Swinburne University of Technology
Australia was the first country that came to my mind when I wanted to apply for my semester abroad. For most Europeans, Australia is a dream destination as the ecosystem and life are completely different and super interesting there.
I was introduced to College Contact as an agency to help with my document, the process went through super quickly and I got my decision right after paying for the tuition fees and completing the application. I handled the visa process on my own as I returned to Vietnam for a holiday trip but fortunately, it also went fast, and I got my visa within 3 days. The thing that I struggle the most is finding accommodation at a reasonable price in Melbourne, as this is one of the most expensive cities in Australia. I landed a flat for around AUD 200/ week but after arriving there, I changed to another flat that was only AUD 185/ week, and it is located right in the city center. The key to finding a flat in Melbourne is to always do an inspection beforehand, as the flat quality overall is not too high in Australia. One of the good sites to find flats in Melbourne is flatmate.au and Facebook page.
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Swinburne University of Technology was very supportive of not only my study but also my flat-finding journey. The university has several student supports services and you can always come to ask them for advice at any time. At the university, professors will try to bring jobs and internship opportunities to you as many as possible. You can find many internships and jobs if you want to stay longer at the Career office or through professors. In my case, since I was not planning to stay longer, I decided to work for a coffee shop as a second income for my staying there. Needless to say, it was very easy to get a part-time job there as I got mine within 2 weeks of arriving. The tip is to call or show up directly at the coffee shop and hand out your resume so you can start working and earning money immediately.
The choices of courses at Swinburne are huge and as long as your home university agrees to take the courses, you can choose them. You will experience studying with a lot of students coming from different continents and different study backgrounds. The professors are mostly Australian and some of them are alumni of Swinburne. Most professors have large network connections in the field of teaching, so it is always good to connect with them and find out more about the opportunities. The grading system is a bit different from Germany, and usually, you can only get the maximum point (HD) if your paper is qualified as the next level of education (For example I am a Master’s student and if my paper is as good as a Ph.D. one, I will get a maximum point).
In my free time, there are a lot of options to do in Melbourne. Melbourne is known as a multicultural place and the restaurants are diverse here. One average eating meal costs around AUD25/ person and could usually cost more if you go on holiday or weekend or when you pay with cards. Apart from that, the food is amazing, and you can basically find food from all over the world. The average price of cocktails and drinks here is also a little bit expensive. It is around AUD 20-25 for a cocktail. If you are looking for a great experience and cheap beer, the Workers Club in Melbourne offers AUD 8 for a jug on Monday with an amazing atmosphere and good music.
One of the most famous destinations to go to on the weekend is Wilsons Prom for camping and Great Ocean Road for a road trip. The best thing about university in Australia is there are multiple clubs where you can join and do things together. I was a member of Swinburne explorer where we do trips and different activities together. We went to Great Ocean Road and the final costs were super cheap since we travel by car and share the fuel price. It is always easier to move around in Australia with a car, but you have to get used to driving on the left. The travel ticket inside Melbourne is around AUD 150/ month for the unlimited ride, but it goes around the Great Melbourne area, and you can reach out everywhere with the tram system.
Overall, you will spend around AUD1000-1500/ month while living in Melbourne. It really depends on your housing and the number of leisure activities; however, the city is definitely not for those who are struggling with finance and there are usually a lot of expenses. You can expect a part-time job and some opportunities coming from the university, but it is always good to be financially prepared before coming there.