Swinburne University of Technology Review (5)

Swinburne University of Technology Review (5)

Oceania

Application process

I decided to go to Australia because I wanted to spend my semester abroad in an English-speaking country far away from Germany. My decision for Australia was quickly made and Swinburne University in Melbourne was specified by the M√ľnster University of Applied Sciences. However, I can say that from my point of view this was a very good default;). Processing of the application was done through MicroEDU. I had the first interview at the end of January. Then everything went very quickly and I submitted the necessary documents, received an Offer-Acceptance Letter, sent it back, transferred the money and then (20. 2) received the Letter of Confirmation, which is necessary for applying for the visa. My application process was therefore very quick and uncomplicated overall. However, under certain circumstances the application process may take a little longer. This can be due to the fact that the courses you want to take are not approved immediately or the Australians are just very busy;) which means that the application remains a few days longer.

In the next step, I booked my flight through STA (I can only recommend it, as there is always a direct contact person available). You should do this as early as possible, otherwise it will be unnecessarily expensive. Visit educationvv.com to get information about University of California Los Angeles student exchange program.

I applied for the visa online. I had a student visa. Australian Health Insurance (OSHC) is a prerequisite for this visa. In addition, I had taken out German health insurance, as the OSHC does not cover everything. True to the motto safe is safe;). The visa is valid for up to one month after the end of the semester. In my case until the end of January 2016. However, there is also the option of a Work & Holiday Visa to apply. This is a little cheaper as there is no need to complete the OSHC. This visa is valid for one year. However, I decided against it because I knew I couldn’t stay longer than 6 months. It also gives me the opportunity to use this visa before I turn 30. You never know whether you might go back again;) The Work & Holiday Visa can only be applied for once in a lifetime.

Studies & courses

The courses you want to take must be specified when you apply. I had to take four modules to get the required ECTS. However, many of my German fellow students in Australia only took three courses, as there were no further regulations from their German university. To be on the safe side, I specified six courses that I could imagine when applying. All six were approved. When I got my confirmation, I decided to go for four. However, there is still the option to switch within the first two weeks of study. This is especially easy if you switch to a course that has already been approved. However, if you want to switch to a course that was not on your application, this is usually also possible, but it involves a little more effort.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my choice of course. I have taken the following courses: Branding & Innovation, Market Research, Marketing Management and Consumer Behavior. I particularly liked that all courses were much more practice-oriented than in Germany. I can only say that I learned a lot, especially through the assignments (which sometimes really annoy you during the semester;))! However, it is as always – the design and the value of a lecture depend very much on the respective lecturer. There are clear differences here!

Since the workload in the semester is quite high, especially with four courses, I can only recommend that you ensure that the relationship between exams and assignments is as balanced as possible. There will tend to be more assignments than exams, but with a few more exams you can save a few assignments during the semester at the end. But that is also a matter of taste;).

On-site support

The support from the International Office is given, but not outstanding either. However, I did not have much contact with the International Office, as there were hardly any problems or reasons for it.

There was an Introduction Week before the official start. This was quite nice, but the events didn’t fill the whole week. More was offered in the O-Week, which was organized by the Student Residence. However, these events were only for residents of the residence.

On the part of the lecturers, I have had very good experience in terms of supervision. They are also happy to support you with career advice, etc.

Accommodation search

I chose accommodation from the start and I decided on campus and applied early (see Swinburne University homepage for dates). The reason for this was, on the one hand, that I wanted safe accommodation when I arrived and didn’t want to go looking for an apartment on site. In retrospect, I can say that I was very satisfied with this decision because, with all the new and strange impressions in a new country, I was very happy not to have the stress of looking for an apartment in the first few weeks. When I was with friends, I noticed that looking for an apartment in Melbourne can be quite stressful. You will definitely find something, but for a certain standard you have to calculate around $ 300 per week. Of course, there are also cheaper apartments, but they often look accordingly or you share the room with one person.

I was personally satisfied on campus. I lived in a shared apartment for two in the SPS Building. If you were to apply, I would definitely state that you would like to work in the SPS or SPW Building. These are newer than the others!

Looking back, I might also apply for a four-person flat share, as internationals often come together here for half a year and everyone would like to get to know new people, BUT here too – I’ve had good experiences, but it always depends on the roommates. In general, the facilities in the SPS and SPW are quite new and good, BUT the cleanliness and volume are determined by you, your roommates and neighbors.

For me, a huge advantage of the residence – you get to know people very easily and quickly, you are integrated and can participate in campus life in the best possible way. You also save money because you don’t have to use public transport to get to the lectures. It’s especially worth it if you’re a library learner.

However, the campus accommodations are not particularly cheap either. It should also be borne in mind that WiFi costs extra. I found this really outrageous! However, laundry is free.

But as I said, this is also all very individual and everyone has to weigh up for themselves which option is more suitable for them. All I can say is that I don’t regret my decision a bit. If you choose this option, remember that no duvets and pillows are provided! Many slept without a blanket the first night because they assumed that bed linen would be provided;).

Leisure and excursion possibilities

The connection to the city is great. About 15 minutes to the city by train. The train station is only a few minutes’ walk away and you can drive through to Flinders station. Melbourne is just great and of course there are numerous places to go out (see travel guide;)).

Around the campus there are many restaurants on Glenferrie Road, a gym (swimming is free for students) and a couple of bars.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed my time and, on balance, was very satisfied with the Swinburne and my accommodation. Of course there are always little things to complain about, but where is that not the case;)!?!

I traveled during the semester break (1 week) and for two months after the semester. I can only recommend planning this time, as there is not so much time left for traveling during the semester due to the not-too-small workload. And it would definitely be a shame to make the long journey only to have seen the Swinburne Campus and Melbourne in the end;)

Swinburne University of Technology Review (5)