Hey there guys, it’s Dee again.
If you don’t already know that by now, I did a study abroad in Australia and graduated from university a few months ago. I know that going abroad is a quite a thing right now so I wanted to share my study abroad experiences and tips with you. There is heaps to tell, so I’m planning to do a series about studying abroad. There will probably be a new study abroad part every first Wednesday of a month so if you are interested then check it out regularly. Now let’s get into it.
First things first, studying abroad was definitely not some ‘I chilled all day at the beach and enjoyed the weather‘ kind of experience but rather a ‘I worked my ass off to make this happen‘ kind of one. Don’t get me wrong, the weather was incredible and I learned so much about the country and the people but most of all I got lo learn about myself. BUT you actually have to do a lot to get these experiences. So if you think that this is some fun holiday for a few months, a year or whatever than you are totally wrong and you shouldn’t do it!
But let’s start at the beginning of my story. My passion for OZ started way back when I was a child. There were many Australian series for children on TV and also some from New Zealand and I always said that I wanted to live there some day which is really odd for an eight year old child I got to admit. I was also extremely interested in languages, especially English. I was always excited about my English homework and had that little scrapbook that I continued to fill. However the first real chance I had to go abroad was almost 10 years later when I did my Abitur (which is equivalent to class 12) when we were obliged to do an internship abroad. It was obligatory for my class as we were some kind of language class I’d probably say. Nevermind, so unfortunately the internships offered were restricted to Europe. Therefore I decided to go to Ireland which was the best choice at that time. I mean at least I got to speak English, right?
After I got my Abitur in Germany (graduated from class 12) I started to study International Business and Management at University. Economics and English are quite my thing. This course included a study abroad programme which I was really excited about. So that’s actually how it all started.
We were obliged to do a study abroad for 12 months (I’m not saying semester or session because I now there are different terms in different countries). My course is based on four years, so we could either decide to go in the third or fourth year. I decided to go abroad in my fourth year of study because it was just more convenient for me.
Why do I want to go?
You need to have the right intensions. This is not work and travel so you won’t actually have a lot of time to travel. It’s study abroad, which basically means you are being educated in a foreign country and I find that it’s worth it. Studying is time-consuming that’s no secret but considering the foreign language and the different education system as well as academic research and writing, it is even more intense. Like I said don’t go if you are only into fun, go because you want to learn something and get experience. Be prepared to learn after uni for hours, write assignments, reading books and prep for exams. It’s hard work, let me tell you!
Where to go ..
.. that was the question, not really one for me though. Australia has always been on my mind. It was clear for me right from the start that I wanted to go there. I wanted this more than anything but it was a hard way to really make this happen. When you choose your destination you should think of a place where you always wanted to go or where you love to be and can imagine yourself living there. But you also need to consider safety issues and the political situation as well. Like I said it’s not just pleasure. Think about living costs, exchange rates, culture and religion. Keep in mind that there might be a long distance to overcome. You can’t go back and forth between your ‘old‘ home and ‘new‘ home as flights can be extremely expensive depending on the distance. Therefore no Christmas or birthdays with family and friends which can be hard for some people. I know in times of skype, whatsapp and all that stuff it can seem irrelevant but you’ll get homesick at some point. Of course the distance is closely connected with the question of how long you want to go abroad. Three months are easy, six still alright to handle but 12 months can cause some loneliness, just saying. I know that a few things depend on your personality and your background but believe me you need to take all of this into consideration!
Going with a mate or alone?
That is such an important question. I did not go alone as some of you know. My better half Kim joined me on this exciting journey. We met while studying, became instantly friends and became even closer over the years, she is also my partner in crime. I do think it’s really great to have someone by your side that knows you, shares your feelings and supports you no matter what. You can share an apartment, costs and experiences. Of course you can share these things also with friends you meet abroad but I’m honestly that kind of person that doesn’t want to live with completely strangers. You never know if they are partying all the time, or maybe they steal or are simply messy. I’m just not that type. The living costs in Australia are pretty high so you actually need to live in a shared accommodation one way or another. Not going alone on this adventure was definitely the best decision for me as it made so many things easier.
What do I wanna do? What are my goals?
You need to know what your options are. There are basically three options and they do depend on how much time and money you want to invest. The first option is to do just a few units which is fine but I actually wanted to graduate in the chosen country which leads me to the second option which is completing the bachelor and that is the option I picked. Obviously you can’t complete a degree within a year except you studied before and you are granted advanced standing. As I told you before, I already studied for three years in Germany therefore I was eligible for advanced standing (even 16 units) and was allowed to complete the Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management within a year which is insane. Of course you can also complete the bachelor degree regularly which means three years of studying but remember that studying abroad can cost heaps of money so I probably wouldn’t recommended that. The third option is to do the master degree which obviously requires you to have a bachelor degree first, which I didn’t had at that time and therefore this option was not interesting for me. Just to sum it up, you can either do your master, bachelor or just units.
There is so much more to share with you guys so stay tuned for the second part which will be all around the organisation of a study abroad. If you have any further questions regarding studying abroad feel free to use the comment section down below.
Lots of love and remember to conquer the world!!