Last night, when we went for a walk down to Manly, two girls stopped us in front of our college asking whether we lived in this `castle`. The two American girls pointed at the building behind us. We turned around and for the first time during the three weeks we already have lived here we realised what a gorgeous home we have. ICMS, the International College of Management in Sydney, lit up at night, looks beautiful and superior there up at North Head overlooking Manly Beach. Proudly we told the two girls that even the movie `Great Gatsby` with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed here. Filmed in the rooms we stay for the next three months.
ICMS is a private business school where practical work and theories are combined. The campus is situated in Manly on Sydney Harbour´s North Head. Manly is a district of Sydney in New South Wales with about 15.000 citizens. The building of ICMS with the old central bell tower was originally built in 1885 as St Patrick´s Seminary of the Australian Catholic Church. This historic site now offers classrooms, bed- and living rooms for 1.200 students.
The view out of our bedrooms on campus is stunning. If you are lucky you directly overview the beach or the ocean. The students here live in single, double, triple or quad bedrooms. Each floor shares a bathroom. However, due to the amazing weather (duh, we are in Australia!), the great campus site and just a five minute walk to the beaches, we spend little time in our rooms.
Additionally, ICMS offers different sports activities for about 50 Dollars per term. For example, there is Zumba, Jiu Jitsu, Yoga, Futsal, Boot Camp and Tennis. This semester, even a cheerleading team was founded. On campus, we are allowed to use the soccer, tennis and basketball field at any time. Often, in the evening when the sun is not burning so hot anymore, you can find students up there doing different sports.
Furthermore, during Orientation week, we already got to check out the “Basement” – the student bar where just students are allowed to hang out and have a drink in the evening. Here, you also can find pool and table tennis. At this place, we already had an Australian party with snakes and lizards, a poker tournament and a beer pong competition.
Of course (unfortunately), we do not hang out at the beaches, visit Sydney or play beer pong every day. There still is studying and classes. However, also in this direction, ICMS offers a special experience. In addition to every lecture, we visit a tutorial where we learn the practise of the studied theory. And we do not just do that sitting there in jeans and t-shirt. We wear business attire. Boys in suits and ties, girls in skirts and blazers. Business attire is compulsory at ICMS. Before flying over here, the girls, panic-fuelled, ran into clothing stores looking for business skirts and shoes and the boys bought an additional suit. In the morning, at breakfast, you feel like sitting in the cafeteria of a successful business company or just waiting for a very important interview with a bunch of young people. ICMS wants us to get used to our future work environment. We should feel comfortable and used to our business attire. Furthermore, we really do give a professional impression.
In classes we are graded on the background of different assignments and a final exam that is written in December. As a college year at ICMS is split in trimesters, we have a little less time for our assessment than we do have at home in Germany.
Living costs in Australia are higher than in Germany – that is what we already have realised. Food and bathroom articles are more expensive. Just for a comparison – a bottle of vodka down under costs 45 dollars, which is about 31 Euros. Fortunately on campus-students get three meals a day: Breakfast, hot lunch and hot dinner (be quick for the chocolate cake desert!).
Easily summarized, this is a whole new study experience. Wearing business attire and preparing individual as well as group assignments to be held in front of an international class gives you more self-confidence and professionalism than you might think. Anyway, is there something more exciting about studying than studying under palm trees in the building where Nicole Kidman got married?
I guess not. And now – we are off to the beach!