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My First Week in Sydney

My name is Yannick (from Germany) and I study a semester abroad at UTS. At my home university, I'm studying in the masters of computer sciences with a focus on IT security. That's also the reason I came to the UTS: Even though not listed in the pre-approved study abroad subject list, a quite broad selection of IT security lectures is offered. They can be found by directly searching the UTS handbook. I chose three IT security related subjects (not pre-approved), but this was no problem as they got approved straight away with my application.

I arrived here in Sydney one and a half weeks before the orientation started. This gave me some time to recover from the jet lag and settle in, but also to get things sorted out like visiting the university for the first time to get my student card before everyone queues up to get theirs.I also used these extra days before orientation to get first impressions of Sydney by going to Circular Quay to see the Sydney Opera and Harbour Bridge and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, of course.

Another location I visited was the Sydney Eye Tower, giving a nice view over the city.For great views to Sydney Harbour (and for taking photos), besides meeting animals, I found the Taronga Zoo on the opposite side of the bay to be a great location. Later in the semester, there was also a tour offered by ActivateUTS (organization to enrich student life with clubs and activities) to discover the zoo, alongside other events to discover Sydney.

A tip when arriving for the spring semester: Don't expect it to be too warm. When I arrived, it was about 16°C, so I was very happy having my jacket ready. Also the nights can get quite chilly. Despite being a bit colder on some days, the sun was shining most of the time, so the days were still very nice.

Then the orientation week started. There were some mandatory sessions for study abroad/exchange students and many optional events and tours to pick from, depending on the interests. I chose the campus tour and building 11 (IT & Engineering building) tour to get some orientation on campus, but also two more academic sessions on avoiding plagiarism and academic writing, as it is always good to strengthen the knowledge and skills in these day to day topics. I found one tour especially interesting: the Green Campus Tour -- as it gave some insights on some unexpected topics, for example on the ideas behind the design of different buildings. In the end, no matter what event, the orientation week was a good possibility to meet new people from different backgrounds, as most people attending the events were also open to find someone to chat with.

Another tip: As some of the events (orientation as well as ActivateUTS discover Sydney tours) got booked out, it is always a good idea to just book in when the registration opens for the ones you are very interested in.

After the orientation week, the lectures started, and the workload kicked in. From what I've seen in the first week, the lecture style is quite different from what I am used to from Germany. With more practical labs integrated into the lectures and many assessments spread over the whole semester (instead of one at the end).I am looking forward to see what new experiences this semester will have in store for me and to experience this different style of lectures.

Yannick Stadler

Spring 2023 Study Abroad student from Technical University Carola-Wilhelmina at Brunswick, Germany

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