Carolin Schröer spent the past weeks in Australia. She is a student of Journalism & Business Communication at BiTS and talked to Extra-Tipp am Sonntag about her time Down Under. This is her story.
Born in Viersen, Carolin Schröer is 20 years old and a student at "Business and Information Technology School" (BiTS) in Iserlohn where she is enrolled in the Journalism & Business Communication program. She is currently spending her semester abroad in Melbourne. An article about her experiences in Australia was published in Extra-Tipp titled "Mein Melbourne".
Before starting my semester abroad at Victoria University in Melbourne, I decided to spend some vacation time with two of my friends. The first days in Melbourne turned out to be very busy and we spent most of our time apartment hunting and at "Orientation Day" at the University.
We had planned to move into a student dorm, but we changed our minds when we saw the bathroom which definitely needed to be renovated. We decided to look for an alternative. It did not take long for us to find something on the internet and we arranged for an appointment to take a look at the apartment.
The landlord showed us the place which was in walking distance to the university campus. It had four bedrooms and a kitchen with a washing machine. It looked great, the rent was reasonable and we decided to take it. The funny thing was that the easy going Australian guy did not ask for a rental agreement. He wanted me to pay the rent and security deposit in cash and in return he offered me a handwritten receipt. I explained to him that rental agreements are a standard procedure in Germany. He laughed, sat down at the desk and wrote on a piece of paper that I would be the tenant for the next 4 months. After four days in Melbourne we drove to Sydney. In my opinion it is the most beautiful city in the world. The weather was great and the sun was shining. We spent six days visiting the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanical Garden, we went to the Torango Zoo, Mainly Beach, Boni Beach and we und stayed in the Blue Mountains for another day. In the middle of the jungle we even met a German girl from Remscheid.
Unfortunately our arrival in Sydney did at first not live up to our expectations. The hostel room was dirty, there were bugs on the windows and the door lock was broken. We did not book an "Open house" and refused to take the room. We got the money back and started looking for another place to stay. The search turned out to be difficult. We started looking on the Internet and found an apartment a little outside of the city. Instead of staying at a dirty place, we ended up sleeping in a beautifully furnished apartment with an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a small gym.
We flew back to Melbourne on Thursday night. Together with the other Study Abroad students we went on an "Orientation Trip" to the Great Ocean Road, one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. The schedule included surfing, hiking, playing AFL, food and drinks. On the last day we took a bus to the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. This was a great chance to meet a lot of new and interesting people.
The following day was the first day of the school semester. As a student at BiTS in Iserlohn I was used to a family-like atmosphere on campus, but at Victoria University everything was much bigger and more impersonal. It takes a while to adjust, but the journalism program is fantastic. It has already been three weeks and time flies. The Australians welcomed me with open arms and I never felt homesick. Together with the other students we gain experiences that we will never forget. Since the courses started it does not feel like I am on vacation anymore, although there is so much to see in Melbourne. It is impossible to be bored.