and made new friends with whom I still have contact three months after my semester abroad. San Diego has a lot to offer in terms of leisure time and I am glad that I enjoyed the SoCal lifestyle, even if only for four months .

Preparation

I think enough has been written about general things like visas , flights , credit cards etc. in the other experience reports, which is why I only deal with a few specific points here. Regarding deadlines etc., “the sooner the better” applies, although you ca n’t really go wrong as long as you stick to the CC plan . If you are privately insured, you should check whether your insurance is valid abroad . For me (DEBEKA) this was the case, so I had the confirmation signed for the university and saved around 100 euros.

Since you can only enter the USA with the visa for the university from the 30th day before the start of the semester, but I wanted to travel a little longer, I flew to Toronto in mid-August and explored Canada on my own. Then I took the Greyhound bus from Toronto to NYC to the USA and then flew to SD in early September, three weeks before the semester started. It is important that it is not possible to enter the USA with an ESTA / tourist visa and then back to Canada or Mexico with the F1 visa to enter the US to spend more than 30 days in the US prior to the start of the semester. Don’t ask me why, but somehow they have a problem with that. So, if you still want to travel longer beforehand: Canada or Mexico.

Arrival, car and living situation

I decided to look for an apartment on site and booked a week in the Banana Bungalow in PB. I also decided to live in PB, which turned out to be spot on. UTC or La Jolla were haunted around as alternatives. If you intend to spend your life in Cali exclusively in the bib, don’t know what to do with beaches, bars etc. and like to be quiet, this might be the right thing for you. But if you want to enjoy the southern Californian way of life in addition to university, PB is the only option. You will be attuned to this in the banana bungalow. There are events here every evening and you can quickly get in touch with people from all over the world. That’s how I got to know my future roommates at the BB, two Danes and a German, also UCSD students, with whom I went looking for an apartment together.

The search for an apartment was definitely the most stressful part of my entire stay in North America and – in connection with the beer pong excesses in the BB every evening – can be quite exhausting. The drug of choice here is Craigslist, which sells just about anything. After about a week of viewing the apartment, we finally decided on a furnished apartment about 1 km from the beach. PP we paid 770 USD / month here and had three bedrooms, which were arranged one behind the other. So the whole thing was more of a compromise and not the optimal solution. However, you have to be prepared for the fact that the SDSU students have already grazed the housing market and that it is only for a limited time, so that was okay.

In the testimonials, a large number of people are absolutely convinced that a car is a must. When looking for an apartment at DirtCheap, I treated myself to a rust gazebo for the first four weeks for 400 USD and otherwise I think that (as long as you live in PB) it can be done without a car . Line 30 takes about 45 minutes from PB to the campus, is free for students and runs every 15 minutes. Apart from the dodgy passengers, that’s bearable with two university days a week. The rest of my life has been entirely in PB, where everything can be reached by bike (I bought it from Craigslist for 50 UDS). But I have to say that one of my best friends in SD had a car, so that I could often go to joint activities in SD here.

University

The UCSD campus is beautiful! The rooms, especially at the Rady School of Management, are in top condition and the lecturers are very motivated. Although that should be a matter of course for the tuition fees . However, the system is generally completely different from the German university system. There are significantly more small exams (essays, midterms, tests, journals, etc.) that can be passed with little preparation but with the top grade, an A. It just has to be done. Since the UCSD is one of the best public universities in the USA and is doing relatively well in various rankings, I was very surprised how easy it was to get good grades. Fortunately, my home university has them all too courses recognized in my master’s degree , so that I was able to polish up my grade point average. I noticed negatively the many fees that one has to pay as a second-class extension student. I don’t really understand why extension students have to pay double the price for printing and copying with higher tuition fees (as with many other services) and why access to many facilities (e.g. sports) is charged with extra costs or even completely is denied. There are a lot of horror stories about class crashing in the experience reports. This did not happen for me because I had my courses together after three days. Check andyeducation to see more reviews from current students.

Specifically, I have taken the following courses:

Energy & Environment

At first, Professor Krasheninikov appears quite harsh to unfriendly. Over time, however, we have come to appreciate his dry sarcasm. A total of three midterms plus final, which are not too difficult even without prior knowledge. I took the course with two Germans who are studying mechanical engineering and we passed all exams with 100%. The course is interesting and you can get a very good grade with little effort. I can really recommend this course to anyone interested in technical and political energy issues . I rented the book from the university’s bookstore for one semester for USD 20 and saved USD 100.

Electrical Energy Storage

This course was an extension course . A total of only 5 participants, three of whom are already working. The exam consisted of a personal project parallel to the course, which was presented at the end of the semester. Here, too, it is easy to get a good grade, but I would not take the course again because I took very little with me. The level was very low and the lectures were very confusing and carelessly cobbled together. The lecturer from the private sector was always very friendly, but poorly or not at all prepared, not very competent and usually did not answer emails.

Organizational leadership

I took this course in the additional area of ​​my master’s degree. It’s about leadership in companies and personal development, so a lot of psychology . In addition, topics such as networking etc. are covered. Half of the participants are internationals. Professor McKay is very motivated, has enormous rhetorical talent and has high demands on the willingness of her students to learn and work. Overall, this course is very interactive and labor-intensive (30-40 pages of reading + essay per week, as well as various tests and midterm + final). I found the course super interesting and was able to achieve an A- here, too, but with significantly more effort compared to the other courses. I can warmly recommend this course to anyone interested in the topics, but you should be aware of the amount of work involved. The astronomical costs for the course materials should also be mentioned. For a collection of articles from the Harvard Business Review in ring binder, you have to turn down $ 180. In my opinion, this is an absolute cheek, as the price cannot be justified by anything (not even the licenses for the articles). Ultimately, the only exploitation here is that you are dependent on the script and have no alternative.

Leisure & Travel

My leisure life was almost exclusively in PB. It’s very easy to meet new people and I’ve made a lot of friends. My circle of acquaintances was mostly limited to internationals and Germans. I had actually planned to look for contact with Americans in order to improve my English, but then somehow everyone remains among their own kind. In retrospect, however, that’s not so bad, as we had a lot of fun and I now have many new friends and acquaintances in Germany and Europe. Usually new acquaintances arise through friends, so that there was always something going on. If there’s no house party going on anywhere in the evening, Garnet has plenty of bars to offer. There is a special almost every day there. Particularly noteworthy are Taco Tuesday and Thirsty Thursday. There is also a huge selection of restaurants, especially sushi is very cheap compared to Germany. Insider tip:

During the day I spent a lot of time at the stand and was able to let my enthusiasm for sports run free . I jogged a lot on the beach, took a sailing course, and went to the gym or surfing every now and then. Here in cold Germany I miss the active and sunny time a lot and I really recommend you to use it!

Besides PB, San Diego also has a lot to offer, especially La Jolla, a beautiful and sophisticated district of San Diego. Before the semester, I went on a five-day road trip to OC, LA, and Vegas with a few people I met at Banana Bungalow. I also did road trips up to SF and to Vegas and the Grand Canyon during the semester. The western part of the USA, especially California, has a lot to offer and if you enjoy traveling, your hearts will beat faster ! Combined with the unique attitude to life, this was the best time of my life and I think back fondly on it.

Conclusion

As mentioned in the introduction, the time in San Diego was awesome and I would go back to UCSD for a semester at any time! First of all, the “American Way of Life” in the USA was the best time of my life and it was very enriching to get to know a completely different academic system than German. In addition , I have developed personally and linguistically . Even three months after returning from the USA, I see a lot of things in a more Californian way and I feel more cosmopolitan and self-confident. I have also made many lasting acquaintances and friends in Germany, Europe and the world.

The only negative aspect in my opinion is the cost factor . In addition to the 6800 USD tuition fees, there are general costs (visa, tuberculosis, flight, possibly health insurance ~ 1500 USD), very high rental prices (~ 500 to 1200 USD / month), cost of living (including leisure and nightlife ~ 1000 USD / month) , if necessary. further travel costs and many annoying extra costs for course materials and services at the university. I was dependent on my own savings and the support of my parents and luckily I received the PROMOS scholarship from the DAAD, without which it would have been very scarce. Things tend to be more expensive than cheaper as calculated.

Nonetheless, the time and numerous priceless experiences were well worth the money and I would do it again!

UCSD Student Success Coaching Program