I left for my adventure to Sydney on the 3rdSeptember. Words cannot describe how excited, but also nervous I was to leave on this big trip to the other side of the world. I have never flown such a long distance, yet alone completely alone with no friends etc. It took me a full week to pack all my clothes and it was so difficult for me not to exceed the allowed weight limit for the plane. However, after repacking several times I did manage to stay below the maximum weight. Little tip: Take hoodies and jumpers with you! It is cold at the beginning!
I flew from Munich via Singapore to Sydney. The flight was long 26 hours (20 actual flying hours), but I was excited which made the hours go by quickly. It was about 7 pm when I landed in Sydney, and I was surprised how quickly I went through customs and immigration.
There are several options for getting to the ICMS in Manly from Sydney airport. You can take a Taxi, Uber, or the train which takes you to the ferry to Manly. Make sure to have cash with you, but if you have a credit card you should be fine, as you can pay everywhere with a credit card. The price for a Taxi to ICMS costs around $100, depending on the time you travel. Taking an Uber or Taxi is definitely the easier and the safer option, especially after such an exhausting travel. Even though I was tired after the long journey I was buzzed to see the University. The taxi ride took about 45 minutes and went by really quickly. Driving up the steep hill to the University was fascinating. The beautiful building was lit up in the dark night of Manly. Wow. I was breathless. At the reception I received my room key and then went straight to bed (bunk-bed). I didn’t suffer from extreme jet lag and adapted to the new time reasonably quickly.
It didn’t take long to head back to the airport to go on another adventure, as I registered for the Ayers Rock trip. The Ayers Rock or also known as the Uluru is one of the big attractions in Australia and I definitely recommend you going on this trip organised by the ICMS. At first I was not motivated to go to the airport again and fly for 3 ½ h to the Ayers Rock. I was exhausted from only just arriving in Australia and just wanted to settle down for a few days. But as soon as I set off on the trip with around 30 other new ICMS students I straight away looked forward to it and was excited on seeing one of Australia’s most remarkable natural landmarks.
On the trip not only do you go hiking around the beautiful big rock, but you make your first friends. The programme organised by the ICMS is full of exciting tours and activities, such as the Dinner of Silence, where we had dinner in the middle of the desert with the Uluru in the background watching the sunset and drinking champagne. Another fascinating experience was the sunrise tour, where you walked and watched the sun rise behind the Uluru. You can also book your own tours during your free time, such as the sunrise camel tour (I definitely recommend this tour!!). The friends I made on the trip are still my closest friends here today one month later at the University.
Living on campus: Living in “the castle on the hill” comes with one of the greatest locations to live. There are two houses, Moran and Kelly. While students in Kelly house enjoy the benefit of having a sink in their room, students living in Moran house get to live in the castle with great views.
Macromedia students are required to room with other Macromedia students in a bunk bed room. This is something I had to get used to first, as I personally never shared quite a small room with anyone before. So prepare to share! Also don’t take too many things with you. Manly and Sydney have a great variety of stores to buy clothes. What you should bring is a couple of jeans and sweaters, as the weather is still quite cold in September.
Orientation Week: The so called “O- Week” is full of activities to get to know the castle, Manly and each other. The other students really try to make you feel comfortable and give you a new home. Also, after travelling two days to Australia and leaving family and friends behind, O- Week is a great way to distract you from too much homesickness in the first few days. A real highlight of the Orientation- Week was seeing Manly and Shelly Beach for the first time.
For me, arriving in Sydney and Manly was not that much of an adventure because I had been to Australia before. The big difference and adventure for me was that I was going to stay at one place instead of changing cities – and of course going to ICMS. As I was going to live off campus the first point on my to do list was finding an apartment (e.g. at www.flatmates.com.au). Fortunately, I found my dream apartment very quickly: a flat directly in Manly, with two flatmates, very close to Manly Beach, to the centre of Manly and also to ICMS. I have my space for studying, can go for a quick walk into the city whenever I want – and living next to the beach is just amazing!! First, I was worried that I might be excluded from the other ICMS students, but there was no problem with that. You meet on and off campus people when attending the lectures, going to parties at ICMS, joining the sport activities and of course during o-week. Once you detach yourself from the people you know you get to meet students from other universities / countries very fast.
After getting used to the new life in Manly, having fun and making new friends, suddenly the lectures started. ICMS is very different from Macromedia: I only have two days with lectures but therefore several assignments which are due during the trimester in addition to the final exams. The business attire is not as strict as we all expected and for me it turned out to be fun instead of a pain in the *** as I had anticipated. It’s nice wearing something fancy to class instead of random clothes and the fact that (almost) everybody does the same creates a different atmosphere in class. The lectures themselves are not very hard to follow and the lecturers are all friendly and keen to help. Everybody tries to make us feel home at ICMS and being so much welcomed I began feeling home here after a very short time.