I received a lot of help from MicroEDU in organizing the semester abroad in Malaysia. Sabine replied quickly and competently by email to instructions on how to fill out the application form and to all other questions. This made everything a lot easier and the rest of the organization went pretty smoothly. As of next semester, there will no longer be a medical check in Germany for the final “student visa” in Malaysia. Thanks to numerous suggestions and Sabine’s commitment at Swinburne University this was made easier last semester. You save a lot of money on unnecessary tests and private visits to the doctor. All you need are some vaccinations and a valid passport, which is also valid for more than 6 months, for everyone who wants to travel on after the semester abroad (some of my fellow students therefore had a problem and had to get a new passport at the German embassy in Apply for Kuala Lumpur). I only got vaccinated against hepatitis A + B and typhoid. I also had my tetanus refreshed again…
I had taken four subjects in business, the following: Organization and Management, Entrepreneurship & Social Responsibility, Leadership and Dynamics and South East Asia – Business Context. Some were more informative and exciting than others. However, if you are looking for top academic performance and challenges, you are wrong at this university when it comes to the “Business” department. Engineering is very demanding in comparison and can be compared with Germany. In addition, the business students have vacation (10 days), the so-called mid-semester breaks, where many take the first opportunity to travel and visit West Malaysia, for example. About the professors: some are very ambitious, some are very difficult to understand (had a Chinese tutor who was barely to very difficult to understand). By and large, I didn’t learn much academically, as that wasn’t my focus either, but rather about the culture and the way to learn with others in groups, etc. In this sense, the type of study also differs considerably from Germany, at Swinburne there are group work, presentations, assignments every week, so that the final exams at the end of the semester only count up to a maximum of 50%. In addition, attendance is unfortunately compulsory at Swinburne, but you can be absent 2-3 times per subject without any problems. In this sense, the tutors are also very courteous, if you somehow want to have a long weekend or extend the mid-semester breaks, just talk to them and they usually have no problem with the absence. The university has very nice sides, such as the open canteen with a wide range of fresh juices and dishes, as well as the number of exchange students from all over the world. Furthermore, the relationship between student and tutor is very good, so you can always speak to a tutor personally if you have a concern, and the president of the university even greeted me by my first name, and that means a lot!The Swinburne attaches particular importance to feeling comfortable and having the feeling of a small family. The badly equipped and overcrowded library should be mentioned on the negative side, and the disorganization of the International Student Office at the end of the semester was very annoying, because you have to cancel your student visa at the end of the semester in order to get your deposited deposit back (around 850 €). A flight from Malaysia has to be presented for this, which was explained to me quite unclearly, because some of my friends were still planning to travel to West Malaysia after their semester abroad.
- Learn more information about the country of Malaysia and continent of Asia on thedressexplorer.
Many of the local students feel bored in Kuching, it is just a slightly smaller city for Asia with around 700,000 inhabitants. But Kuching is wonderful for an exchange semester, you feel at home, you have arrived and you quickly made contact with both other students and the locals on site. You usually go out to eat every day as it’s very cheap and I haven’t even cooked in my entire time in Kuching. The food at the beginning takes getting used to, especially if you eat pasta or rice for breakfast in the morning and that every day. If you don’t like that, you can buy muesli or something else in the supermarket (all quite expensive) and have breakfast at home. Speaking of accommodation: I can warmly recommend our landlord “Joseph Chuo” (on facebook), he and his wife Erica rent 3 houses (they are all close together), very much to German exchange students. He also has some apartments in “Chonglin Park”. All Joseph houses are furnished in a standard way, which means you have a room to yourself, a single or double bed with or without a wardrobe and a desk. You can also rent a room or a scooter from him on a daily basis without any problems, if you don’t like it. In any case, you are definitely not alone there, because he makes all his roommates known from the other houses and there are usually Germans there too. The room costs 19RM (around € 4.75) per day and the scooter 11RM (around € 2.75) per day. I was very lucky this semester, we were a very cool group and I made friends for life. Last semester, Joseph even offered us a kind of “internship” for the first time, where he told us a lot of useful things about “Investment and Financial” and motivated us to be interested in this area and gave us the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas. Thanks a lot for this! He and his wife also came by immediately with every concern and they always help, which was very helpful at the beginning. Last but not least, you will be picked up from the airport and I never felt alone at the time and arrived really well. Of course there are also other accommodations, sometimes very luxurious (like the Riverhine) where you have a small swimming pool and a large apartment in a kind of hotel complex. There you generally live further away from the university and are also somewhat isolated. Last semester, for example, 30 Danes lived there in one heap. On site you can get together with other students or exchange ideas with those where they live and look for something else.