Going to college at 25 was worth it

Griffith University - Brisbane

After spending two months at a language school in Sydney last year, it was clear to me that I definitely wanted to travel to Australia again to see the rest of the country. It was therefore a good thing that my university stipulated a three-month study-relevant stay for my course (English for teaching).

However, since the Erasmus places at my university are quite limited, I started looking for alternatives. After doing various searches on Google, I quickly came across college-contact, which convinced me primarily because of their wide range of universities. First, I got non-binding information about several universities, whereby I mainly went according to the respective course offer and made a pre-selection. After more detailed calculations and several informational discussions with the college-contact team, who tried very hard to answer even the smallest of questions, it quickly became clear that I wanted to apply for Griffith University in Brisbane.

The fact that Brisbane was chosen was not only due to the wide range of courses offered by Griffith University, but also to the fact that Brisbane is very centrally located on the east coast, making weekend trips to other cities relatively easy. Another argument in favor of Brisbane is the pleasantly warm climate, as it is not really cold even in winter with 10-15 degrees. Also is Brisbane a really nice, cozy city, which one does not necessarily notice the almost 2 million inhabitants.

The application itself was relatively problem-free and easy, thanks to the help of college-contact. I was accepted within a few weeks. Applying for a visa is also relatively easy, as you only have to fill out a questionnaire online and the enrollment number, which you can find on the University's Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE). I received my visa a few hours after completing the questionnaire.

If you are thinking about applying for an Auslandsbafög, you should inform yourself about the relevant documents that you need as early as possible, about six months in advance. On the one hand, you have to fill out a lot more forms than is the case with the Inlandsbafög, and on the other hand, you have to expect a longer processing time due to this. However, filing an application is worthwhile in most cases and especially for those who do not receive an Inlandsbafög, as higher rates apply for the Auslandsbafög. The Marburg Student Union is responsible for Australia. So the best thing to do is to find out more on the website of the Studentenwerk.

The most difficult thing is probably the selection of the courses ... It is best to discuss this with your home university, as not all courses are credited at home. However, you can change your choice again on site. In the first two weeks of the semester there is the possibility to look at other courses in addition to the selected courses and, if necessary, to switch.

I took three courses in my semester and was really busy with them, especially since two of the three courses were literature courses and the reading workload is a lot higher than is the case at German universities. Another difference to the German universities is that the entire workload is carried out within the semester in the form of assignments and exams. Which on the one hand means that you have to work more during the semester than you might be used to in Germany, on the other hand you really have semester break. In my case it was the case that during the semester I had to write several small essays, which were weighted with around 25%, and at the end of each had to write a “final essay”, which was particularly included in the grading with around 40%. This staggering of the percent can, however, vary greatly from course to course and is explained in detail by the respective lecturer at the beginning of the semester.

After I had been accepted for a place at the Nathan Campus (city campus), the task was to find accommodation. However, since I didn't want to go into the unknown and look for an apartment on site under time pressure, I applied for a place in one of the apartments on campus via college-contact and received an acceptance there very quickly. As for life on campus, it can be said that it has both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that the campus is a good way outside the city in Bushland and it takes about 25 minutes by bus to the city center and a good 15 minutes to the nearest shopping center. These journeys can, however, be quite inconvenient under certain circumstances, as the bus connections are not as good as you are used to in Germany: For example, on Sundays there is only one bus an hour in the direction of the city center. On the other hand, it definitely has advantages to live on campus, because on the one hand you have a colorful mix of Australian and international roommates and on the other hand many of the exchange students also live on campus, so that you can easily meet for a cup of coffee can. Furthermore, numerous events are organized by the respective colleges, as the dormitories are called, such as B. a pub tour, where you also have the opportunity to meet new people again. Despite the remoteness of the campus, I regret not living there.

I can also recommend the trip to Byron Bay, as there are also very good opportunities here to get to know other international students. However, you should decide relatively early on whether you want to take part in this trip, as there are only limited places. On this trip I got to know some people with whom I did a lot during the semester.

All in all, I can say that the semester abroad at Griffith University was definitely worth it for me, not only from a study-related point of view, as I was able to gain a lot of new experiences and get to know many new people. I can only recommend it to anyone thinking about going abroad for a semester. I haven't regretted it and would do it again anytime.

I wish everyone who decides to spend a semester abroad as pleasant and exciting a time as I had. I am happy to answer any further questions about the semester at the Nathan Campus.