Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus (11)

The semester in Kuching was my second stay abroad, which was arranged or organized by MicroEDU. As last time, the application process was again very easy and you could always count on Rebekka if you had any questions. Put simply, you have to fill out an application form and provide proof of grades. Choosing a course in advance is a bit difficult, as it is not exactly clear which courses are actually offered on site in the term. However, this is not a problem, as the actual course selection only takes place in Kuching during the orientation week. As an MBA student, it was very easy to get into your desired subjects, but I got bachelor’s students heard that it works according to the “first come, first served” principle and should therefore enter your rates online as quickly as possible in the “Allocate +” platform. You get an explanation when you enroll and there are lots of nice, local fellow students everywhere who are more than willing to help you.

My first term was Leadership for Innovation and International Trade and Investment. The third module I could have chosen was corporate finance. Leadership was very interactive and local and international were well mixed in groups. But trade and investment was in frontal format. In the second term we had a choice of four modules: Business Strategy, Behavior in Organizations, Marketing and another one that I unfortunately don’t remember. I chose the first two modules because there was no written exam there has been. This is also a great tip that I can give you if you want to travel a lot, as you can save yourself the two-week exam phase at the end of the term. See more student reviews of universities in Asia on toppharmacyschools.

In the end, I had three weeks of lectures, one week off, three weeks off at university, five weeks off (term break) and then the same game again. The courses themselves always take place in the evenings and on Saturdays, which means that with two modules you have 12 hours of lectures and you can miss a maximum of 2x per subject because of the 80% attendance requirement. Before each break, you had to hand in at least one term paper or give a group presentation. In my opinion, however, the requirements were easy to meet if you worked hard for a few days. I preferred to sit in my apartment for a few days in Kuching than sacrifice potential travel days.

Living

When it comes to living, there are two well-known options for internationals: move to the Riverine Apartments via Christina or to houses near the university via Joseph. I myself decided on Christina because I was always free during the day and found the pool and fitness room very tempting. You have to say, however, that I lived with two Germans and otherwise mostly Danes and Australians stay with Christina. Friends of mine spent their semester with Joseph and he too is apparently super personable and the shared apartments do a lot together. It’s a little cheaper there and the cultures are probably a bit more mixed.

You can rent scooters at both accommodations and cost around 200-250 euros with a scooter. Renting a scooter is of course not a must (this makes it 70 euros cheaper), but it is a lot of fun. I’ve never sat on one myself before, but I managed it without an accident and over time you get used to it. If you don’t feel safe, you can always call a Grab driver, which we always had to do when it rained. Because when it rains, scooter driving is not only unpleasant, but also dangerous because the tires are simply too narrow and you can slip away very quickly. If you still pack a poncho, you will soon be part of the local scooter community. Drivers are so used to being really to take care of scooters and really get around safely.

In Kuching you can find your way around quickly and you can easily cover a few stretches on foot. My absolute favorite restaurants were Borneo Delight and Ceylonese (best Indian food). To leave everyone ends up at the Monkey Bar, where you can get cheap beer and shisha.

Trips

We also made excursions with the scooter to the Cultural Village (cool thing – be sure to ask about the student discount), Mount Santubong, or something similar. Other absolute must-see excursions around Kuching are Semenggoh (semi-wild orangutans), Bako National Park (definitely with overnight stay and night hike) and those who are interested in plants should keep up to date with Lundu to see a rafflesia. For more cool trips, search for Brandon and Tanti on Google and go on a dolphin tour. As soon as you know them two, you can go on the coolest trips for little money.

Otherwise, the Mulu National Park is a real highlight in the middle of the jungle and you can then go to Miri and Brunei. If you have a longer time off and want to get out of Kuching, I advise you to look at the AirAsia Pass. For 100 euros you get 10 points and can redeem the points within 30 days (for example from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur is 1 point or to Singapore; for 3 points you can also go to Penang). You can get to other places very quickly, but should always find out about the security situation from local friends. For example, you shouldn’t go to the east of Sabah (ESS zone), as tourists are often kidnapped there. We were also advised not to fly to Cambodia because there were elections there at the planned time. Even if that sounds scary at first, I’ve always felt safe in Asia. You stand out clearly and have to be ready for a lot of selfies, but the people greet you with such warmth that you can only feel comfortable.

Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus 11

About the author