In the summer semester of 2016, I spent my semester abroad at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak in Kuching, Malaysia. First of all, I can say that it was the best decision for me to go to Kuching because it was an incredibly great time that I will never forget.
But let’s start at the beginning. The entire application process ran through MicroEDU in Münster, as Swinburne is not a direct partner university of the Münster University of Applied Sciences. During the entire application phase, I felt very well looked after and everything went smoothly. I was always able to contact MicroEDU with any questions about the application or the payment process for the tuition fees and they always helped me quickly and successfully. During my stay I had no contact with the organization, but that was just because I had no problems, which is why I should have contacted CC. All in all, I have to say that I was extremely satisfied with the support and with my supervisor Sabine Jakobs especially. You always felt that you were in good hands.
Once I arrived in Kuching, the MBA program that I took there for one semester began very quickly. The MBA course is divided into two terms per semester, each lasting 6 weeks. Between the terms you have 3-5 weeks off (depends on how the exams are located), which can be used excellently for traveling;)
I had to take two courses per term, which took place in the evening or on the weekend. In terms of study effort, all of this was within the framework and was feasible in the given time. And in between you could also take a weekend trip. Most of the professors were very friendly and flexible. If you couldn’t quite meet a deadline, it was usually no problem at all to get a two-day extension.
The studentHQ is available for all organizational questions such as visas or student registration. The service was always very good and I received my student visa within the first week at university.
The studentHQ would also take care of organizing on-campus housing for exchange students, which I would personally advise against. I myself lived in the “Riverine Condominiums”. These are three-room apartments with a balcony, kitchen, washing machine and living room. The complex also offers a pool, a gym and has guards who are there around the clock. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the university by scooter, but the apartments are quite close to the waterfront and most of the bars can be easily reached on foot, which was particularly useful on weekends.
- Learn more information about the country of Malaysia and continent of Asia on andyeducation.
You can either rent the whole apartment or a room and the landlord will then put together a flat share. The Riverine Apartments are a bit more expensive compared to other housing options (500-1000 ringgit, depending on the size of the room), but the apartments are very large and modern and the location cannot be denied.
If you want to live closer to the university, you can have a look at the “Citadines” apartments. These are one to two-room apartments in a hotel that can be rented and are approx. 300m away from the university. Unfortunately, I do not have any precise information about the prices and the equipment.
However, whether close to the university or a little further away, I would recommend everyone to rent a car or a scooter, otherwise you won’t get around much in Kuching. There is no public transport and unfortunately not everything can be reached on foot.
Kuching is not a big city and accordingly does not have an outstanding nightlife with many possibilities. But there are a handful of bars and clubs, most of which were well attended by the students. There are also numerous great restaurants with Western and local cuisine, which is why I would recommend everyone to explore the city as much as possible and to try several restaurants. There are enough opportunities for shopping and the city also has cinemas and bowling centers.
As nice as the apartment was, the food or the time I had to travel, the best part of my entire stay were the people. On the one hand, the friendly and helpful Malay people you encountered in everyday life, and on the other hand, the students at the university. The university offers a colorful mix of Malays, Saudis, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Kazakhs, Chinese and many other nations. During the whole time I got to know so many great people, whom I miss very much now, but who made this whole experience something very special.