I started preparing for my semester abroad 6 months before I started. The whole organization was relatively easy thanks to MicroEDU. The only problem was all the vaccinations and screening that was necessary. After consulting a tropical medicine doctor, I ended up having “only” been vaccinated against hepatitis (in addition to the typical German standard vaccinations such as typhoid, etc.). Some Germans I met there, however, were partially reimbursed for their vaccination costs (unfortunately, I am not insured with the AOK). The university also requires a medical check-up (for HIV, lung diseases and drugs). But you have to take this test in Malaysia at the university anyway, which is why you can save it in Germany if you are sure that you have nothing (drugs in your blood, HIV, etc.).
Visa was applied for through MicroEDU, as was the rest of the paperwork they did. All I had to do was take a DAAD test (free and easy to pass).
Almost everything is possible in terms of accommodation, from shared apartments to shared houses. Everything is also available in terms of price. I lived in a shared apartment in Chonglin Park. We had a 3-person flat share with 2 bathrooms, kitchen, cleaning lady twice a week and washing machine. I paid around 60 euros a month. I found the apartment through the university, which gave me a lot of support in my search. Chonglin Park is inhabited by many students and is about 2 kilometers from the university. A free school bus also runs several times a day, but it is advisable to rent a scooter (50-100 euros per month depending on the model) in order to be more mobile in Kuching, as there is almost no public transport here. Kuching itself has a population of 600,000 with everything you need to live. Modern malls, restaurants on every corner, Cinemas, bowling centers, etc. The waterfront is also highly recommended (especially at night). Clubs, bars and, of course, karaoke bars, which are typical for Asia, are a great way to celebrate. Unlike the rest of Asia such as eating / living, alcohol is alcohol and it is not much cheaper to party than here in Germany (Islamic country and therefore high taxes on alcohol).
The really nice thing about Kuching is more in the Kuching environment. The entire city is surrounded by jungle and rainforest. We have been to dozens of national parks, the beach is not far away and you have the opportunity to marvel at hot springs or see orangutans in the wild. It should also be mentioned that I never had problems with my stomach or eating (food courts and restaurants).
Probably the best part for me was traveling before, during and after the semester in Malaysia. Most of the time we flew AirAsia, because the price and service are simply unbeatable and 0 comparable to Germany (flights from 15 €). In Malaysia you have to go to Kuala Lumpur, an absolute cosmopolitan city (great for shopping and partying) and you should definitely see Lankawi and Georgetown. The second state of Malaysia on Borneo, Sabah, is also worthwhile (dream beaches and perfect for diving, seen everything from turtles to reefs and sharks). After the semester I was backpacking Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. You have met wonderful people and experienced an incredible amount. I can only recommend anyone who spends a semester in Malaysia to do a tour like this at the end (definitely to Laos !!!!). Traveling is also very cheap. For example, there is a night in the dorm for as little as one euro, but sometimes I have also stayed in hotels for 4 euros a night. I could never complain about cleanliness or the like (maybe pack earplugs for dorms).
- Learn more information about the country of Malaysia and continent of Asia on iamaccepted.
In general you can experience almost everything imaginable in terms of activities in Asia. I’ve been mountain biking, river rafting, canoeing, tubing in Laos, pub crawls, diving, hiking, and partying a lot (beach parties on Koh Tao, clubs in Bangkok, etc.).
The university is by far bigger than my university in Germany and it’s easy to get lost at the beginning;). The equipment is top notch, there are numerous computers that you can use. The library is also adequately stocked. The cafeteria also attracts with numerous stands and selection options, so the perfect place to get into conversation with other students and to get to know one of the numerous cultures represented better. At Swinburne I met students from almost all parts of the world. The difficulty of the subjects is far easier in the subjects that are intended for the 2nd year than in Germany, but I also had a subject from last year (was the only international one) and that was extremely tough (Finance Law). In general, the workload is more. I had to write an assignment in almost every subject, give a presentation and a final exam at the end of the semester. The course sizes were perfect for this (maximum 30 people). I had taken business courses (Finance Law, Finance, Human Resource Management and International Marketing).
In conclusion, I can only say that my semester abroad was a wonderful time and I can only recommend everyone to go to Malaysia and study there and get to know this wonderful culture and hospitality.