My guest semester at the University of Newcastle began in February 2010. After a seven hour delay via Singapore and a three hour train ride, I finally arrived in distant Newcastle. In advance, there were only two places I wanted to spend the next six months in question. Campus or near the beach to learn the art of surfing. After not too long consideration, I decided on a flat share near the beach. I lived with five roommates at the end of Darby Street 314 (many cafes, restaurants and galleries), less than five minutes walk from the beautiful Bar Beach. In order to get to the university, I had to take a daily bus or train trip of around three quarters of an hour. On February 18th the time had come. Beginning of the introductory week. I would have liked a little more help with enrolling for the courses. Since there are only limited places in the tutorials and of course the Australians give everything for a long weekend, I had to replace one planned course with another. In the end, I then took three marketing courses and an English course for international students (ESLA1901). Highly recommended if the course can be credited, as almost everyone passed with a high distinction (very good). In terms of quality, the course is rather less recommendable. Many Asian students who struggle with the English language and some Germans who do not necessarily make the stay in Australia more exotic. Visit educationvv.com to get information about University of California Santa Barbara student exchange program.
I really liked the Australian university system. In every course you can download a course outline online, which contains the course content of each individual lecture, as well as all assignments, contact persons and other special features of the course. The assignments consist of term papers, group work and presentations. Since there are many deadlines in the middle of the semester, you are forced to work continuously, which I found good, because the great stress of the exam does not materialize at the end. If you are also hardworking, there is in many courses the opportunity to achieve over 50% through assignments before the exam. Group projects don’t really differ from those in Germany. There are always students who are more committed than others. I was the only international in all the groups. That’s how I got to know a lot of new people right from the start. The great friendships were rather lacking because Newcastle is a classic “commuter university”. Almost half of the students come from the Central Coast and drive to the university every day. The equipment in Newcastle should also be highlighted. The Auchmuty Library on the Callaghan Campus offers separate group rooms with flat screens and internet access. Reserve the rooms early enough as they are very popular at the end of the semester. There are also atmospheric relaxation areas that make learning a little more bearable.
As an International Abroad Student like me, there are many hidden costs towards you. Unfortunately, that needs to be emphasized. You don’t get a student discount on public transport, which is clearly noticeable in the long run. An hour bus ride is $ 3. 40 with no discount. A tip for everyone who doesn’t like being exploited. 10 bus tickets can be purchased in shopping centers. The sellers are actually not interested in whether you are the owner of a Consession Card. As a student, you can travel at half price with the 10-pass card, which is of course not entirely legal. For the sporty among you, buy a bike from living Newcastle legend Pushbike Dan on Robert Street. For $ 50 dollars you can get a decent bike with a helmet and lock. If you return it at the end, you will get the full $ 50 back. Dan did something for the environment and saved your money – classic win-win situation.
Another tip: think carefully about whether you want to buy the lecturers’ recommended books. You will hardly find any books under $ 100. I paid over $ 300 for three books. In my opinion, the slides provided were sufficient to successfully pass courses. In addition, the material for all courses is uploaded to the blackboard on the Internet by the lecturers and all other information regarding assignments, course outline, etc. can be found there. The online system is outstanding compared to my home university in Cologne. The communication between students and tutors worked great thanks to the university’s own email address. Also different to Cologne, it usually doesn’t take a whole day for tutors and lecturers to reply to emails.
So much for university life. You should of course plan a little free time in Australia. I can only warmly recommend putting together the timetable so that there is the possibility of a long weekend. A train ticket to Sydney CBD costs $ 7 if your Exchange student is since and has the aforementioned Consession Card, as low as $ 3. 50.
All in all I had a great time in Australia. I would study there again at any time. Newcastle is a great alternative to the metropolises of Australia. I like to think back to the time!