I am studying Marketing and International Business at the University of Applied Sciences in Koblenz. As part of my bachelor’s degree, I was allowed to spend a semester abroad. So I completed my fifth semester at Swinburne University of Technology on the Sarawak Campus in Kuching.
You should decide early enough where you want to go. I had some difficulties in making a decision beforehand. Personally, I wanted to go to an English-speaking country so that I could improve my English. Although I chose Spanish courses at the university and took all three, Latin America or Spain didn’t appeal to me that much. So my first decision was Australia. Since our university unfortunately only has very few partner universities in Australia and these only take on a very small number of students, I was aware from the beginning that I would apply as a freemover. Well, as a free mover you have to try to find a university yourself, as well as choosing a course and calculating the ECTS points. But of course you don’t stand there all by yourself. Thanks to organizations like MicroEDU, I was granted my endeavor after all. The organization will help you with the overview of the finances as well as an overview of the study programs and the respective courses and of course the website of the college or university is also indicated. To make it easier for me to choose the right university, I made a list so that I had all the finances and courses at a glance. In the end, Swinburne University in Melbourne appealed to me very much. However, this plan had some problems. Firstly, the tuition fees are very high in Australia, but also the cost of living. Furthermore, our professors always encourage us to break new ground and not follow the ‘mainstream’. When I spoke to Ms. Rana at the time, she said to me that it would be better if I opt for a more exotic country.
After this conversation, I began to have doubts about my decision, the fact that so many people choose Australia and the high costs on top of that made me rethink. I looked again at the list of colleges on MicroEDU. Having only taken Ms. Rana’s advice to heart, I looked for universities in Asia. I found out by accident that Swinburne University also has an overseas campus in Malaysiawould have. Here, too, MicroEDU helped me with their free advice and informed me about the costs. I was also able to read some testimonials in advance and gain first impressions. The decisive reasons why I ultimately decided on the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus were, on the one hand, the significantly lower costs and also the lower cost of living in Asia, and the fact that this university gave me the opportunity to study the Asian To explore and experience culture as well as the Australian standard of learning was given. After I had finally made up my mind and was completely satisfied with this decision, I asked Ms. Sabine Jakobs, the MicroEDU advisor in charge of Asia, to help me apply.
The preparation in Germany
First of all, MicroEDU sent me the important enrollment documents. Ms. Jakobs was always at my side with advice if I had problems or difficulties with the forms. I was told beforehand that bureaucratic work in Asia and Malaysia always takes a little longer, so I shouldn’t be surprised if it takes longer before I hear about the university. After I had completely filled out the forms and documents and had collected all other necessary documents, such as certified certificates or passport photos, I sent them to Ms. Jakobs. MicroEDU will forward the application and enrollment forms after they have been corrected for errors. Through Ms. Jakobs, I also learned that I don’t have to apply for a visa first,
Next, it was very important to clarify the financing. The website of the responsible Auslandsbafög- Office of the Studentenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim in Tübingen, was able to give me an exact overview of the required forms and documents. It is very important to apply for student loans as early as possible, as the respective authorities need up to 6 months to process the applications. In addition, you often have to submit documents later. Even if you have not yet received a secure acceptance from the university abroad, you should apply for the Bafög grants. This was actually the most time-consuming and cumbersome occupation and preparation that dragged on for me until shortly before my flight in February. From the responsible website http://www.my-stuwe.de/ I knew that I was being supported with regard to tuition fees and flight costs. It should be noted
Another important preparation step is the submission of the learning agreement here at our university. The document clarifies how many courses and, above all, which courses can be taken so that the ECTS points are recognized in the end. In order to clarify this, I had to choose a few courses that I wanted to take. The courses are described in detail on the Swinburne website and an insight into the learning objectives is given. You should choose about 10 to 12 courses to be on the safe side. Since Swinburne University has no ECTS points but everything is given in credit points, I had to take care of the conversion table myself. Fortunately, MicroEDU was able to help me and explain how many credit points I need to get my 30 ECTS points. More precisely, are 12.5 credit points, the number of points for a course is 7.5 ECTS points. So I had to take a total of 4 courses to get my semester abroad recognized. After I had decided on the 10 possible courses, I had to clarify this with Ms. Rana, who then signed my learning agreement first. There was then a second comparison with Prof. Dr. Crept.
Another preparatory measure to think about is the question of money. How do I get my money abroad? Should I only take Euros with me and exchange them or withdraw with my credit card despite the high international fees. I have also dealt with these questions and made myself smart on the Internet. This is how I found Deutsche Kredit Bank – DKB. These offer great deals for students who want to go abroad. But even here I recommend that you take care of it early enough, because this also takes time. I then decided to apply for a new DKB credit card and a current account. With this credit card you can withdraw money from any ATM abroad free of charge. See more student reviews of universities in Asia on educationvv.
Depending on where you are going abroad, you may still have to take care of a few vaccinations, and of course the international insurance is even more important. Here, too, you get grants from the foreign student loan.
Once you have taken care of all these little things, you of course have to look for accommodation. This can either be done locally or from Germany. I found possible accommodation through the reviews on MicroEDU. I then wrote to the landlord via Facebook and had pictures sent to me so that I could get an idea. Mr. Joseph Chuo, the landlord, offered his tenants a room for 19 RM and also a scooter for 11 RM to be independent in the city. https://www.facebook.com/joechuohousing?fref=ts
Of course, there were also so-called campus hostels on campus. However, Ms. Jakobs from MicroEDU advised us to avoid this, as the house rules are very strict and most European students did not feel comfortable with them. I decided to wait and get a more detailed picture of the location so that I could find permanent accommodation later. So my girlfriend and I booked myself into a hostel for the first week, right on the waterfront, in the city center.