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 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.


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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