Before the exchange
The enrollment process at the University of Technology Sydney can be undertaken in a number of ways. It is advisable to use the services of a partner organization such as “MicroEDU “. MicroEDU provides the most important information and instructions for the application and processes the application directly. All you need to do is send some documents (see instructions from MicroEDU) to MicroEDU. After a thorough review, the partner organization forwards the documents to UTS. The most important documents include proof of language proficiency in English (for example TOEFL 80 points, IELTS 6. 5, or another proof that can prove C1 knowledge)Student visa (“Student Visa 500”) and “Oversea Student Health Cover” international insurance, which can be purchased from Medibank for a good € 200. Visit andyeducation.com to get information about Hawaii Pacific University study abroad program.
The application process is not complicated, but it takes a few weeks to complete. The visa should be approved within a few days and the international insurance will be issued immediately. The visa costs around 400 CHF. You should complete the English language certificate as early as possible in order not to run into time problems later. You should also find out about alternative language certificates in order to save costs. From personal experience, I recommend booking your flights as early as possible to ensure that your journey is as inexpensive as possible. Briefly to be mentioned are scholarships, which are awarded by the UTS for good performance at the Home University. However, you do not have to apply specifically for this merit scholarship.
Information regarding the UTS
The University of Technology of Syndey or UTS for short is located in the center of Australia’s largest city, Sydney. Sydney Central Station is just a few minutes’ walk from the university. The UTS has a wide variety of faculties, which are spread over several buildings. The UTS basically focuses on technology-related courses. There are now around 40,000 students studying at the UTS. Another important feature of the UTS is the mentoring program for international students. The UTS offers a wide range of help options for international students. There are also various economic courses offered, which are credited by the University of St. Gallen and thus make the UTS an interesting exchange destination.
The library is easily accessible and offers enough space. However, it will be in a new building from next year. In the first week there are the so-called “orientation days”. However, some offers are interesting and helpful. However, you have to register online for these “orientation days” offers. It should not be forgotten that some events are mandatory.
Although the UTS is a very large university, it is easy to find your way around.
Various UTS courses can be credited at various universities. Before doing this, however, clarify which courses will be credited. In addition, the weighting of the credits must be pointed out. All courses count 6 Australian credits, which corresponds to 7. 5 ECTS. You should therefore pay attention to which courses you choose. My home university is the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
I have completed 24 Australian credits (4 subjects):
Fundamentals of Business Finance 25300 (highly recommended)
This course turned out to be very interesting and recommendable. It is credited as finance (6 ECTS) and elective (1. 5 ECTS) at the HSG. The lectures are quite interesting and the tutorials are especially worthwhile. The grade consists of three quizzes, a group work and the final exam. The regular assignments force you to learn the material. The assignments are very fair, which means that a very good grade is possible.
Intermediate Macroeconomics 23568 (neutral)
Certainly one of the more demanding courses at UTS. This course is credited as a macro (4 ECTS) and elective (3. 5 ECTS) at the HSG. The lectures were partly incomprehensible due to the language. The tutor Peter Wang is highly recommended and the tutorials should definitely be attended regularly. The grade consists of four quizzes and a final exam. Don’t underestimate the quizzes. For this, the exam at the end of the semester is appropriate and fair. A good grade can be achieved with a relatively large amount of effort.
Mathematics for Economics 23565 (highly recommended)
This course is characterized above all by fair grades. This course is counted as an elective area at the HSG. The grade is made up of five quizzes, only four of which count, and a final exam. The quizzes are easy to solve with little effort. The lectures aren’t really important or interesting. The exam at the end of the semester should not be taken lightly. However, good grades are possible with relatively little effort.
Transnational Management 21519 (not recommended)
By far the worst course in the UTS. This course is counted as a focus area at the HSG. Although the subject was very interesting, the lectures were kept boring. In addition, there is no connection between exercise and lecture. The instructor was not able to make the subject interesting. In addition, there was a lack of motivation. The grade consists of a group work, an essay and a final exam. The group work was partly fun. The aim of this assignment, however, was unclear. The essay involves a lot of effort and the questions are not well defined. However, the test was very appropriate and easy to solve. A good grade is possible with a lot of effort.
All in all, the workload can hardly be compared with that of the HSG. The workload during the semester at UTS is significantly higher. The stressful learning phase at the end of the semester is partially avoided. Most courses certainly contribute to a holistic education of the students. However, the workload varies significantly between the courses.
After much research I have decided to in Yura mudang live. The Yura Mudang is one of several “on-campus” apartments. It is right next to the UTS and the Central Station is only a few minutes away. In addition to the very good location, making social contacts is a great advantage. I have decided to live in a 6-share. I can recommend this to everyone. Each 6-share apartment has a large living area, two showers, two toilets and a large kitchen. The room itself is small, but it is completely sufficient. We recommend a visit to K-Mart (in the Broadway Mall) for bed linen and other useful living items. Fortunately, I was able to live with four Australians who were able to convey the Australian dialect and the way of life to me better. Unfortunately, not everyone was lucky with their roommates. You can’t choose your roommates.
Another advantage of the Yura Mudang or other “on-campus” apartments are the “social events”. Housing organizes a wide variety of events and activities, which are particularly recommended at the beginning. These include the “Coastal Walk” or sports activities such as football or badminton. In addition, you get free access to the fitness center, which is only 3 minutes away from Yura Mudang.
The roof-top of the Yura Mudang also offers various advantages. There are parties on the roof-top almost every Thursday. BBQ and other social events on the roof-top are also worth a visit. The UTS housing enables a smooth integration and facilitates the access to new people enormously.
Of course, there are also disadvantages such as the price. The Yura Mudang 6-share costs around 315 AUD per week, which is around 195 €. Due to the location, this price is reasonable, but you have to rent the apartment for 6 months. For this reason, housing is very expensive and there are definitely much cheaper “off-campus” apartments.
All in all, I highly recommend Yura Mudang. The entry into the new university was made a lot easier for me. I also made new international friends very quickly. Various activities immediately make you feel welcome. The sports activities were also a highlight for me personally.
Right from the start, it should be clear that Australia is an expensive country. How much money you need, however, varies significantly from person to person.
Especially at the beginning there are several unexpected costs. A mobile phone contract costs around AUD 100-150 for 6 months. In addition to the expensive apartment, food and leisure activities can also be very expensive. The nearby Woolworth in particular is expensive. It is therefore advisable to make larger purchases at Aldi. The food prices are comparable to those in Switzerland. For a week’s shopping you have to reckon with about 100-150 AUD. Dinner at one of the nearby Asian restaurants costs around AUD 10. The health insurance costs little compared to Switzerland. You pay around 300 AUD for the entire semester. An “OPAL Card” is required for public transport. This can be operated and charged very easily with an app. Certain credit cards can also be used to pay for public transport (this was possible with my N26).
Before I went to Australia, I also decided to order an N26 card. I highly recommend this one because it is easy to use and the exchange rates are very good. In addition, you don’t need an additional Australian bank account. Creating an N26 account is very easy and the card will be sent within a few days. In Australia it is common to pay for everything by credit card. Cash withdrawals are associated with relatively high fees, which is why they are only recommended in emergencies.
Costs for leisure activities
The costs of leisure activities should not be underestimated. Renting a surfboard and wetsuit costs around $ 30 for 2 hours. However, many activities are also free and there are various student discounts and winter specials.
Apps like “Spendee” are also recommended. All expenses can be recorded with this app. This way you don’t lose track of your finances.
In summary, Australia is expensive. You should definitely cook for yourself regularly, take advantage of many of the free activities and ask for student discounts. Part-time jobs are also an attractive option. The UTS supports you in finding a suitable job.
Sydney and Australia
After a few days, I fell in love with the city of Sydney. The megacity has a lot to offer. My personal highlight is the proximity to beautiful beaches, which invite you to swim and, above all, to surf. Surf lessons or the surf camp are definitely recommended. The beaches are almost empty, especially in winter. The Coastal Walk from Bondi to Coogee is also an absolute must. In addition, on a nice day you can take the ferry and go to Manly Beach.
Sydney is a very modern city. The skyscrapers are impressive and the famous Circular Quay with Harbor Bridge and Opera House are unforgettable. The botanical garden is also worth a visit. The many parks make Sydney a very liveable city. But the proximity to the Blue Mountains or the Royal National Park also speak for Sydney. Both national parks should definitely be visited on a nice day trip.
Nightlife in Sydney
But the nightlife in Sydney also has a lot to offer. In addition to clubs like IVY or Pontoon, there are countless bars in Newtown and Surry Hills. However, one should not forget that alcohol and cigarettes are incredibly expensive in Sydney.
Not to be forgotten are the seasons. A winter jacket is quite useful in July / August. Especially in the evenings it gets cold and the sun sets early. From September / October it gets warmer and warmer. 36 degrees in October are quite possible.
Since you have relatively few weekly hours at the university, day trips or weekend trips to explore Australia are always worthwhile. Melbourne should definitely be visited during the semester. A road trip to Jervis Bay is also highly recommended. The mid-break is also worthwhile for a longer trip. For us it was Fiji. But even after the semester there is still plenty of time to explore the whole country. Definitely recommended is the east coast with Fraser Island and Whitesundays.
Australia and Sydney have so much to offer. Everyone gets their money’s worth, regardless of whether they are enthusiastic about culture, nature or sports.
Overall assessment of the semester abroad
I can highly recommend the University of Technology and especially Sydney as a stay abroad. I was able to train and develop myself in a wide variety of ways. Just contact with other cultures I found extremely exciting and educational. In addition, the university has really liked me. With the help of the great support program at UTS, it is very easy to get to know people from all over the world. Not to be forgotten, of course, are my English skills, which have certainly improved. In addition, I was able to prove to myself that I am able to work successfully in a foreign language.
UTS also showed me how different universities can be. While the HSG relies on an exam, the UTS has a wide variety of assignments during the semester.
Life in a big city has certainly shaped me and shown me the advantages and disadvantages of a city of over a million people. The semester abroad has certainly developed a lot on a personal level. I would definitely do it again and will recommend it to everyone.