Doing my semester abroad in Melbourne was the very best decision I could have made! But first the organizational facts in advance…
As part of my course at the Karlsruhe University of Education, I had to spend a semester abroad. Since I was tempted to do this outside of Europe and the partner universities of my university only offered very manageable options for other continents, I decided to find a university myself as a “freemover”. I heard about MicroEDU from a friend. I wrote an email with no obligation and got an answer very quickly. The questions now: Where do you want to go? When? What do you study? I finally decided to go to Australia and with the help of one List of all partner universities of MicroEDU, I came across the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne (RMIT). The list was super helpful because it contained all the key data: start and end of semester, tuition fees (!!!), etc. Since my semester in Germany only ended in mid-February, some universities (such as Edith Cowan in Perth, apparently good for teaching) dropped out because I wouldn’t have made it to the introductory week in time.
So it was RMIT. I have to say, I chose RMIT not only because I was positively convinced of what I had read about the university itself, but also because the campus was in the city because the tuition fees were lower than, for example, at “ La Trobe ” were,…
I then applied there with the help of MicroEDU. I was told exactly what you would need to send my complete application to Melbourne. The whole process was relatively time-consuming, but in the end it worked out fine. See more student reviews of universities in Oceania on iamaccepted.
The choice of course also took some time, as many courses are only offered in semester 1 OR semester 2. There are also three campuses: City campus (DIRECTLY in the city), Brunswick Campus (approx. 20 min. By tram in one of the northern suburbs) and the Bundoora Campus (further away, I’ve never been there). So if you find a course you want to take that is held on the Bundoora campus, you have to take ALL other courses on that campus as well. Since I am actually studying primary school teaching and this would be the campus for teaching, I decided not to study teaching in Melbourne. So I got courses that more or less corresponded to my subjects in Germany (like History or Psychology), selected to be able to study at the City Campus.
My course selection was then sent to Melbourne via MicroEDU and checked there. However, courses can also be changed on site. Everything was settled with the university place.
Looking for an apartment… If it is possible for you, it is best to go there two weeks in advance and look for it on site. From Germany I haven’t found anything on facebook or gumtree or you just have no idea what is where and what could be a good offer and what not. Almost all of my fellow students came earlier and initially lived in an airbnb or in a hostel in order to be able to search on site. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that myself, as I had to take an exam two days before my departure. However, I also knew that for the first time I could find accommodation with an Australian friend and her family (they live about 70 km outside of Melbourne). And that was a good thing. A few days turned into four weeks!The apartment search was a disaster! If you want to do room sharing in the CBD, you will probably find something easier. But my ideas were initially: central, own room, with Australians and not too expensive. It quickly became clear – it won’t work. As in Germany, there are some homepages such as flatmatefinders or gumtree, but also a number of Facebook groups that make searching easier. Since the chance of getting an answer wasn’t that great, I finally posted a request to one of these groups (with a photo and description). Then an Australian wrote to me and invited me to visit. The price of the room was way above my budget, but I went anyway – and that was the best I could have done.great house, nice room and above all nice girl! A week later I moved in with her and it was great until I left.
There are an incredible number of exchange students at RMIT – but it’s also a big university. An extra introductory week was organized for us, in which a lot was explained and shown to us. You also get to know many other students from all over the world during this week, which was definitely the beginning of many new friendships for me. I felt that I was in good hands during the entire semester and would without a doubt recommend it to everyone. The university also offers many clubs and courses, such as the outdoor club, football (really big in Australia! However, the Australian variant), gardening, dancing, really EVERYTHING.
I did a lot in my free time. I wanted to see as much as possible in the time I had in and around Melbourne. Camping trips on the Great Ocean Road or in national parks or simply drinking coffee in different suburbs in Melbourne – Victoria has a lot to offer. And Melbourne has been named the most liveable city in the world for six years – a wonderful city (with the most beautiful cafes and the best coffees in the world).
Conclusion: In 6.5 months I not only built a new, great life in Melbourne and seen a lot of Victoria, I was also able to travel the west and east coast and spend a few days in the outback. I had a great time that enriched me so much personally and I can recommend everyone to take the plunge into the deep end. It is worth it!