Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (5)

Griffith University – Gold Coast Review (5)

Maintenance costs and means of payment

The cost of living in Australia is on average around 1.5 times higher than in Germany. A cell phone prepaid card with decent data volume, SMS and telephone flat rate costs around 30-40 dollars. The provider Optus is recommended. Transportation costs are around $ 15 per week. You should get a GoCard for this, which you can buy at any kiosk. The GoCard is a rechargeable prepaid card that gives you a 30% discount on all local transport. If you also register the card as a student, you get an additional 30% off the price. After 9 trips a week you get the rest for free, so at a unit price of about $ 1.50 per trip, the cost is about $ 15 per week. If you want to save withdrawal fees, you should get a DKB student card with which you can withdraw money free of charge at ATMs. Since December 2016, the DKB has been advertising that direct payments with the DKB credit card are also free.You don’t necessarily need an Australian bank account for the semester abroad.

3. Organization of studies at the university

The university is very well organized compared to European universities. There are a lot of study rooms that are well equipped. From cushions to relax in to fully equipped conference rooms. The organization of the studies runs entirely through the university’s online system. All dates, lecture documents and lecture recordings can be found on the online platform. Furthermore, the Studentguild and the Griffith Mates (best google their websites) organize a lot of inexpensive excursions, such as to Byron Bay or Noosa. It is important to be quick here to get one of the coveted spots.

There is no real cafeteria at the university, but rather a collection of restaurants. The food costs just as much as in the city. The German cafeteria system does not exist here. The class sizes here are very pleasant and much smaller than you know from German universities. The grading system is similar to the American system, in which the student’s performance is measured continuously through assignments and not just through a final exam. The final exam usually only accounts for 50% of the final grade. The exam phase is at the end of the semester and all exams are written within two weeks. From the next semester, the university system will change from semester to trimester. So inform yourself about it in good time. Furthermore, it can be said that the workload during the semester is higher than in Germany due to all the assignments, whereas the tasks are less theoretical and easier to solve than you know from German universities.

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4. Life and leisure

At the beginning of each semester there is an orientation week, which, however, cannot be compared to our European orientation weeks. The main thing here is to show you around the campus and give you a few tips. There are not many social activities during the orientation week. As mentioned earlier, it’s worth checking out the Griffith Mates and Studentguild excursions. We got to Byron Bay, South Stradbrook and Noosa during the semester; also saw a hypnotist show and attended some American high school-style themed parties.

The Studentguild also organizes free movie nights with meals every two weeks. Another highlight are the bi-weekly Market Days, where international food is offered on campus for little money. In the first week there are also the so-called sign on days where you can register for university sports clubs and cultural clubs. The diving club was particularly popular as it offered beginner courses for a mere $ 250. That is many times cheaper than in Germany. The offer was only valid during the sign on days. The buddy program is also very useful for the Griffith Mates, where you get an Australian student at your side as a mentor. You should definitely register for it, as there is also free coffee!

There is also a lot to do in the area around the Gold Coast. There is, for example, the Currumbin Sanctuary, where you can relax with kangaroos in the meadow, or the amusement parks for which the Vegas of Australia (the Gold Coast is also known as the Las Vegas of Australia) is known. Of the amusement parks, I can especially recommend Wet’n’wild and Movieworld. Dreamworld was unfortunately closed due to a tragic incident, but is supposed to be the best amusement park here. Furthermore, places like Killarney Glen, Springbrook, Moreton Island and Mount Warning are recommended for nature lovers. There is also no shortage of beaches. Nearby beaches that are a good alternative to the crowded beach in Surfers are Kirra Beach (very quiet and secluded, accessible by bus), Main Beach or Burleigh Heads.

The climate on the Gold Coast is subtropical, so it is almost never cold at least during the day. Accordingly, the people are very relaxed. The food is very British (so greasy). Burgers are something of the national dish here. Australian barbecues take a lot of getting used to, as the term barbecue means sausages in toast with a little onions. You should definitely not try the Australians’ favorite dish. Vegemite is really inedible.

5. Why you should study there (conclusion)

If you want to study at an elite university with challenging teaching, you are actually wrong here. But if you want to experience something after all the stress at the university in Germany and feel like having summer forever, you ‘ve come to the right place. The breathtaking nature, the many leisure activities and the nice people make this semester abroad unforgettable. So pack your flip-flops and off to Australia.

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