Hello my dears,
my name is Leyla and I normally study interior design at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences. I spent the last semester (August to November) at the University of Technology in Sydney. In the following lines I will tell you a little about my experiences and experiences.
Preparing for the semester took a lot of effort, unfortunately I can’t tell you anything else, but it’s absolutely worth it. MicroEDU helped me a lot and made the process a lot easier. Mainly it is paperwork that you have to fill out and get certified by your home university. Visit andyeducation.com to get information about California State University San Marcos study abroad program.
In terms of flight technology, I initially only booked a one-way flight because I wasn’t sure how long and where I wanted to travel afterwards.
Looking for an apartment and the first steps:
Since I had already spent a working holiday year in Australia, I luckily knew how the organizational and apartment search would go about. Don’t stress yourself too much, because in Sydney or in Australia in general you get a room from one day to the next. So I flew there without a room and booked a hostel for the first two days. On the first day, I already had four room tours that I discovered online. On the second day two more, one of which became my room on the same day. Housing prices in Sydney are unfortunately very high and are usually paid on a weekly basis. My room was very small, but I had it to myself and it was just a few minutes’ walk to the university.
If you are in Australia, it pays to open an Australian account and get a SIM card there (Telstra or Optus are recommended). Both are super fast.
I gave myself a few days to arrive and then got myself a job.
Fortunately, the UTS is organizing a great introductory week. Here you get to know your future friends, go to events, register in clubs (sport, art, culture, etc. ) and prepare for your courses.
For what I’m used to, the university is super big, it is centrally located and offers an incredible amount. There is an event almost every week and you get giveaways, food and vouchers.
You have already chosen your courses, but there is still the opportunity to change something in the first few weeks. I took three courses, one of which counted twice. It could be important that you pay attention to how many credits you have to get in order to be eligible for a scholarship, foreign student loan, etc.
My degree in Sydney was Interior and Spatial Design, so to try something new, I took a course that specialized more in product design. The courses are super interesting. You can tell that the UTS has a bigger budget. There are almost exclusively MAC computers in the design faculty, programs are used that are only just emerging in Germany and the projects on offer are more diverse. In my main course, I had a project that focused on Aboriginal people. For me an absolutely unique opportunity. It was super interesting to learn more about the culture and history of Australia to learn. The larger courses consisted of a weekly tutorial, a lecture and a design studio in which presentations were given, the progress of the projects was discussed and our lecturer made excursions with us. The course also included a one-week excursion into the outback to an old Aboriginal mission. An unforgettable experience.
Most courses have an exam every month. On the one hand, this is associated with a lot of stress, on the other hand, it makes studying a bit easier, as many grades come together and even if an examination does not go so well, which then only makes up a small percentage of the overall grade.
The lecturers and fellow students are all super helpful. Unfortunately it was difficult to get in touch with local students outside of the university and was more on the road with other foreign students, but I think that’s relatively normal due to the short time you spend there.
Life outside the university:
Sydney is a great city with lots of options. I arrived in winter, but luckily I was able to take some of the summer with me. There are many neighborhoods where there is a lot going on. You can go out great, go out to eat, go on excursions into nature, spend the day on the beach, go to great fun festivals or just meet up with friends. Getting from A to B is extremely easy thanks to the train and bus network. Many of my friends have also gone on weekend trips or went on vacation in the mid-semester. I postponed most of the trips until after the semester and worked a lot to save money on travel.
I can only recommend a semester abroad! Most describe it as “The time of my life” for a reason. It’s an exciting time with lots of great experiences and lots of fun. I really enjoyed the time and would do it again at any time.
I hope my report can help you a little with your decision.