Overall, the university is very well organized. The university offers a free airport pick-up service for international students, for which a completed form must be submitted at least five days in advance.
During the introductory week, everything organizational and paperwork is done, as well as an introductory program organized by other students with icebreaker games, ice cream and BBQ. In addition to the campus tour, a city day tour is also offered on a separate day for ten euros, where you visit the Cultural Village and the Waterfront as a group. At the beginning of the semester there is a club recruitment day where clubs introduce themselves and recruit new members. There are definitely about 20 clubs and sports, language, engagement, theater there is something for every taste. The cost of membership is around two euros for a full semester. The clubs are great for meeting local like-minded people who can give you good tips on studying and general recommendations for the city. I had joined the rowing club and we would meet once a week on Saturday mornings for training and then we would have lunch together.
The lectures on business courses in the Bachelor’s degree take place in a class size of around 20 to 40 people, with local and foreign students together. You have two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per module per week. There is a compulsory attendance of at least 80 percent, otherwise your student visa will be withdrawn. Studying is associated with a lot of hard work. I had to hand in nine assignments during the semester, three of which were group assignments. There were also four presentations and at the end two more exams. The work is not difficult, but it takes a lot of time. The university provides work and computer rooms that are open around the clock, so you can stay there all night. The lecturers are very helpful, e-mails are usually answered directly and they take time for personal discussions.
Housing and lodging
Like almost all European and Australian exchange students, I stayed at the Riverine Resort. I made contact with Christina and Sue via Facebook. Of course, she likes it if you contact me several weeks in advance so that she can plan, but even if you show up on the same day of arrival as I do, it was no problem to get a room. The apartment, consisting of bedrooms with air conditioning, living room, kitchen, laundry room, balcony and bathroom is shared with one to three others. Christina makes sure that the same sexes live together as much as possible. The rent for a room is between 190 and 280 euros per month, depending on the size of the room.
Note: The rent for the entire period of accommodation and deposit is paid at the time of moving in. You can pay by credit card or in cash (euros are also accepted). The residential complex is located near the waterfront with many surrounding bars and restaurants. In the residential complex there is a swimming pool with whirlpool, a gym and a sauna, which are freely available to all residents. You feel very safe in the Riverine because the complex is guarded around the clock with several security guards and you can only enter with an access card. A small disadvantage is that the location of the Riverines is quite far away from the university. It makes sense to rent a scooter, which costs around 60 to 70 euros a month, plus gasoline. Christina also rents out scooters, since I was one of the last to arrive, she didn’t have any more available and I found a scooter on the Facebook group “Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus”, which also has advertisements for apartments. Otherwise you can just dig a grave every day (Equivalent to Uber), which costs about 1.80 euros for the way to the university, but which you can share if you drive together with several people.
Housing alternatives: hostel on the university campus or hybrid
Borneo has a lot to offer in terms of landscape. The Bako National Park attracts many tourists for good reason: You can go hiking and enjoy nature. Wildlife such as proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs and macaques can also be seen in the national park (be careful here, because the little monkeys steal food). The Cuba National Park is better known by locals, where you can also go hiking and at the end of the route you will be rewarded with a waterfall in which you can swim. Kuching translates as “cat” so the city also has a cat museum, which is well worth a visit. In the evening you can walk along the waterfront,
Country and people
Temperatures are around 30 to 35 degrees all year round and it’s quite humid. But you get used to it after about two weeks. From November to January it is monsoon season and there are heavy rain and thunderstorms almost every day. At the time, one should be very careful when riding a scooter. In buildings, including at the university, there is a lot of air conditioning, sometimes down to 16 degrees. The locals are very friendly and you get involved in small talk a lot. If you also look foreign, you will also be asked for a photo. The younger locals tend to be shy and stay in their clique. If you want to get to know them, you have to take initiative and speak to them yourself.
- Learn more information about the country of Malaysia and continent of Asia on educationvv.
Malaysia is a good place to get to know different cultures, as the majority of the population consists of Malays, Chinese and Indians. Since most of the people speak English there, it is easy to get by and it is well suited for “beginner travelers”. Swinburne is a well-organized university, but it takes a long time to study. Since the semester ends earlier than in Germany, you have enough time afterwards to travel relaxed. Due to the many homework and the communication during my studies and everyday life, my English has improved significantly, especially in my vocabulary. I can aHighly recommend a semester abroad at Swinburne in Malaysia.