New semester, new country, new challenges. A semester abroad can be both, very frightening as well as very exciting at the same time at first and I'm sure you feel the same. With this post I would like to give you a few tips as well as answer some of your questions you might have in order to master every task before and during your semester abroad with ease.
Step 1: “Accommodation”
In Sydney it is very difficult to find an affordable and spacious apartment that is not too far from the university buildings. In order to save yourself a lot of stress when looking for a place to live, I can highly suggest to take a room or apartment in one of the 4 student residences. They are very cheap, are located directly on campus and you meet a lot of new friends on the rooftop, where you can have a fun time.
Step 2: “What to bring”
Of course, you can travel to Down Under with 3 suitcases and a large backpack, but it is not necessary to bring too much, especially if you want to travel around a lot afterwards. A few pieces of clothing of every kind are enough. You can wash cheaply and easily in the student residences well as buy some things in nearby shops like the glue store.
Furthermore, I would recommend to bring a camera and/or a GoPro, if you have one, to capture special moments with your new friends or to make those at home jealous of what you experience here every day.
Step 3: “Getting started”
After you arrived in your apartment and settled in a bit, you should get a few essential things. First you should get an Australian prepaid card that you top up monthly to use mobile data and other services. Telstra and Optus are the best, although Telstra is a bit more expensive, but also offers the best network outside of cities. If you are lucky, you can get a card from Aldi, which is cheaper but uses the better Telstra network.
Another main thing is to get an opal card. These are always needed when you want to move quickly and cheaply from one point to another by bus. It's very simple. You only have to tap on when getting on and tap off when getting off the bus. Pretty easy, right? I would suggest to set an automatic recharge whenever the credit falls below $10, so that you don’t have to worry about recharging anymore.
Very useful to manage your money and compulsory if you want to work here is to open an Australian bank account. These are quickly set up and free for students, but don't forget your passport when you open it. The most popular banks are Commonwealth Bank and ANZ.
Step 4: “Enjoy life!”
After the first nervousness has been overcome and the first friendships have been made, you should begin to explore Sydney's beauties before starting your studies. Lie on one of the many beaches in the sunshine, explore the sights Sydney has to offer with your new friends or enjoy the sunset at one of the beautiful places that want to be discovered by you.
Use every second you have here, because time goes by way to fast and at the end of your studies I'm pretty sure you want to stay even longer.
Are you ready for the best time of your life? Sydney and UTS have a lot to offer. Use these opportunities to make your time here unforgettable.
Technical University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt