Hi Australia, hi Sydney, hi International College of Management, this is me – Olivia – music management student at MHMK in Berlin.
My first month in Australia is nearly over and there happened so much. First the travel over the beautiful, huge airport in Singapore – guys if you want to have an airport you can spend 7 hours waiting time easily, fly over Singapore – the searching of a room, as I do not live on campus, the start at ICMS with O-Week (Orientation-Week), starting of the term and visits to the city.
First some information about the housing in Sydney. It is easy to apply for the on campus housing, but unfortunately the amount of beds for MHMK students are limited. I decided before that I do not want to apply for on campus housing. There is no possibility to cook, which for me is really important and also I wanted to have my own private room, not shared with others. But if you think this is not that important for you, then on campus housing is a great opportunity to spend a good time here. The rooms are not that big (what is usual for student housing), the toilets and bathrooms are clean and if you are an uncomplicated eater you will be satisfied.
If you want to search a room on your own, the best idea is to start your search after you have arrived. Rooms direct in Manly are more expensive than in Fairlight, Queenscliff and Balgowlah – all districts next to Manly. There are good bus connections but walking is also possible (not more than 15 minutes). I found my room on flatmates.com.au, but searching on gumtree.com.au is also very popular. Short info to my home: living in a flat in Fairlight with 2 ICMS students from London and Hongkong, 7 minutes foot walk down to Manly Beach and The Corso, what is the promenade in Manly. Sydney is a city with much up and downs, you have to get used to especially when you are from a flat city like Berlin.
Manly Beach Fairlight Beach Freshwater Beach The Corso
The term at ICMS starts with O-Week. This is a great week, mostly the topic is to get connected with the other students (unfortunately we are many Germans, which lowers the necessity to speak English…). Every evening is another party.
Weird fact: In Australia it is not allowed to sell alcohol after midnight, shots not after 10 PM. You cannot enter a club when it is 1.30 AM, even if you just have been out to smoke a cigarette. So what is the solution here? All parties start at 7, latest 8 PM and end at 2 AM. Weird world, especially for those, who enter the club in Germany normally at 2 AM.
On Friday we had CampusDay, it was great! BBQ, music and different stands, where you can inform yourself about student travel tours, surfcamps, diving, different sport clubs at ICMS (surfing, netball, soccer…) and you can also create a bank account. But the best thing comes at last – the colorrun. We all got some ICMS-shirts and then it started, we ran through some obstacles and older students threw the colourpowder over us. Holi in Sydney – it was so much FUUUUN!
The Highlight at O-Week was the big welcoming ceremony and the cocktail party. In the ICMS Chapel the director of the college welcomed us, it as great as all the countries the new students are coming from have been named and for every country someone brought in the flag. The cocktail party was funny. Appetizer and wine, beer, champagne for us. This all in front of the beautiful building of ICMS. Great spot and a good and right decision to choose ICMS.
Chapel with flags
IMPORTANT FACT: Whatever people say, September is a cold month, at night it could be really really freezing. So to protect you from freezing and a cold take some pullovers, a jacket and enough socks and jeans with you!
But beneath all this, do you also study? YES! There is not only one final exam but group presentations and tests over all term. This means you have something to do for university during the whole term. Someone likes this, someone not. I think it is okay, as the topics are not that heavy to study and there is enough free time to study, chill or work, beside the 12 hours of courses per week.
One lecutre – Cross Cultural Management
Heading short to job searching and application. I needed a job and I got one as a bartender, without any experience in this sort of jobs. The only thing you have to do for your application is the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol), which is a course that everyone who wants to serve alcohol has to absolve. I did it online here: http://www.onlinersa.com.au/rsa/RSA-Online-Training/RSA-Online-NSW-New-South-Wales-RSA-Certificate. After the completion I went to several cafés, bars, restaurants, handed in my resume and was invited to some trials. It is really easy to find something but also important to be fast, as there are many students searching a job.
Last but not least, I want to take you with me to some Sydney City impressions. Entering the ferry in Manly and after 25 minutes arriving at Darling Harbour- starting point to check out the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks with its shopping malls or take another ferry or the train to another beautiful Sydney spot like Bondi Beach.
Opera House View from Ferry Bondi Beach
So, this was my short review of the first weeks in Australia, there would be so much more to tell, but as I have a limited amount of words and am already 200 over it, I reduced it to helpful information for future ICMS students.
I love it here and cannot wait that it is warmer to enjoy the beach and the life here fully.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or write me an email. You can find my e-mail adress on the student ambassador poster.