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Feeling free and finding a home
From all the students from our uni, I am the only one still stuck in beautiful Sydney. Even though I have been in Australia previous to the semester abroad, I experienced something entirely else living in Manly. Down under has something that got to me. Everybody enjoyed their stay here, I think there was no one who came here and regretted their decision. Still, most of my fellow students were happy to go back home for Christmas and see their families and friends again. Or else to do some travelling in OZ and / or Asia. For me there was no chance of going „back home“ early, because I feel so much at home right here.
Of course on one side there is the beauty of Australia, the oceans, rainforests, cities and its impressive buildings, like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge (and I want to share some of my highlights of my travels here with some pictures) but a big part is also the culture.
The culture here is not too different from western cultures, so no one gets a real cultural shock coming here, but Australians have their very own behaviour and culture and willingness to enjoy their lives. When I manage to leave the apartment at 5.30am, there are countless people outside, going for a run, a swim or on their way to the gym and to yoga. Almost everybody here is doing sports and people like to get up early and start their day and are just happy. I cannot compare this to Germany, where most people seem to walk around with stressed looks on their faces – and when it’s not summer also annoyed expressions all the time.
In „Straya“ I feel that everybody does their best to be friendly and polite to each person they see. Sometimes it is little things that I love, for example that a well-behaved Australian is saying „thank you“ to the bus driver, when getting off the bus. Also the culture of „no worries“ is something that can enlighten your life (especially as a German, where sometimes I feel all we do is worry). I cannot get rid of the tendency to perfectionism and stressing myself completely, but this different culture showed me how to worry a bit less.
So the thought of having to pack my bags to go back to Germany in less than few weeks makes me want to cry. I didn’t want to think about having to go back and leave all this beauty behind. But I know there will be a new adventure coming and that I will always be able to come back. Australia has a very special place in my heart. So – no worries.
Studying at ICMS
Looking back at my time and especially my classes at ICMS there is definitely a lot of positive things to say.
First of all, depending on what subjects you have to take, you usually don’t have five days of classes a week, but more like two or three.
This makes travelling the beautiful country of Australia much easier. You can plan day and weekend trips.
But don’t let all the free time fool you. For each class you have to do an individual assessment, a group project and a final exam. In addition to that, you sometimes have small tests (quizzes). Each project is weighted differently into your final grade. This can be helpful, because you have multiple opportunities to positively affect your grade. But it also means that you have to hand in projects every couple of weeks. So magnate your time wisely!
At the end of the term are the final exams. Here all the projects you’ve been doing over the term are helpful, as you already know a lot about the subject. Also exams aren’t usually too difficult. The lectures will make sure, that you are well prepared. Make sure you bring your student ID, a drink and wear your business attire. Otherwise you might not be able to take the exam.
All in all classes at ICMS are very interesting, a lot of the lecturers are great and very interested in every student. If you manage your time and projects well, the end grade will definitely show that.
Living and loving campus life
I can’t believe I’m back in cold Germany. Looking back at my time at the ICMS I want to give a review about living on campus. Now, I’m a massive on campus fan, because it gave me the real college life experience. You are surrounded by friends and fellow students from all over the world 24/7. So, if you enjoy being sociable its ideal, as you are never really alone. However, if you want privacy you can just go to your room. Macromedia pre reserves double rooms for their students, however this is limited, and one must reserve quickly when instructed by the University.
During exam period you can study together with other students in the given study rooms, such as the library of the ICMS. This is great, because if you need help with anything there is always someone around who can help you.
Now on campus there are ready cooked meals in the Marketplace to enjoy, therefore you can’t really cook anything yourself. The dorms have their own little kitchen with a microwave and a toaster.
Furthermore, there are a lot of activities offered on campus, e.g. the “Basement”, the University bar. This is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and you can enjoy a drink with friends before heading into the Manly nightlife.
It’s very easy to do any sports on campus, as you are allowed to use the sport equipment offered by the University on the sport grounds. This includes tennis, badminton, futsal, surfing and so on. I definitely recommend living on campus, because it just offers so many more opportunities for the students, and it was really good fun. I made friends for the rest of my life and had a real taste of what student life can be. :)