A semester abroad is planned as part of the dual degree course in logistics management at the European University of Applied Sciences. I decided to spend this semester abroad at James Cook University in Singapore. This international university is headquartered in Australia and has a branch in Singapore.
I made a conscious decision to go to Singapore in order to take advantage of the opportunities for international encounters with students in one of the world’s most important trading centers. In the field of logistics in particular, it is important to get to know different economic areas with their specific goods traffic in addition to language skills and cultural peculiarities. The James Cook University campus in Singapore not only offers business management courses, but also other subjects such as psychology, education, tourism and marketing. This means that you can use the opportunity not only to get to know other nationalities, but also to learn something about related disciplines that may not be taught at your home university.
The organization MicroEDU provided the contact to James Cook University. In cooperation with the International Office of the European University of Applied Sciences, this organization organizes several information events on the semester abroad in order to prepare students for their semester abroad. Contact was established in the first semester. In addition to James Cook University in Singapore, MicroEDU has other universities in America, Southeast Asia and Australia in its repertoire. In the summer of 2015, after extensive research, I applied to James Cook University in Singapore via MicroEDU. The application forms were completed under the guidance of MicroEDU and sent to James Cook University through this organization. If you have any questions about the application process or choice of courses etc. you could count on the advice of MicroEDU.
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Almost four months before the start of the semester in Singapore, I received the acceptance from MicroEDU. From this point on, the planning of the semester abroad was intensively occupied. In addition to the insurance through the university abroad, an international insurance was also taken out in order to close the insurance gaps. Vaccinations were carried out for the planned trips to neighboring countries. A new Visa card was also taken care of, which does not incur any fees for transactions abroad. The Barclaycard is recommended here. In addition, various documents such as a birth certificate in English, language certificates had to befrom the home university, certified transcript etc. are sent to the university abroad. This information was also obtained from MicroEDU.
Regarding the accommodation you should look for a room on site. In Singapore in particular, the property should be viewed in person and not beforehand via the Internet, as the online advertisements often do not correspond to reality. During the orientation week, the international university organizes a viewing appointment for several apartments. In addition to this offer, you should go looking for an apartment on your own. Very good accommodations can be found on the Airbnb and Room Buddies websites. Basically, you should be prepared for the fact that rents are much more expensive than in Germany. Depending on the accommodation, these are between € 500 and € 800 per month.
In the orientation week, the final formalities such as applying for a visa, changing courses, student ID, etc. are clarified. The Student Service supports the exchange students. In addition, there are several information events, on the one hand to get to know the James Cook University better and on the other hand to exchange ideas with other international students.
The semester schedule looks like this: In addition to the four lecture subjects, it is compulsory to attend the tutorials. These are very helpful for the upcoming term papers, presentations, midterm exams or final exams. The textbooks serve as preparation. These can either be borrowed from the library or purchased cheaply as secondhand items via a Facebook group “Exchange Textbooks”. The exams can also be passed without these aids if you prepare for the exams in good time. Because the learning curve and the number of exams should not be underestimated.
Nevertheless, there is also enough time to travel. In addition to the attractions in Singapore itself (Sentosa, Marina Bay Hotel, Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay, Bird Park, Night Safari, Botanic Garden, Chinatown, etc.) you can quickly reach all of Southeast Asia. During my semester abroad I have been to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines several times. These trips showed me the cultural differences and the different mentalities. I don’t want to miss this experience and therefore recommend organizing the semester abroad in Singapore via MicroEDU.