Griffith University – Brisbane Review (1)

Griffith University – Brisbane Review (1)

During my undergraduate studies in the summer of 2006, I quickly realized that a stay abroad is becoming more and more important for starting a career. However, since the university’s own exchange and cooperation program in the field of economics / business administration turned out to be very unattractive and was mainly limited to non-English-speaking European countries, I looked around for further opportunities to do a semester abroad. It was there that I came across the College-Contact team and arranged an on-site consultation in Muenster in August 2006.

Why Australia, why Griffith University?

It was more or less by chance that I chose Griffith University in Brisbane in the end. My internet research was primarily about finding a university in English-speaking countries that places great value on intercultural exchange and where so-called “visiting students” receive comprehensive support and do not have to go through any unusual admission procedures. Since I wanted to start my semester abroad in February 2007 and I was more attracted by the warm Australian climate in February than the harsh Canadian winter in Halifax, the choice was made. Australia !

What should be considered before departure?

There was half a year between the decision to go to Brisbane and the day I left. This period of time should be planned roughly in order to organize everything, because there is a lot to do:

1. Knowledge of English

Universities in English-speaking countries in particular require non-native speakers to provide evidence of good English skills (academic English) when applying. For this reason, you should definitely take an IELTS test or the notorious TOEFL test. If, like me, you decide to take the TOEFL test, it is advisable to take a two-week training course that prepares you specifically for the exam questions from the areas of “Writing”, “Listening”, “Speaking” and “Reading”.

2. Visa

Once you have passed the TOEFL test, you can start applying. Thankfully, College-Contact will take care of all correspondence with the partner university. If you have cleared this hurdle and received a letter of offer, you can apply online for a temporary student visa (for visiting students there is a non-award visa) via the website of the Australian immigration authority The application phase takes about 3 weeks and the visa costs A $ 430, about 290 €.

3rd flight

You should get information here as early as possible, for example from Singapore Airlines or Emirates. (Emirates also flies from Düsseldorf via Dubai). The flight to Brisbane took a total of 20 hours, but that also passed.

4. Accommodation in Brisbane

When looking for accommodation on site, you generally have 3 options:

  1. You apply for a place in one of the numerous student residences on the 5 campuses. (For more information, please contact College-Contact) In my opinion, this variant is not recommended, as it is particularly noisy in the dormitories in the evenings.
  2. You only look for accommodation when you are on site and for the first week you will be accommodated in an accommodation at Griffith University until you have found something suitable. (Recommended!). Don’t worry, you will find small apartments or rooms in Brisbane like a dime and you will quickly find something within a week.
  3. You dare to get to know Australian life from the family side and book a “homestay”. (More information on the Griffith University website)

I finally decided on the last alternative because I really wanted to find out what life is like in an Australian family. Of course you can be unlucky when you are assigned a family, but that was not the case in my case and I got on very well with her. The advantage of my host family was that I had two other students from Taiwan living in my family, so that I was able to make contacts very quickly. To take away the fear of a “bad” host family, she said that the families that would take a student are carefully selected by Griffith University through interviews and controls.

  • See animalerts for more information about Australia and Oceania.

5. Campus and course selection

With Nathan, Logan, Mount Gravatt, Southbank and Gold Coast, Griffith University has five campuses with different departments and courses of study. While the first three campuses mentioned are approx. 20 minutes away from the CBD, the Gold Coast campus is approx. 45 minutes drive outside of Brisbane directly on the Gold Coast. If you decide, as in my case, to take undergraduate (Bachelor) business courses, you can do so either on the Nathan Campus or on the Gold Coast Campus. In my case, I chose the Nathan Campus because it is closer to the city. However, those who prefer “permanent parties” and shy away from the city are better off at the Gold Coast Campus.

Regarding course selection, registration takes place via the online course directory of Griffith University, where you log in with an assigned user name and password. (More information on the university website). You have to know that the Australian universities do more than their German counterparts when it comes to IT use and equipment. But this simplifies some things a lot.

How is the study?

The study at Griffith Uni is very schooled. This means that the final grade at the end of the semester in the individual courses results from a written intermediate semester exam (multiple choice tasks), a group assignment, the regular submission of homework and of course the final exam at the end of the semester (2nd Hourly)

But even that can be done, because the Australian students, in contrast to us German students, take a maximum of 4 courses per semester, so that the workload is the same as studying at a German university with an average of 16 SWS.

Regarding the level of the curriculum, I found Griffith Uni perfectly fine, it was neither too difficult nor too easy. It just depends on what you are studying and whether you have already gained experience and knowledge in this area at your home university.

I found the contact with the lecturers extremely pleasant, who insisted on addressing them by their first name. You also quickly come into contact with other fellow students, because you have to do group housework, because Griffith University places great value on teamwork, which is also reflected in its sporting and cultural offerings.

How is Brisbane?

Brisbane is a fascinating city because it has the charm of a metropolis and you can still find quiet places to relax, for example in the Southbank, a promenade on the Brisbane River. Brisbane is not as hectic as Sydney, for example, but rather cozy. People who like to shop will get their money’s worth at Queen Street Mall, and nature and koala lovers in the “Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary” Park. Brisbane also offers numerous nightlife options. The only disadvantage: The local bus company “Translink” runs its buses quite irregularly and 15 minutes delays are not uncommon.

Another great advantage of Brisbane is the close connection to the Gold Coast with the places Surfers Paradise and the many leisure facilities and parks such as Dreamworld, Movieworld or Wet and Wild, a bathing park.

Other recommended excursion destinations in the area are Fraser Island, the Sunshine Coast, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island etc. For excursions, it is advisable to inquire about appropriate tours on site, there are certainly enough possibilities.


Based on my personal impressions and experiences, I can only recommend studying at Griffith Uni to everyone. You get to know so many people from different continents and have a lot of fun. In addition, Griffith Uni offers excellent support for its foreign guest students, which is shown by the fact that representatives of the university meet and welcome you personally at Brisbane Airport.

More tips:

  • Money: The best thing to do is to open an account at Deutsche Bank and withdraw money from the WESTPAC Bank’s Australian ATM. (no costs)
  • Sunscreen (buy sun milk only on site, is much cheaper because it is bulk goods)
  • Stock up on black bread on the outbound flight, because unfortunately that doesn’t exist in Australia.
  • It is essential to add a multi-week round trip to the semester to get to know the beauty of this huge, contrasting continent.
  • Telephoning: To Germany it is best to use VoIP (free of charge) or a telephone card

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